Showing posts from October, 2012

Travelling by air with a sefer torah

Does anyone have a psak with regards to putting a sefer torah in a suitcase and sending it with checked baggage. Is this allowed? I am travelling soon to do a siyum. I usually take the sefer by hand and sew the eitz chayim, which I check in, when I arrive at my destination. However this trip I will not be able to assemble it before the siyum and it is too big to carry on the plane once the eitz chayims are sewn on.

nervewracking shailoh. Would appreciate reb Moshe's comments

Today I was checking a pair of tefillin. There was a tug of the alef in the space of the daled which was making me nervous as I don't like anything at all in the left bottom space of a daled. I know its not a major problem since the daled is so big, and often shatnez getz tagin protrude into this space, but my policy is to scrape it anyway (unless it is super thick and big, in which case I show a tinuk). see fig 1 which I took from my computer checking program, before tikkun, of this case.  pic 1 So I  scraped it off in a few movements, my first movement separated the tug from the alf, something like this in fig 2 fig 2     Without stopping to think, I continued to scrape the rest of the tag, in several movements.   I am now bothered that after my first scrape, when the tag was separated completely from the alef and sitting in the left challal of the daled, I may have created a more serious shailah of a hay.   My question is, do I have to be worried about t

2 Shailos

The vuv of uvkumecha looks like it does not have a rosh (kiokinos). Some poskim are matir to fix with a rosh mashehu which seems to be the case here. However in real life this is much less noticeable, keep in mind that this picture is probably magnatized 10 times at least the origonal size of this 6 cm mezuzua. I believe that this Tzadik Sofit is kosher especially since I did a shaylos tinok, if so would you fix this letter any more and how?

Two Issues

I would love to hear everyone's input on these two shaalos that I found today. Chaf Sofit next to long Shin and Peh? I think there is a very good chance that if I would show this Chaf Sofit of Nafshecha to a Tinok, they would read it as a Reish or Vov. On the other hand, perhaps this isn't shayach to show to a tinok for the following reasons. 1. Perhaps it is similar to the teshuva of the Avnei Nezer regarding the word "Pen" when the nun is shorter than the Peh, even thought the nun is long enough. Or perhaps this is worse since there is also a long shin here and shin isn't supposed to be a long letter. 2. If we say that this is a bit different than the Avnei Nezer, perhaps it still isn't shayach to show to a tinok because the tinok is used to seeing the Chaf Sofit with an ekev like in the siddur? Shins with the three heads not meeting up at the bottom? What about these Shins. Is this considered a Shinuy Tzurah? Should I leave it a

Vav flower

In one kabbalistic Torah that I have checked I have come across the following type of vav which is noted in Torah Sh'lemah vol. 29 and also in Dikdukei Sofrim and Me'ir Eyney Sofrim where it seem the flower version of the letter is kasher as long as the decorative flourish fully joins the letter form and it is still recognisable as a vav (some of the forms Torah Sh'lemah brings under vav certainly wouldn't be). Have other sofrim come across this. Do you know more about this tradition? Are there any other sources that deal with it? What was it supposed to signify? Todah.


This to me looks like the yudim brought by R Moshe where the regel attaches directly to the kotz with no rosh in between. Yalkut HaSofer says it can be fixed by adding ink....thoughts? Sorry - the yud in עיניך....

handy info

Below is a handy guide which I find useful when quoting on nach and megillos: Standard Amount of Parchment for Megillos and Sifrei Nach based on the Ben Osher Tikun Megillah/Sefer Number of 42-line columns Number of parchment sections required Sefer Torah 245 65 Megillot: Megillat Esther 10 3 Megillat Ruth 4 1 Megillat Echah 6 2 Megillat Kohelet 9 3 Megillat Shir HaShirim 4 1 Totals 33 10 Sifrei Nach: Yehoshua 31 8 Shofetim 31 8 Shmu'el I & II 75 19 Melachim I & II 78 20 Yeshayahu 53 14 Yirmeyahu 69 18 Yehezqel 59 15 Trei Asar: Hoshea, Yo'el, Amos, Ovadya, Yona, Micha, Nachum, Habakuk, Zefanya, Haggay, Zecharya, Mal'achi 46 12 Totals 442 114 Grand Totals 720 189 Additional Megillot / Nach: Tehillim 72 18 Mishlei 47 12 Iyov Varies Varies Daniel Varies Varies Ezra - Nehemiah 47 12 Divrei Haya

Keeping the Forum non-commercial

Dear Forum member/reader, When I set up the forum it was supposed to be a non commercial aide for English speaking sofrim to discuss halacha etc. I think we can all agree that it is going well the way it is, and I would like to keep it non commercial. Having said that, I receive occasional requests from members with commercial interests and in some cases there may be other forum members that are in a position to genuinely help them. Examples include sofrim who write Stam that do not have enough buyers, sochrim who are stuck with a sefer torah or other items that they ordered and were not paid for, etc. Perhaps davaka someone on the forum is looking for such an item and both members could benefit. For example last night I received an email from a forum member who bought a sefer torah and the buyer changed his mind and now he is stuck with the sefer torah. I would like to help him.   So what I would like to propose is that -while I think we should keep the forum non com

Mehudar Tefillin

Let's say someone has 3 parshiyos that are kosher but not mehudar and one parsha that is considered to be mehudar. Is there any milah in this? Can the Tefillin be called Mehudar at all? What if someone has an option to change one parsha (let's say the last of tefillin shel rosh) to a "mehudar" parsha is there any milah in this even though the others are still not considered "mehudar". Interesting chakirah I heard today...

Tefillin upside down

Someone went to get their tefillin checked before their chasanah and discovered the parshiyos in the Tefillin Shel Yad was put in upside down. The M"B and SA HaRav both say this is pasul even b'dieved. Are there however any poskim that say this is kosher b'dieved? (I realize their is shitas R"T that says it should be put in "lying down". However despite this the poskim still say in a case of when it was turned upside down completely that it's pasul even b'dieved.)
I am working with a food production facility to make sure all their mezuzos are good and installed properly had a couple of questions 1) Walk in refrigerators and freezers 20 feet by 10 feet R nissim karelitz in his sefer says one is not mechuyav  to put a mezuza on cheder kirur, however is there a maximum size for a refrigeration unit to be patur ? does it turn into a beis haotzar after a certain size and will therefore be chayav ? 2)  Utilities room 8 feet by 8 feet but has shelving units installed in and cutting the room in half ? 3) cooling unit used for express cooling in between hot kitchen and refrigerated packing room i am assuming mezuza goes on right side from hot kitchen to cooler even though there are other entrance ways from the refrigerated packing room 4) on the side between cooler and packing room i am assuming on right side from cooler to packer 5) Trailer used as office building has a back door that is rarely ever used for entrance or exit does mezuza go on r

sprays on Sifrei Torah Updated

I have heard that Rabbi Zirkind holds that there is a problem if one uses the spray (that helps prevent cracking) on the Torah yeriahs and latter writes on top of it. I.e. it is considered a chatzitza. If you have any information on this topic I would be happy to here from you. This is a Teshuva from the Tzitz Eliezer on the sprays on Torah Scrolls. He holds that it is not a chatzitza since it is only a "chazusa bealma" and is batul to the klaf. He notes that it is not really noticeable unless one is quite familiar with it. I will note that the Tzitz Eliezer is only speaking that the spray is not a chatzitza to the eye of the reader (similar to the reader that is wearing glasses), he does not refer to if later a sofer wanted to add diyo on top of the sprayed letters. Lichora there is no difference since it is batul. Not openly mentioned but it also seems that the Tzitz Eliezer only refers to a thin s

A must for your tefillin!

Did you see the latest "patent" for tefillin? Keep your retzuah shel rosh in place with these new retzuah clips!

Is this Mem Stuma Kosher?

I am currently checking a bunch of Mezuzahs written by the same sofer. He consistently makes the Mem Stuma with a line sticking down on the bottom right. Here is a picture of one of the more egregious instances.   Is this a shinuy tzurah lifsol? If it is not passul, should I leave it alone or add ink to the bottom to make it square? I would appreciate any insight since I am not finding anything on this in the sefarim I have.

daled hafucha. possul?

The first zayin is possul (its a daled hafucha) according to all the seforim I checked. Can anyone find a tzad to be machshir? See the picures above after I 1) cropped off the tagin (which were anyway not written toch kedai kesivah) and 2) after I inverted it. It's mamash a kosher daled. This mezuzah also has many tagin not mechubar, and beisim which are round on top right - both bedieved which normally I would have fixed, had it not been for the zayin/daled hafucha.

upper yud of aleph

Sorry for the crude drawings, but in continuation to a post on the hebrew forum, how would you classify and define the top yuds of these alephs? (kosher, not kosher, according to mikdash meat, according to the alter rebbe, have regel, don't have regel)


kosher? fixable by tefillin?

mezuzah placement question

Someone emailed me this (it came as a sideways video, not a picture, sorry) Does it go on the brick that protrudes near the door or on the metal frame the only way for it to go on the metal frame is on the face of the frame that faces outwards?

Sad story

Someone emailed me this story.  I'm not trying to be "motzei shem ra" however I thought its important that we see what happened to this guy. A lot of dealers sell old second hand sforim as "Holocaust Torahs". I don't know how many of them are legit. Please be careful.
A sefer Torah where the klaf is very puffy and does not roll smoothly is there a way to fix it? I feel that it is more prone for letters to crack since it cannot roll smoothly around the eitz hachayim.

Geder of "Pshutim Mehudarim" batim for Chabad

Following my recent post regarding the geder of pshutim mehudarim batim, I dug up an old article I was asked to write for a Chabad publication regarding the halachic status of pshutim mehudarim batim according to S"A Harav and shut T'T.  See below (click to enlarge)

After the Retzuah Tumult

I am still searching for a good quality mehudar retzua at any cost.It seems like nobody makes retzuot like the ones made just a few years ago. I tried: Zonnenfeld Shimborski Weissman Wider Chazut Rav Landau I keep on getting returns for cracking and peeling. I have retzuos for over 20 years and they are in great condition however new retzuos in case you had luck seem to hold up only a 3-6  years.After all if somebody purchases a $2000 set  and wants the best what can i give him.

Are Pshutim Mehudarim Kosher Lechatchillah?

Almost all mochrei stam I know sell pshutim mehudarim tefillin (batim). Many of these vendors try to keep a minimunm standard of Kosher lechatchillah, including myself. While the parshiyos they put into the pshutim mehudarim batim may be kosher lechatchillah, are the batim (and consequently the finished pair of tefillin) kosher lechatchillah? I have asked numerous poskim this question. They are certainly not mehudar. And the old style pshutim are definitely bedieved.  But some poskim seem to be reluctant to call pshutim mehudarim kosher lechatchillah, because the bayis is glued at the edges. On the other hand many of the older style pre- war batim, worn by may chosheve yidden (including notable rabbonim) were essentially made in the same way as pshutim mehudarim are made today. Furthermore pshutim mehudarim have some advantages over cheap commercial gassos that have all sorts of serious problems such as false charitzim, tiach, holes etc, problems which which do not exist in opshuti
Moadim Besimcha, I would like to know which type of knife is most recommended to open gassos sealed tefilin? In the past I have seen several types used by various magihim/battim workers. I untill now used a boker plus knife. Thank you

Interesting mezuzah placement question

A Gut Moed and a Gutten Kvittel to all: In the two pictures below we have the same shailo, a gate sitting under a roof. The roof is not connected to the doorposts of the gate itself, rather it is free standing, supported by it's own pillars that have no connection to the actual doorframe. I have always assumed that the roof is still considered like a mashkof and it would require the gate to have a mezuzah. The correct place for the mezuzah woyuld be on the actual doorpost of the gate, and not on the pillar supporting the roof. This type of gate is common here in Melbourne and i thought I would get to the bottom of it once and for all. it seems no one here assumes it is chayev and I can't see why it would be potur. Feedback appreciated.