Showing posts from November, 2012

pasting a retzua that is torn

I wrote in a Hebrew blog  פורום לנושאי סת"ם: קרע ברצועה   that if the retzua was torn half way, and is lacking the shiur of width [1 cm] so that it is pasul, it is permitted in a needed situation (שעת הדחק) to paste [with glue] the parts together, and the retzua is kosher.
What is the halachcik status of this bent titora? Is it still kosher?

some questions on a cheap mezuza

Click on pictures to enlarge: The samech is bdieved because the left line is centered - and not at its left side [as mentioned by the hai]. The nun, and both cafin are very wide. The yud of yemechem is pasul [it has no guf/regel], and the yud of kimai should be fixed.
According to the Tzemach Tzedek a yud without a regel  is a shalos tinok because it didnt loose its tzurah legamri, however im not quite sure what geder this is... any thoughts?

Ashkenazim with sephardi mezuzos

Is vellish really bedieved for ashkenazim? At least it's an accepted kabollah and perhaps a decent sefardi mezuzah (while in the first instance probably shouldnt be sold to ashkenazi jews for the same reason sefardi jews should not be sold ashkenazi sta"m ) is not really worth making an issue to the  "amcha " customers  that so often end up with whatever they were given. I would sooner make an issue about bedieveds within a  certain kabollah (such as short lameds) than a perfectly written mezuzah that just ended up in the "wrong" hands... I seem to recall a teshuvah from r' Shlomo Zalman Aurbach specifically about vellish. Obviously it would depend on the customer but I thing in general for "amcha" customers, we have bigger battles to fight as magihim...

sfek sfaika

could it be argued that changing a tzadi beis yosef to arizal or vice versa could be allowed because of the following tziruf: 1) ponim chadashos (sofek) and 2) kav moshuch (sofek)?

Carbon fibre pens

A trainee sofer in South Africa has asked me whether it would be permissible to write with carbon fibre pens that he makes. R. Ganzfried aside who permits barzel even though this is tantamount to engraving according to many, I have also seen the plastic nibs with the built in reservoirs. I actually have no idea what a carbon fibre pen is. Would this be counted as similar plastic or would it be considered as engraving?

Zanev by Tefillin

What is l'maseh if there is a problem of zanev by tefillin? Is this din only by a mezuzah or are there times that it could be a problem also by tefillin?

Beis like Lamed

R' Shammai Gross goes to the "HaSofer" store in Yerushalayim at least once a week to pasken shailos on STaM that has been checked there. Below is a shailo that he dealt with this past a week. A Beis that the tag on top was placed at the far left and longer than it should be. R' Shammai said it was pasul. R' Moshe Flumenbaum was nice enough to let me keep the parshiyos (he cut of the first 2 and gave me the last 2 -- how I was able to bring to you what I have below.) Please comment with your thought and opinions. I was a little surprised since I've seen R' Shammai be more makil with these sorts of shailos in the past. The chevra by the shop there were quite "happy" to hear that he said it was pasul since that's what they all seemed to believe it was going to be.

Beis - very short

The beis in the second line is to short and lacks a true moshav - I think it is pasul, and cannot be fixed. The beis in the third line is also to short - but may be fixed after a tinok reads it as a beis.

I have 3 mezuzos with the tzadik pshutah like this

Can I have the publics opinion on this "End-Mem"?

The Vav below

How does it look now?


This shailo was brought to R' Mordechai Friedlander last week after this persons tefillin (tefillin from a young avreich) were checked. This is from the Shel Rosh and was the only problem found. The vav of "והגדת". You can see the same problem happened with the left regel of the Tav (although not a problem in the kashrus.) R' Friedlander pasuled it. My chevrusa who is friends with the guy offered to send it to me to bring to R' Shammai. I did and R' Shammai said it's a shailos tinnok (He said that the Mikdash Ma'at writes that if you are in sofek if the rosh is going over to the right side then a tinnok would help. He believes this is the case here. You can see that it's a vav.) I said that R' Friedlander already pasuled it and the guy was planning to buy new tefillin. He said although it's a shailo since he already pasuled it I believe it's a shailos tinnok and if the tinnok calls it a vav then b'seder, he can do how he pleases.

Decorating a megillah

Hi all, Someone brought me  a megillah to decorate the sides and top margins with designs and illustrations. i know that this is done in megillos but wouldnt this be a  problem of "marking" kisvei kodesh which is certainly problematic in other areas of stam. Why is it accepted by megillah and not other kisvei kodesh in stam...


What does everyone say about the nun in דגנך? Referencing Mishnat HaSofer, on the one hand he says as long as it doesn't look like a bet, even if the moshav is shorter than the rosh it's kosher, on the other hand he brings kol sofrim and daat kadoshim that say its a sheilat tinok.

rough parshiyos - 2 shailos for r' moshe

nun from venossati reish from yirbu thanks

scratching letters for a siyum

Hi all, I recently had a situation where I ordered a sefardi sefer torah and the sofer left only a few letters to be filled in by the shul. the shul wants more for donors and want to know if i can scratch out some letters, to be filled in at the siyum . The sefer has osiyos nifsakim at the end, not osiyos challalim, so the sefer is definitely NOT kosher. Furthermore the yeriyos are not sewn together yet, so it is a work in progress. Question is, can one make more small nifsakim to accommodate the extra donors? Obviously hashems name cannot be touched but what about some other words / letters? Feedback appreciated...

Atsey query

Am just fixing a very small torah from Canada - fortunately only minor repairs. However I have noticed that the discs of the atsey chayyim are all lose. I have dealt with individual loose discs before and repaired them. However the fact that all four are loose and by the looks of the disc hole size were deliberately made so gives me pause for thought that his was a deliberate thing because the Torah is so small. Should I fix them or leave them as is. Has any one any thoughts/experience of this? Todah.

Chok tochos by tagim

This is someone related to my previous post however I'd like to keep this separate. If someone wrote tagim that became connected at the bottom is there a problem just to erase what is connecting them in order to separate them? I know there is a discussion about chok tochos by tagim. R' Shtern in his Sefer writes if they were simply connected one to the other then it wouldn't be a problem to be mafrid them. However here in this case it formed a very very small shin seemingly this would go into the discussion he brings there if in a "normal" case of chok tochos by tagim if there is such a problem or not. (See Mishnas HaSofer Siman 5 Sif 4 in Biur HaSofer d"h "Shatnaz Getz".)

Tagim like Shin

I spoke to a Sofer today who told me over the following shailo. When he writes Shatnez Gatz he always writes the tagim first then the ois. This he was makabel from one of his Rebbes in STaM (who I happen to know to be an unbelievable Sofer.) He said he wrote the tagim first however they became connected at the bottom forming almost like a Shin. He then wrote the ois further and realized afterwards what had happened. His question is since when he wrote the ois (and connected it to the tagim) the tagim were "pasul" (looked more like a very small shin more than tagim.) Is there a problem here that the ois was nictav b'pisul? Would there be a problem now of chok tochos in regards to the ois to just erase the tagim? Seemingly it doesn't change the tzurah at all of the ois and just looks like 2 oisios that are touching. Therefore chok tochos I don't think would be a problem. However the nictav b'pisul part is really the question. Perhaps he should go back now and

pai with several nifsakim

The pai of Pen has several breaks in it. According to majority of poskim [R. Akiva Eiger, SA Harav, Mishna Brura] that allow fixing a clear hefsek in the letter as long as the general "tzuras Ha'os" is recognized [by a tinok] this pai can be fixed. More than 1 hefsek doesn't cause a greater problem.

Question on ink thickness

Some inks come in one thickness and the sofer can add water or a Medallel to thin it if necessary. Some inks come in a choice of thick, medium, and thin. Even then, sometimes a few drops of water may sometimes be necessary for a perfect fit to the convenience of the sofer. Which kind of inks is preferred by most sofrim? Does it help if all thinning is done by water, never needing a Medallel?

Rip in Yeriah

Although this is kosher, how would you recomend to repair this rip in the yeriah?

Pai pshuta as a kav mashuch

The yud in the pai pshuta is almost totaly stuck to the gag. Many opinions that I heard are lenient because there is small piece sticking out to the right of the yud. I think this is regular issue of kav mashuch b'shave that is pasul, because the majority of the nekuda is connected to the gag. Therefore one should first add ink to widen the nekuda to the right, and only later erase a part of the dibuk to allow a better picture of the pai.

parsha stuma in mezuza

This mezuza is unique: the space of the stuma is not normal. The norm is one of 3; A.  minhag sfarad [and many ashkenazim] place a space of 9 letters before ve'haya, but no space, or minimum space [3 or 4 letters only] after uvshe'arecha. This stuma is mentioned in SA OC 32 in regard to [the spacing before parshas vehaya in] tefilin, and they use the same idea for the same stuma in mezuza. This stuma is according to Rambam, that 9 letters space in the same line before the begining of the script is a stuma. B.  small space of less than 9 yudim after uvshe'aracha and same space before vhaya, so there is no 9 letter space in one line, and only a combination (b'tzeruf) of the 2 small spaces together there is a 9 letters spacing. This is a stuma according to Taz in tefilin, and many ashkenazim follow this opinion in mezuza as well. C.  9 letters space after uvshe'arecha, and 9 letters space before v'haya. This is the Baal Hatanya's opinion in tefilin and me

Matlis on sefer torah

I sent an old sefer to be fixed in Israel. I received it back this week and one omud has a matlis (patch) with about 12 letters written on the patch. the last letters written before the matlis, a daled, extends a little onto the matlis. When I asked the sofer about this he said that he originally wrote the daled so that ended before the matlis and was mukef gvil. However afterwards, he went back and made it a bit longer so that it would be closer to the letter after it, so he extended it  a little on to the matlis. but since b'shas ksivah it was mukef gvil, he argued that what he did afterwards was OK. To me this is a chiddush. While certainly a hole or tear that touches a letter which occured after kesivah is not possul because the letter was mukaf gvil at the time of the kesivah. That is a straight out din is S"A. But in the case above, is he misunderstanding this halacha?

Sofer supplies

Hi, I am no longer going to be working in the field, and have a lot of supplies, and seforim which I would like to sell. I have giddim, searot, klaf, sofer lamp, knives etc (basically all the supplies) and about 40 Stam seforim. I can sell these for really cheap, so if you need anything, drop me an email at I live in California, but can ship them if needed.

negiya - after ksivah

Someone emailed me this image. He was extending the regel of the chof pshuta since it was a bit short. In doing so he made a negiya. I told him that if the negiya was from beshaas ksivah it would be more of an issue as when making the mem stumah underneath he would have made it into a big nun / beis /chof. However since both letters were written in their entirety, and then the negiya was made, can it be fixed? Or is it a shinuy tzurah?

I received this shayla be email this morning. Any one have an opinion on this? my gut is to put up without brocho

Dear Rabbi Gutnick I am attaching a photo of a kitchen (The photo needs to be rotated so that the lights are on the ceiling). It is a kitchen. Entering it there is no real kitchen wall, only cupboards that block it off from the rest of the structure. Entering the kitchen is a large upright wooden beam that goes all the way to the ceiling. It forms a "tzuras hapesach". Does it need a mezuzah. If so, with or without a brocha?

sefer torah tikkun

Hi chevra, I was wondering what are the pros and cons between the two tikunnim 245 amudim V 248 amudim and which is the preferred methood in the commercial market?

Has anyone heard of a sofer called Moshe Weiss from Montreal?

Torah Scrolls Damaged by Hurricane Sandy

Much human suffering and devastation in the aftermath of Sandy. Another victim was a shul in New York as their Sifrei Torah were water-damaged. Click here for article and picture.

Dalet / kaf peshuta

Is this Dalet of אחד a chashash for kaf peshuta requiring a tinok according to yalkut HaSofer? If not - why?


To me the כ of כימי looks like a נ when comparing with size of Kafim and nunim in this mezuza. Does anyone think a tinok should be asked?

Navi with pasulim or Chumash?

What's better to read from when leining the Haftorah. Navi written on Klaf that has in it pasulim or from a Chumash?

Chok Tochos by Kuf

Please forgive my horrible drawings! The kuf on the far right is supposed to be a normal Kuf. A sofer when writing however made the top part like the 2nd drawing here They asked if they would erase the part that I made in yellow and would add in the bottom part of the Kuf if this would be a problem of chok tochos. R' Shammai Gross had this shailo and was in sofek about it. He has 2 reasons why maybe it's ok. First of all he said how the ois looks now l'maseh the person could make the gag long and have place to write in the line of the Kuf and still have it be within that space. If the person at this point could do that (really they can't though) then it shouldn't be a problem of chok tochos to take away from the bottom. The other possibility he said that if the ois on the far left would be kosher then also to erase the bottom part would not be a problem of chok tochos since as it is it's "kosher" to be a Kuf. I hope I explained this in the r

beautiful story

Following my previous post and the funny comments of personal experiences re taking a Torah on a plane, I came accross this story on, which actually happened here *********************************************************************                              SLICE OF LIFE *********************************************************************                              Torah on Board                              by Mina Gordon It was the night before Rosh Hashana. My teenage son Mendel was excited but a bit apprehensive. He was scheduled to fly from Melbourne to Adelaide, a one-hour flight, to help Rabbi Yossi Engel for the High Holidays. This was the first time he would be going to Adelaide, and he was asked to bring a Torah scroll. "Ma," he asked, "what if the airline gives me trouble about taking the Torah on the plane? I've heard that they've become very strict lately. I don't want to have to send it with the luggage." I tried

Vellish or Sfardi?

From my understaning Ksav Velish is not exactly the same as Ksav Sefardi. 2 letters that seem much different between the two is ח and ך. Ksav Vellish these 2 letters are very similar to way they are on this screen. A few questions: 1 Why do many call all Sefardi Ksav by the name "Velish" if they are not truly the same thing, besides the fact that vellish is a form of Sefardi i.e. it is Sefardi but not necessarily vise versa that all Sefardi is velish? 2 Do sofrim write authentic Vellish today? 3 Why does Ksav Sefardi not follow Beis Yosef (or at least it is heavily influenced by other sources to the extent that there are sometimes conflicting views in the details of writing of many of the letters? ( I am sure this has many answers, I assume that it has to do with the fact why the Rambam and Shulchan Aruch (Beis Yosef) did not write the laws of writing of the letters in their code of Jewish Law.