Showing posts from December, 2013

Yerios in a Megillah

Shulchan Aruch Y"D 271 and Keset Hasofer (13:3) say that a yeriah in a sefer torah must have a minimum of 3 columns. Does this apply to megillos as well? I would think that it doesn't because we do not keep the other minhagim about the dimensions of yerios in a Sefer Torah i.e. 42 lines and the (much denounced in earlier sefarim) vavei ha'amudim. Furthermore, in the 11 line GR"A megillos I've seen, the maximum of eight columns is also ignored. That being said, does anyone have any further sources or psakim on the issue? It would help me to sew a single amud cut from another piece of parchment into the rest of a megillas Esther, but I'm reluctant to do it because I have never seen a precedent. Hope everyone has a good Civil New Year if it affects any of you who are fulltime klei kodesh anyway :)

extended yud

The yud is to long extended. I would passel it.

MEM looks like PEY Afuha


How I would fix the psul of the post below

Without adding ink to the mem and hay, you would probably have a space of  9 yudin - which is possul. Therefore adding ink is necessary (although ugly) and no chashash of ponim chadoshos. Then add some cuts (indicated by red lines) to further improve the situation. Result is kosher but not mehudar.
Shalom, I would like to hear suggestions how to correct this double hayom

Partially missing Sirtut

Sholom Ubracha, What will be the Halacha when you write a Mezuzah and you erase a few words, And than you see that a part of the sirtut is also erased. So is it ok to write on a 85% sirtut? (how can you fix this sirtut, which is the right tool for this?)
I've just had a sefer torah passed to me to fix that has a serious rip through two amudim in the last yeriah (they added sellotape to try and prevent it getting worse, rather than just leaving it alone). Fortunately the rip is very clean and when joined together and patched the ink should create a bridge to make the letters guf echad and mukaf g'vil. The first part of the rip in the last amud goes straight through one line and so technically is fixable. However the second part in the penultimate amud goes through many lines of k'tav. Keset Hasofer 18 says that if it goes through 3 or more lines then the sheet needs replacing and stitching does not suffice. We don't stitch nowadays but Mishnat Hasofer says this applies also to gluing patches from the back. Though if one came across such a rip repaired this way done by someone else, then it doesn't make the Torah pasul and it is kasher b'dieved because it is a hiddur. The synagogue obviously wants to keep cos

Tikkun Sofrim

I'd like to also purchase a "modern" Tikkun Sofrim for study.  Most of them I find listed in Judaica websites list them as "out of stock".  I'm interested in all different customs, but would like to start with one of the more standard modern ones.  Can anybody suggest where to order one, preferably on-line? Elad

S anyone?


Ches looks like vav connected to dalet

As this mezuzah was on My desk, my 8yrs old son mentioned me there is a problem with וחרה. he told me the ches looks lke a vav and a daleth. whats your opinion Rabbis? Now a different issue is the tagin, i found most of mezuzos not to be medakdek that the right tag (chesed) shall be taller then the left one. the question is what is the source of this tag issue? Another question i had is lets say the mezuzah klaf i bought was made al tnay that is also good for divrey chulin, now lets say i said leshem kdushat mezuzah and than i wrote shma israel or only one letter shin but than i decided i dont want to go on with writing this mezuzah, can i crop the first shitah of the mezuzah and use the rest of the mezuzah for chulin ?


Unfortunately the nun and yud are just touching. It's hard to tell from the photo but I don't think that its thin or light enough to be insignificant. Also, especially with a mem that often has a very small connection at the chartom.

Getting started in S.T.a.M

Hi, I'm very new to this but intend to start learning S.T.a.M.  I have some questions to help get me started: 1) A very nice man, and I assume well respected, suggested I purchase the Mishnah Berurah English/Hebrew and start reading Tefillin chapter 32 to get started.  I'll be purchasing a paper copy, rather than the CD.  I found a large set at for $399.  a) is this a good price?  b) and is this a good place to start?  (This is a lot of money for me, but not outrageously so.  I just can't afford to spend money like this if there are better options.) 2) I'm a Conservative Convert.  (Long story, but I have little choice in the matter.  I'll become Orthodox whenever the opportunity arises.)  In the mean time, I assume it is not permitted for me to write Torah, Mezuzah, and Tefillin.  What can I write?  A Megillah?  Ketubot?  Also, if I write solely for myself, could I write S.T.a.M. for my own use?  Though I have already purchased, and had checked, a

measuring 9 yudim

This is a mezuza written according minhag chabad. The chabad custom is to leave 9 yudim, both after uvshearecha and before vehaya. The problem related here is relevant also to shiyur parsha in a sefer tora. How do we measure the 9 yudim, [compared] against the line below or above? I think we should measure against the line above, bein lekula bein lchumra (although obviosly lechatchila the 9 yudim should be recognized against the line below as well, but that is not me'akev). This may differ from a revach parsha pesucha which is at the end of the line, and revach parsha setuma [according Rambam] that is at the beginnig of the line [9 letters before vehaya], there the measure should be both in regard to the line before and after.

Klaf from Argentina

Does anyone have a contact for klaf processors in Argentina?  Any information would be much appreciated.

Cardboard/plastic in batim

Today, when I was learning how to assemble/disassemble tefillin with my sofrus tutor, we opened an old pair of my tefillin and found that the batim were lined with what appears to be posterboard or plastic of some sort, glued into the bayis.  The only part of the batim that was exposed leather/klaf was the flap of the titura, and, on the shel rosh, the klaf separating the compartments (the tefillin are peshutim mehudarim.)  My tutor had never seen anything like it before. Has anyone seen this sort of thing before?  Thoughts on the kashrus of the batim?  My tutor was of the opinion that this would constitute a chatzizah, but allowed that there might be a kulah of which he was not aware. Pictures below, for those who are interested.  I apologize for the quality, as I was shooting the pictures with my phone's camera, which is not quite designed for this sort of work.

Lucky Mezuzot

I'm sure I'm not alone in experiencing people wishing to have mezuzot checked or replaced due to recent tragedies, misfortunes or just a feeling of bad luck. Indeed maintaining kosher mezuzot as segula or as a response to misfortune has basis in our tradition. I get more concerned when the impression I get from some people is that the mezuza is the cause of the misfortune and that, when replaced, they seem relieved that now their lives will magically turn around. Like a charm. Someone once even asked me to make sure their mezuzot are extra lucky and to give it an extra blessing. It's more of an uncomfortable feeling for me and I never know quite how to deal with it or what to say when customers ask me about replacing mezuzot in the event of a loss etc. Any advice from what works for you?

Random Questions

1. When writing a Megillas Ester, is it proper to follow the opinion of the Rashba not to be mafrid negi'os that happened before both letters had a tzuras haos? I know that the Keses says to be makpid like the Rashba other than tfillin and m'zuzos that you have written past for which one can rely on the Shulchan 'Aruch, but is he including Megillas Ester also? Or perhaps since it is kasher to leien from either way one need not be machmir? 2. When writing a shem kodesh with a prefix, i.e. leilokim, at what point should one say l'shem kdushas HaShem, since the nitfalin l'fanav are not nitfas in the Kdushas HaShem?

Warning for those chacking STa"M with a backlight only - ie light tables, light boxes, lamps behind transparent boards, etc

In the last 10 years I have noticed more and more magihim checking STa”M with the primary light source situated behind the parshiyos being checked.   This is achieved with use of light tables, light boxes, lamps behind transparent boards, etc, without the use of additional frontal lighting. Using such lighting is often advantageous, because   it brightens the parsha and enhances the clarity of the letters, making them appear more stark and easier to see. It is also helpful in detecting small nifsakim in letters that may otherwise go unnoticed in normal lighting conditions. However many sofrim may not realize that checking in such a manner also had drawbacks. The most serious one is that it is much harder to detect smaller negiyos ,   particularly when the negiya is thinner   and/ or   a little lighter in nature.   I have experienced this countless times personally: when my   lightbox is on I don’t notice a negiya, yet when it is off, I see it clearly.   I encourage anyone to tes

ksav not on sirtut

I have always paskened that by mezuzah (not tefillin),  a ksav written under the sirtut (ie one or two mm under, or in between the two sirtututim  ) is problematic. Recently someone told me that there are opinions that allow this,  but I cannot find any. Can anyone shed light on the halacha lemaaseh re ksav not on sirtut by mezuzah?

Writing a name on tefillin

A question recently came up about someone sending tefillin with his child to camp and wanting to write their name on the tefillin. I'm not sure why he didn't want to write it in the boxes or bag but nevertheless the shaila of writing a name on the retzuot. I haven't managed to find a tevusha that addresses specifically this question. I know that having colours on the inside of retzuot is not an issue lema'ase (aside from possibly red) but perhaps writing a chol word would be different? Not so much from a chatzitza viewpoint but from a kedusha viewpoint. I think some people do write names on retzuot. I would have thought to advise if so to make sure it's on the extra bits hanging down and not on the parts that are wrapped on the arm or head. Can anyone comment on this?

kulmus hashamir

Rabbi's your opinions please!

tav & yud are pasul

The tav - I think is pasul, the left foot is not distinguished, it looks like a ches. I personaly think this is not even a case for a shylas tinok [although probably others will go for a shylas tinok]. The yud - the foot [regel yemin] is clearly 3 times longer than the head [rosh], it is a small vav. Why is the oilam machmir when a yud clearly looks like a small ches, lamed, caf, etc. but not so when it appears to be a small vav?