Showing posts from June, 2013

Interesting Chok Tochus shaila

Today I was fixing a mezuzah and some ink dripped out of my rapidograph (I did not close it tightly enough when affixing the nib). The ink landed as a "blob" in a "ball" shape. At the time it landed it did not seem to passel the letters, but had I waited,  the blob/ball of ink would have collapsed and spread, certainly passeling the letters. Before it collapsed I stuck a corner of tissue into the "blob/ball" which sucked out the ink. This rectified the situation and when I had finished this process the damage was not bad enough to passel the letters. I then scraped away the excess ink. I assumed "sucking" out the ink with the tissue is not chock tochus, since it had not yet "collapsed" and passelled the letters. Can someone please tell me if I am wrong?

Mei-klaf and spray-klaf

I talked to someone who makes this kind of stuff. He said that in the past mei-klaf were made from contact cement dissolved in a volatile solvent. The contact cement caused yellow stains on the klaf. Now, mei-klaf and spray-klaf are made by dissolving various types of rubber cement in a highly volatile solvent. Anyone who ever used rubber cement knows that it is one of the worst possible adhesives around. Anything that sticks to dry rubber cement falls off after a while. Water-based ink is not compatible with rubber cement. That's why there are so many cases of the ink easily rubbing off. A member of the אור לסופר  forum wrote: אחד המתקנים (מביאים לו ס"ת אחרי הגהת מחשב) בירושלים אמר לי שהוא מיד יודע אם השתמשו במי קלף או לא  לפי קלות המחיקה The use of mei-klaf makes it much easier to erase the ink, which means that it reduces the adhesion strength of the ink to the klaf, which leads to early פסולים in the STAM. We want to improve the adhesion of the ink to the klaf,

Please add labels to your posts

Hi All, You can see on the bottom left below the names I have recently added a section called "Labels".  Every time you put labels on the bottom of your post, your post will then be able to be accessed by people searching the topic you have written about. I have recently asked someone to add tags to  all past posts so that the forum can be properly indexed. However, from now on I'd greatly appreciate if all posters could post it themselves. Please use multiple labels. For example if your shailah pertains to a negiyah between alef and beis in a mezuzah, labels should include "alef" "beis" "negiyah" and possibly even "mezuzah". If you are not sure how to spell a word, please look at other labels and see how it was spelled. Thus will basically mean we will have one label per keyword ie not three ie (mezuza, mezuzah, meziza ). Thanks

More important than STAM

Protect your babies. If your wife is pregnant or breast-feeding, she is not allowed to fast.

Spray Klaf

This new stuff called "Spray Klaf."  The claim was that it was Mei Klaf in spray form.  I have been using Mei Klaf(usually with an Eida Chareidit Hekhsher) for years.  I have never seen Mei Klaf do this.  The letters litterally are not davuk to the klaf.  I can erase them with a rubber eraser, and break them by running my fingernail over them.  Here is a picture of a Mezzuzah that I wrote with "Spray Klaf" treated Klaf.  The damage done occurred from simply rolling the Mezzuzah.

A little research on vav k'tia in old Torah scrolls

According to the gemarah in Kiddushin 66b the letter vav in the word shalom at the beginning of parashat Pinchas is broken in half. בעל מום דעבודתו פסולה מנלן? אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל, דאמר קרא (במדבר כה) לכן אמור הנני נותן לו את בריתי שלום, כשהוא שלם ולא כשהוא חסר. והא שלום כתיב! אמר רב נחמן: וי"ו דשלום קטיעה היא.(במסכת קידושין דף סו:) How do we know that the service of the man with the blemish is invalid? - Said RabbiYehuda in Shmuel's name: because the Scripture says, " Behold, I give unto him my covenant of perfection: when he is perfect, but not when he is wanting. But shalom [peace] is written! - Said R. Nachman: The vav of shalom is broken off [in the middle Practically in Yemenite Torah scrolls this is not done at all. Despite the fact that the Talmud says to write this vav  broken, the Rambam, the Rif, the Rosh and the Tur did not bring down  this to halacha.  However rabbi  Shlomo Ganzfried, the author of Keset Hasofer and Kitzur Shulchan Aruch among

vav k'tia - what is correct way?

The vav k'tia from parshas pinchos, I have seen different ways of doing it, some mamash make a possul vav (as in picture) and some do a kosher vav by either making the break under the shiur regel or the break not incomplete. I was wondering what is the correct minhag? Thanks and shavuah tov.

Hey in Hadevarim

Hey everyone, what can be done with this Hey, can the blob be erased or would that be hok techot?

Any chshash of the ches of "bachodesh"? if it was a ches d'rashi it would probably be a kosher or near kosher tav.

sorry its a little blurry but should be good enough to judge

Klaff Tanning question:

I received this question via email. I am not really a klaf expert, I was wondering if anyone could answer this question:   Dear Rabbi Gutnick,   I am writing to you because a good friend of mine has put the idea into my head that the klaf in my tefillin were not really tanned and therefore are not kosher. He referred me to Megilla 19a re diftera.   From the research that I have done so far, it seems that the klaf that is used today is tanned only with a lime wash. On all of the tanning websites I’ve seen so far, they say that the lime doesn’t accomplish tanning but only the removal of the hair and some other pre-tanning effects.   Would you be able to explain to me or refer me to a website that explains how the tanning process that is used today takes the hide out of the category of diftera?   Thank you very much.    

Kesher being held to bayis with string or rubber band

I usually affix it with Gid. Is there any problem if it's done with fishing wire, string or a rubber band?

Writing on the Sirtut

I have a mezuzah where the top part of each letter is written on the sirtut. In other words, if the height of the top part of the letter is 1 kolmus, the sirtut runs exactly in the middle, with roughly half over and half under the sirtut. Is this problematic? I though that the top edge of the letter should touch the sirtut. How much of the letter needs to be over the sirtut to make it pasul?

Extra tag on Ayin and Strange Head on Nun

Hi. I recently took a look at one of the mezuzot in my office and I have a couple of questions about it: 1. There is an ayin that looks like it has an extra tag (4 taggin instead of 3). See pic. Does this pasul it? Can it be removed? 2. The nun from the word "pen" has a flat, wide head. Is this problematic?

Any hope for the second mem of mimitzrayim?


Trust in a Sofer

STa"M is one of the unique areas of Halacha in that complete trust is placed in the knowledge an integrity of the Sofer. I am certain that there are teshuvot about when a Sofer can and can not be trusted based on their personal conduct as well as actions they have taken in their profession. E.g. The article posted by Nachman is a sad example of conduct that I'm sure (or at least would hope) would result in a dismissal of all confidence in the Sofer's integrity and yirat shamayim. Based on this I have the following question, based on a real life event. Say there is a Sofer whom you have never met nor seen written credentials, but who says he learnt by a well known rav and Sofer. This sofer seems to be one who is researching STa"M as he goes, there being no evidence of his having learnt (halachot at least) by a knowledgable rav. After several years this sofer makes a well known and clear mistake. He wrote a lamed fully inside a kaf peshuta and to fix it

Mezuzah on large Aron Kodesh

R' Shammai Gross told me over a shaila of a large Aron Kodesh that can literally be walked into in order to get the Sefer Torah out from. Perhaps it's a sort of large structure with a door that leads into a small room where a safe can be opened to take out the Sefrei Torah. When he described it that is what I pictured. They asked if a mezuzah needs to be placed on it. He said not because of the fact that it's a room for itself but rather from that door it leads back into the large room (similar to a walk in closet in ones home.) The mezuzah should be placed without a bracha on the "left" side of the person as he walks into the space where the Sifrei Torah is kept (the "right" side of when he leaves from that area.) If anyone has any insights on this please share.

which tikkun to use...

I am writing part of a sefer torah and i need to match it with a sefer written based on the bardichever tikkun and up untill now i was using the dovidovitch tikkun but i reached the point where the two tikkunim are different and i find it very difficult to use the bardichever tikkun simply because the amount of yuddin it says per line is usually wrong. Does anyone have any advice? thanks in advance

A bit of a worry...


New Retzuos - Shaimos Question

A customer wants to know if there is a need to put the dust particles that fall off new retzuos into shaimos?

Slightly Off Topic - Judaica/Calligraphy

I know some of us dabble in using our Safrus skills to do calligraphy (i.e. a nice aishes chayil or birchas habayis suitable for framing etc.) in fact, or-lasofer has a whole line of "kifulim" for judaica. Two questions for those that do non-stam calligraphy: 1. What is the halacha of using Ksav Ashuri? I am interested in the marei makomos too. 2. What materials do you use, i.e. paper, pens etc? Thanks as always.

This paper was given out at a recent Siyum Sefer Torah here

Very good summary of 1st sif in Kitzur S"A why its a mitzvah to write a sefer Torah.  The author is happy for anyone who wants to recycle this. Click on it to enlarge.