nun has a tiny koitz at the bottom

This is a quite common shyla that magihim pose: the nun has a tiny koitz extending down, making a shayla of gimel.
From my experience no tinok gets mixed-up and never read it as a gimel, therefore [l'mayse] a shaylas tinok is not even called for - and one can go ahead and erase this tiny koitz.


  1. rav stern writes as well as small kotz is no problem and does not even require shaaylas tinok

  2. I remember my safrus rebbe showing me old sfardi ksavim from certain countries (I forget which at the moment) where thae difference between the nuns and the gimels were k'seder a tiny kotz like the one pictured and they wrote that way l'chatchila.

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    1. I think there is more of an argument to be machmir by sefardim for this reason. I guess it depends on who the customer is. If it was a sefardi customer I'd be more inclined to show a sefardi posek.

      For Ashkenazim a small pegam or kotz is of no concern. A medium one is a shaolos tinok. if its very bolet, its obviously going to be problematic.

    2. The Rishonim say that stylistic differences between Ashkenazi and Sefardi Ksav do not matter. However, if the tzuras Ha-Ksav is from Sinai it is extremely difficult to justify/explain an outright stirah--i.e., some consider this a nun and another a gimel. Either you have to say that everything is dependent on time and place, or that we have to be machmir because it's possible that early Sefardic Ksav had a Kabbalah that this is considered a gimel. If you assume the former, then even for Sefardim nowadays this would not be a problem because no one (including tinokos) would read that as a gimel today. If one assumes lechumra, then it could be a problem. Practically speaking, I would say that it should at least be fixed.

      A similar shayla is found with regards to the fact that several Rishonim and communities allowed the regel of a ה to be attached to the gag. Even though the difference between this and their ח was clear, nowadays a tinok would read their ה as a ח because it is so entrenched that the regel of the ה must be separate. What if someone today wrote a ח that looked exactly like an ancient ה?

  4. It also depends on the style of ktav. The same kotz could be a problem in ketiva that is more daka but not in ketiva gasa. Each ktav and context needs to be individually examined.

  5. sharay tshuva siman 36 (page samech in the printed m"b)brings down atshuva ksav yad from that ashkenazi tefilin are posul for sfardim,the tshuva is now printed in kol gadol 78
    שאלה בכתב האשכזים יש איזה אותיות שכשאין
    כותבים אותם כתקנן לדידן פסולות וכן
    שאר דקדוקים אם אנו יוצאים באותה תפילין
    תשובה מלתא דפפיטא בתפילין ומזוזות אין
    כותבים אותן אלא בכתב אשורית
    כדתנן סוף ס״ק דמנלה אמנם צורת כתב אשורית
    יש הפרש בין האשכנזים והספרדים כגון דרך משל
    בן נ׳ לגימל דנון שלהם לדידן חשיב גימל וכן
    כשאר אותיות ונר׳ דכגון זה דלדידן חשיב כשינה
    צורת האות פסולין

  6. Agree with Rav Moshe. However, only those with sufficient shimush may make the call of what is ok or is a shailah so the average sofer should show ask a shailos chacham to determine the status.


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