Undoing Ponim Chadoshos

A Feilichen Shushan Purim:

If a sofer does ponim chadoshos say on the left regel of a tav,  can one fix by scraping back to the original aiver and thus 'undo' the ponim chadoshos - or is it chok tochus to do this?

Thoughts or mareh mekomos on this matter would be appreciated.


  1. Please note that in the above question, when scaping back to the original ponim, it will be done carefully in such a way that there will be no shinuy tzurah throughout the scraping process...

    1. Doesn't Ponim Chadoshos imply that the original ink is no longer there? How can you undo it?

    2. In this case the original ink is covered. To explain. The tav was widened on the left regel bit by bit but now the original blita is all covered and the current blita is all from new ink. So it's a thick regel but it needed to be widened to fill in a gap.

      Furthermore I can see where the original ink was because the new ink is matte and thin and the old is thick and shiny.

      If it's still unclear I can post a diagram

    3. Ok I see what you mean now. I was wondering about a similar case a little while ago and also found nothing in literature about this. I e-mailed Rabbi Greenfield and he said that Ponim Chadoshos is only shayach when the original ink is completely gone. Augmenting the old ink is not a problem at all, even if the original eiver is completely covered up by new ink. Extrapolating from this, removing the ink should not be a problem of chak tochos provided that the conditions you specified are met. The complete silence of the Poskim about this does indeed seem to imply that these types of tikkunim are not a problem, although I agree that the lomdus is less than satisfying.

    4. Interesting. I would have thought that if you created a whole new aiver such as a rosh of a lamed, or head of a letter, etc from the new ink, it would be considered ponim chadoshos, even if nothing was erased

  2. Yankev, are you sure this was Rav greenfelds view? To me this is a very big chiddush

  3. This seems to be the way R Eli was saying:

    Perhaps there was a misunderstanding somewhere.

    I remember there being a good article on panim chadashos in the lishkas hakodesh publication - I'll try remember to put up a photo later.

  4. Exactly. In that shailo, nothing was erased as well. Still ponim chadoshos though.

    1. It said according to some. Would like exact mareh mekomos though. And not that blogs are halakhic authorities...
      If it's really a machlokes, then it did sound like Rabbi Greenfield was מראה פנים למקילין, but he didn't even mention a machlokes.

  5. Firstly - you should who you are speaking about. Rav Moshe Weiner is a competent authority.

    Secondly, it makes send for both situations to be considered panim chadashot.
    Even if the original ink is still there, after the new ink has been added the original ink is now a kav mashuch - it has been changed. What is now making the eiver bolet to the side is new ink which is panim chadashot.

    I believe that the case where the original ink is gone is a reference to the teshuva of chatam Sofer that if part of the vav regel fades or disintegrates and becomes thin - but still kosher, if one were to add ink to thickn it there is a chashash that the original ink will also disappear and then the only thing making the vav kosher will be panim chadashot.

    In both cases, the element that gives the letter it's kosher tzura is panim chadashot ink.

  6. I've looked it up in Mishnat Hasofer.

    In Perek 9 Siman 2 SK 10 he brings the case of a letter that you thicken one side and then erase the part of the regel that was there before so now you only have the new thickened bit - which is a psul of lo kesidran due to panim chadashot.

    Then in yalkut HaSofer he says:
    רגל יו״ד שהיה קצר אך היה כשר, והאריכו יותר, ואח״כ העביר קולמוס על ראשה להעבותו, ולא נשאר עי״ז מהרגל הקודם, ובולט רק הרגל החדש, הוי פסול שלכס״ד.
    He explains in the mekorot that with respect to this most poskim agree with the chatam Sofer (see my earlier comment) to be machmir due to panim chadashot.

    This is exactly what we were taking about.

  7. Thanks, that was the information I was looking before but somehow missed. Nevertheless, he does bring the fact that this is a machlokes. Funny that, as I said, R' Greenfield seemed to think like the mekilim.


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