Klaf al tnai

Today I was in a klaf store in Bnei Barak and a seemingly secular woman walked in asking for "non-kosher klaf" that she can use for calligraphy. The seller gave her Grade B klaf to look at. It raised some questions.

As far as I know our klaf here in Eretz Yisroel is made al tnai to change to anything one wishes. Meaning that it doesn't need gniza if used for just drawing etc. But what if one is writing something holy? 

Is it the act of being mekadesh to write L'shem megilla for example that changes the property of the klaf where now it is considered holy and needs gniza. 

Ma nafka mina: For example if one were to start writing a new pair tefillin, say l'shem kedushas teffilin, write the first letter, and then make a terrible mistake that is unfixable like huge blot of ink. Now he needs to throw this klaf away, was he mekadesh the klaf which is made al tnai, or no?

Hope everyone understands the idea.


  1. The Kedusha is chal when he starts writing (l'shem Kedushas whatever it is).
    In your above example the klaf can no longer be used for anything of lesser kedusha.

  2. agreed.

    The tanai is not that you can change but that in its present blank state you can choose to use it for anything even chol and once used, even partially, lshem a specific purpose, it receives that level of kedusha and can't be changed to a lower kedusha.

  3. For the record this is bedieved. Lechatchillah the klaf should be made leshaim exactly what it will be used for (S"T, Tefillin, Mezuzah)

    1. Eli Are the mezuzos on you door bdieved?very hard to get a piece of klaf leshem kdushas mezuzah

    2. According to at least one senior sofer / posek I know all stam today is bedieved if klaf was purchased from klaf machers who make a "one tnai fits all".

      This sofer makes his own klaf - each one lishmah for it's purpose. He denounces the Israeli klafmachers who make the tnai that it can be used for anything.

      Lets start another scandal. What's the name of the newspaper man in Long Island???????

  4. I believe the tanai, if made correctly, is lechatchila according to the Mishna Brura and this is the widely held opinion. Furthermore, for those who want to be machmir and use without a tanai, there are 2 options. One is to make it l'shem sefer Torah and "bsoch maasayim maneh" meaning this includes all lesser kedushas, such as parshios, mezuzos and megillos. Some are even more machmir and make the klaf for a single use, such as for mezuzahs only.

    1. If I am not mistaken, I believe that there are two shitos on this.

      1 - בכלל מאתיים מנה, and that which is meubad for sefer torah is also good for the rest (Shulchan Aruch Alter Rebbe),
      2 - מעלין בקודש ולא מורידין, and therefor the tnai (which must be expressed in a particular way to be valid altogether).

      If you hold that ibud klaf is "mideoraisa" then a tnai is questionable, because of "braira". I have to look this up, the Tzemach Tzedek has a difficult arichus on this.

      At any rate, it is obvious that meubad for its particular use is most preferred. Here in New York, Rabbi Zirkind made his own klaf for this very reason, and we do, too, as well as other talmidim of his.

    2. Acc to the M"B the tnai thing sits better than acc to S'A Harav / Shut T'T.

      There are many things which are more chomur acc to M"B and vice versa.

      As a sofer with mixed clientel I have worked very hard on ascertaining the various differences, espcially those that present themselves in halacha lemaysa. (I could have a litvisher avreich bring me his mezuzos one day to check and a chabad avreich the next day, both with the same shailah, both with different halacha lemaysah).

      For exaple in just one letter (lamed) there are at least three noteworthy differences (lechatchillah bedieved type issues).

      It is important to learn the differences.

  5. Eli, you are absolutely correct! You need to know the shitos lemaaseh, as they differ for Litvish, Chabad, Sephardim... and you also need to be able to judge, as best as possible, your customers level of kiyum hamitzvos. I have close to 0 Chabad customers (they mostly go to fellow Chabad sofrim) so I am happy to learn more about Chabad shitos here.

    1. It depends on the makeup of where you are located.

      I don't think anyone is travelling from Lakewood to Crown Heights to have their tefillin Checked.

      Having said that, in smaller cities, often often one or two sofrim are servicing a range of clientel.

      All the communal sofrim in Australia (3 cities) it is like that.

      I was just in Cleveland and there is basically one sofer there (who I visited) and it looks like that is the situation there as well.

      I'm sure many members of this forum located in regional cities can connect with this concept.

      Also, even in the bigger cities, I see many resellers advertising (on the web etc) different minhagim. They may have a Chabad section, a Sephardic section etc. It is important that they know the differences properly.


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