Showing posts from March 15, 2012

problematic Zayin

The second zayin in mezuzos - is lacking a complete rosh on its right side. I think it is pasul. Here is the same picture, at the smallest size available for the blog. In reality it is even smaller - cut the screen size to 50-65% - for a more accurate size - and the blita of the right is unnoticable.

Ink eraser knife

In the nineteenth century, there used to be made a knife that was created especially for removing ink from parchment.  It's blade was shaped like an aspen leaf, hollow-ground and exquisitely sharp.  The shape of the blade in some ways imitates the shape of the lunellum, the knife which the klafmacher uses to thin and smooth the skin during processing and it is therefore extremely suitable for making erasures on parchment. Unfortunately, they are no longer made, but they can still be found fairly easily on any number of sites specializing in old writing paraphernalia.  They cost usually between 20 and 80 dollars or more, but are definitely a tool worth investing in.  When sharpened properly, say to about the same degree of perfection as a knife used in shechita, these knives really are the very best thing for thoroughly removing stains and unwanted letters.  They are much sturdier than a razor blade, or an X-acto knife, and give better results.  They can also be resharpened.

The Morning After

We have all experienced the morning after Simcha Torah.  Broken atzei chayim, ripped parchments, seams to be repaired, etc.   Shuls turn to us to repair their bruised scrolls and patch-up their ailing Sifrei Torah.  With a sense of duty we all rise to fulfill our call to be true Torah doctors. What about the morning after Purim?  Did someone's drinking ever affect a Megillah?  Today, I received this one.  It didn't necessarily happen on Purim, but some liquid went over it causing the writing to run and staining the parchment. Tomorrow, I will try to clean it up a bit.  Before doing so, however, I would like to hear from your experiences and what you have done to remedy similar mishaps.