פורום בינלאומי לנושא סת"ם

Monday, September 2, 2013

Practical Shaila On Chezkas Magia

DISCLAIMER: I would like to know the answer to my question below for educational purposes.  As I have said before, I am still in the learning stages of safrus.

There are TWO shailas in this post, please give mareh mekomos when possible, I like to look everything up:

This shailah came up in my shul recently.  A few letters in a specific area had minor cracking.  Definitely passul but easily fixable.
My shailah is, as it is before erev yom tov, there is no time to do a full computer checking of the sefer (which was checked before, was from a competent sofer and never had significant problems before--fairly new).
Assuming the issues found are fixed, can we use the sefer for yom tov? What is the practical effect on the chazaka most stam has once its checked.  Is there any practical halachic effect of finding these (now fixed issues)?

A section of the torah is clearly written by a different sofer and this section has almost no tagim.
A close review of this section indicates that some tagim may actually be penciled in (could be very faded ink but strangely faded far faster than rest of the section).  What do we need to worry about here?

Again, Maarei Mekomos are appreciated and again, I am learning here, you are not being asked to pasken a shailah (the Rov of the shul will/can handle that).


  1. Here's a few sources that might help.

    Yeriat Sh'lomo 16:2 is clear that one is not bound to do a computer check (ever) but that in evry case it is right to do so. And indeed one does not rely on the computer check over the magihah and that that should come after the magihah. Largely because the computer check finds things people don't and people find things computers don't.
    Otser Stam 3:9:5 (based on Keset and Yoreh De'ah, Lvush and Rambam and Kol Ya'akov) states that if a sefer torah has three mistakes in it then it is forbidden to read from it until it has been checked - even if they are corrected it is forbidden to read from it until the whole of it has been checked. However going back into Keset and Rambam and context, this is really about mistakes as actual letter errors (i.e. significant errors) rather than cracking letters, so I'm not sure that rule would apply here.
    Thus it would seem that if you have fixed the issues that were visible and do not have time to do a full check the assumption is that the rest of the Torah is kasher (until other issues arise) particularly if it was only minor cracking and it was checked relatively recently as it is new. Not sure I've seen a specific source for that though.
    For taggin, often they do fade quicker than the rest of the letters as a) they are thinner and b) often nowadays they are added in after the letters separately and using rapidograph (though hopefully at least with kasher d'yo). I'm not sure why anyone would pencil in some taggin. The lack of taggin does not invalidate according to Rambam (Mishneh Torah 7:11)and the Shulchan Aruch 36:3 and the Rama 32:4 etc (see Mishnat Hasofer 4:1 for a good section on taggin. Though some (like the Bach) do invalidate (Chok L'sofer: Shoneh Halachot 9)but again in all instances one is supposed to repair them afterwards, to follow the Bach.

    I'm sure others will have other sources that will help clarify this.

  2. BTW - that's Mishnat Hasofer im Piskey hasofer (not Mishnat Hasofer from Rav Stern)

  3. Thanks,
    I don't have otser hastam at home, but I will check it out.

  4. I see that you have more then enough practical sources,what you need is somebody experienced who can tell you if this sefer was written by a mumcha.If it was written and checked by a mumcha it would have chazaka However most sforim were nort written or checked by a mumcha. Perhaps post an image on the forum
    Here are a few facts that can help you.
    1) a computer check cannot and should not be used for finding cracks in letters
    2)if the sefer was checked by the vaad you can scan a couple of columns and email it to the vaad they will get back to you ususally within a day or 2 with the report or that it was not checked or the usa branch
    3)a small crack that is only visible when held to light source does not invalidate the torah and does not have to be fixed see biur halacha siman 32 -sorry i am without sefer in front of me)


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