Water on Nahari ink - continued

A month ago we discussed water damage to Nahari ink. I then suggested drying the affected Sefer Torah in the sun, hoping that the ink will dry and be less susceptible to water damage.

I made an experiment. The following was written with new-fresh Nahari ink on klaf.
It was then allowed to air dry for two weeks.
Then, the letter ד was wetted with water. Some ink spread on the klaf.
The klaf was then baked dry at 100 degrees C for 2 hours, to make sure the ink is really really dry.
The klaf was then taken out and allowed to stand in room air for 2 hours.
Then, the letter ר  was wetted with water. Some ink spread on the klaf, with a different spread pattern.

It appears that drying the ink did not help. I now suspect that drying the Sefer Torah in the sun will also not help.

Why does the ink spread even after good drying?



  1. Good question. I am sitting on shpilkes with this new sefer torah (I wrote about a while back) that was written with Nahari ink, it is literally a sponge, every time a drop of spit lands on the ink it makes the ink spread in a dark circle. Thankfully none that has caused any psulim of late but it's just crazy how the spit affects it.

    Yet everyone tells me the ink cures and dries over time, and the effect of spit will be less noticeable over time. Why is this?

    1. Perhaps I should contact the manufacturer directly, they have been around for a long time, perhaps they have all the answers.

      Does anyone have contact details for them? I can seem to find it

    2. I'll try to get it, but it might take a few days.

    3. This is what I came up with: 050-6963969 or from outside Israel 972-50-6963969. Please note this is a cell phone so if you have an "unlimited" plan to Israel, most probably this number is not included. Not that its big money, just don't be surprised when you get your phone bill.
      If this is not the correct number, notify and ill try to get it somewhere else.

  2. Even after a good dry, once the water touches it, it's not dry anymore. Apparently the curing process is more than about just desiccation.

  3. Why is everyone so surprised that the ink is ruined when wet? I just attended a levaya R"L of 12 sifrei torah destroyed in my community from water, another 8 buried a few weeks back and a whole bunch more are undergoing tens of thousands of dollars of "renovations" (which I suspect are essentially rewrites of most of the yerios.
    A few factors not discussed by R' Zvi in his experiment:
    1. How much water?
    2. How long was the water exposure?
    3. How long after the water exposure was the picture taken?
    I've found that the very light water damage fades when dried.
    Also, I am not a chemist, but I don't see how putting in an oven simulates room temperature/humidity curing process of a period of months.
    Finally, since the vast majority of St'am has been written with Dio Nahari or similar, I am not so sure we are discovering something new.

    1. 1. How much water?
      One drop on each letter.

      2. How long was the water exposure?
      Water stayed on the klaf until it dried.

      3. How long after the water exposure was the picture taken?
      About 3 hours. After the second drop of water was dry.

      The oven does not simulate long-term curing. It only ensures complete drying. I have to admit that I do not know what exactly is the meaning of this "curing". I never saw this term discussed in the professional literature about this type of ink.

    2. Thank you R' Zvi.

  4. Let me start this by saying that I have never been a fan of Nahari ink. I've always perfered Shechter or Mishmeret Sofrim(my personal favorite for the last 1.5yrs).

    My understanding from talking to people in the industry is that manufacturers of Nahari ink are really makpid on making the ink so that it has minimal absorption into the klaf and thus is more easily "erased."

    Another potential factor is the ambient humidity in the room when the letters are written(which will affect the absorption and bonding of the ink with the klaf). The two together can lead to some serious disasters.

    I'm not sure what to do after the fact. Though personally I would look into the fixative that the folks that write on Gevil use. A few months back I spoke with a couple of Rabbanim who are expert sofrim about writing on Gevil, and they said that the letters have a lot of problems unless they are coated with some certain fixative. I can't remember precisely what it is. Essentially it is an archival fixtative/coating that protects and preserves the letters.

    1. re "certain fixative"... are you referring to Gum Sandarac? One can purchase the ground powder online at http://www.cornelissen.com/pigments-gums-and-resins/gums-and-resins/gum-sandarac.html I was considering making this product in Israel, but in the meantime it's a lot easier to buy it from the UK.

      Also, with this process, it's not the letters that are coated, rather the klaf. The idea is to sprinkle the powder on the klaf, and followed by gently rubbing it in. Then write on the klaf.

    2. No.

      What they use they put on after the sefer has been written. It is what museums use to protect paintings and old monographs, but it is kosher b'peh.

    3. The fixative is a layer of plastic (usually acrylic) which coats the entire area. If letters have problems (cracking and lifting) then, the fixative prevents the ink from falling off. But, as far as I remember, if the ink is separated from the gvil or klaf, it is passul even if the ink did not fall off.

      Now, the question is - does the fixative prevent cracking and lifting of ink? Or, does it only cover-up the problems?


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