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Showing posts from July 17, 2012

1800s Sefer Torah - Funny Alef, Hole in Klaf

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I came across this Sefer Torah for sale on ebay (sadly). The seller states that it was written in the mid 1800s in Europe, and eventually came to Eretz Yisrael with other rescued Torah Scrolls, which, based on the photos, seems accurate.

Two interesting things caught my eye:


1) The Alef at the bottom of the column is stretched out in a very strange way, which seems to me to be a shinui tzurah:

Here's a larger photo of the area in question. Also note the alef at top left. The bottom alef appears to be an exaggerated version of the alef on top:

And here's the alef out of context. I think it would fail a shaylas tinok, and at first glance out of the corner of my eye, it appears like the word "af", almost like it's an alef-fey ligature:
Here I've digitally made a break in the letter, illustrating what looks almost like an incomplete alef and an incomplete fey:

If he would have made the gag of the alef a straight diagonal, as in the following digitally altered c…

Pitum Haketores and Lamenatzeach Menorahs on Klaf

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There are minhagim to read Pitum Haketores and/or a Lamenatzeach menorah on klaf in ksav ashirus. There are many different sources for the customs, which is a topic in itself. Many people carry their own klaf containing the above, and some shuls might have framed versions on the wall.

I understand that these are all minhagim which can vary and may be based on various different sources. Nevertheless, I have a number of questions to which I would be interested in hearing possible answers, opinions, and approaches.


1) Upon examination of a number of the above mentioned items, I have noted that:

a) Some of these items are badly printed on unusual parchment without any sirtut or attempt to make them look real to anyone who knows anything about safrus.
b) Some of these items are printed on klaf with sirtut in an attempt to make them appear as if they were hand written to the layman.
c) Some of these items seem to have been printed and then traced over or finished by hand.
d) Some of these i…

2 shailos

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The picture above is a front porch that leads in from the street. The archway at the top of the stairs definitely needs a mezuzah. There are two other archways on either side of the porch that lead off the porch but into a flower bed, not a pathway (one is visible in the picture, the other is opposite it on the other side, exactly ther same). The question is are these two side archways chayyev a mezuzah and if so on what side do they go?


The second beis on the top line does not have  a proper ekev. It is round and is not really bolet. I showed it to a tinuk who read it a s a chof. I showed it to a rov here who said it is a shailos tinnuk, and when I told him I already showed it to a tinuk who read it as a chof he said he cannot see a way to be machshir.

parshiyot shel yad on 2 pieces of klaf

Question:   Are parshiyot of yad on klaf that was glued from 2 pieces, [the kadesh, vehaya and shma, where on the first klaf, and the last parsha vehaya im shamoa was written on another klaf, and later glued to the first], are they kosher lechatchila?

Answer:   They are kosher lechatchila. Although it is a mitzva lechatchila to try to write all 4 parshiyot on 1 klaf as written in SA and poskim, this is a mitzva lechatchila for the sofer to try to produce the best yad, but if the sofer could not write all 4 on 1 piece for any reason, then the yad is kosher lechatchila as is [after the klafim are glued as written in Rema 32:47]. There is no pgam in the hidur because it isn't on one piece. (see Mishna Berura 32:219, Mishnat Hasofer  Biur Hasofer p. 236. Indeed the terms lechatchila and bdieved must be clarified, IE the oilam in general does not use these terms with the correct meaning. In our case, once the issue is bdieved for the sofer, then the parshiyos are kosher lechatchila to …