Showing posts from June, 2014




Yud of Eincecha?

Boruch Dayan Hoemes: Rabbi Eliezer (Lazer) Zirkind Z'L, veteran American sofer, has passed away

Courtesy of Lubavitch Archives Rabbi Eliezer Zirkind Z'L was best known in Chabad circles as the "sofer of 770" or the "Rebbe's sofer". He was always considered as one of the veteran American sofrim, having worked as a sofer in New York since the 1950's. At that time, sofrim in America were a rare commodity and Rabbi Zirkind, who was also a shochet, used to make his own klaf and ink. Rabbi Zirkind, in his peak years, wrote over three sifrei Torah per year, an amazing achievement by anyone's standards. When Rabbi Moshe Feinstein complained to the Lubavitcher Rebbe that the reason he does not wear Rabbeinu Tam tefillin is because there are no reliable sofrim in America, the Rebbe referred him to Rabbi Zirkind. Rabbi Zirkind wrote Reb Moshe's Rabbeinu Tam tefillin which he wore daily until he passed away. Rabbi Zirkind also used to check Reb Moshe's tefillin. He passed away aged 83. To me, the passing of rabbi Zirkind signifies the

More on Ateres Batim

Following Avi's post earlier, I am posting some info on Ateres Batim. I think Rabbi Traube commented fairly when he wrote that even if you advertise all the hiddurim in the world, you loose something once you are a mass producing in a factory / line up situation. It's like that with everything in Sta'm. I'm not saying these are not good batim. But to me, any of these hiddurim can be obtained at many reputable factories, and still be much cheaper than private batim machers. The exception are their no folds policy which is a good safety measure (I wouldn't call it a hiddur, rather a safety measure), but you can always choose such batim from regular "factories" before they are painted and it will be cheaper. (By this I mean batim which are free of "potentially" problematic folds) Their hechsher from the eidah is a good thing. Someone correct me if I am but other reputable factory type companies I deal with seem to advertise many of the sam

Ateret (Ateres?) Battim

A rov in Brooklyn who knows a decent amount about safrus told me that he recently bought tefillin for his son from a company called Ateres (Ateret?) that were comparable in hiddur and quality to the shpitzy R' Sheinfeld and R' Dovid Starik fold-free, avodas yad, miksha battim, but were SIGNIFICANTLY less expensive because they lacked the "yichus". Does anyone on the forum know anything about these battim?

Writing Ketubot

I was wondering how many sofrim write ketubot on klaf.  Further, and more importantly what do you do when you make a mistake?

NISHTANEH HAITIM - Times have changed.....

I recently had the opportunity to check a very special pair of tefillin, belonging to the late esteemed Chabad chassid Rabbi Shmuel Levitin Z"L. Rabbi Levitin passed away in the 70's and his tefillin were handed down in his family. As to be expected, the parshiyos are extremely unique in the fact that they are an old "Alter Rebbe" ksav, from the old Chabad Russian ksavim (not the new post war style). The shel rosh was replaced over the years due to age, but the shel yad is original. It must have been checked many times over the years as I can see fresh tikunnim here and there. I would imagine Reb Shmuel's tefillin would have been written by a reputable sofer and clearly they were checked by many (presumably reputable Chabad) sofrim during the course of his lifetime, both in Russia and the US. I am unsure if these were the only pair of tefillin he had, but they were definitely his and well worn. Now here is the interesting part: Some weeks ago I posted

Amateur Sofrim

Thoughts on this? || Please Note: Elements of this post have been edited out, out of concern that they may be offensive to certain individuals. This was not the intention of the original post and I apologise if anyone has been offended.   The topic is on Ba'alei Batim who take it upon themselves to learn STa"M and then start writing (and/or checking) on their own.   ||   Personally - I'm vehemently against this sort of thing. Someone who has not learnt the rigorous material should not be allowed to put kulmus to klaf. True  even if someone's  tzurat ha'ot is ok. But who knows what kinds of kavanot, kidushim, chak tochot, etc etc has gone on if he's not a real Sofer???  

Rent a Torah...

Someone asked me if this is Kosher: My personal opinion is that it is not, simply because it violates just about every halakha in regards to handling a Sefer Torah.  However, I was wondering if anyone here had any other ideas.

Forgery versus Rabbi Abadi and the way to stop it

In Eli's last post the discussion veered off course to discuss "Rabbi" Abadi's method. In order for us to realize how terrible the situation is I must first explain the difference. Rabbi Abadi has his halachic view we may agree or disagree.ALL AGREE THAT IF DONE WITHOUT MASGIACH TMIDI it is possul.Rabbi Abadi NEVER SILKSCREENED TEFILIN OR MEZUZOS FOR SALE,he has done so on sifrei torah. The forgers we are dealing with are the lowest of the low they are clearly selling posul mezuzas according to all authorities. THE ONLY ORGANIZATION THAT CAN STOP THEM IS VAAD MISHMERES STAM The vaad has the capability of detecting these mezuzos using their computer however only 20 percent of stam gets checked by the Vaad. Using the aftermarket computers -aside from not being able to detect the forgeries and aside from the bigger risk of the operator ignoring a real mistake,if the vaad has no income they have no personal  to investigate. I personally have installed a vaad computer

zayin - is anybody machshir?

Does anybody know of any machshirim - a zayin that the foot is connected to the edge [right or left] of the head?

Ches - vov into chatotros

I'm sure this has come up... Ches of vechoro goes straight into the chatotros

Question about hide glue

There is a sefer torah at my shul that has a repair that was fixed with (what seems to me) hide glue. Would it be enough to get hide glue that is made from a kosher animal, or does it need to be made lishma?

Tav or Peh? and what's with the KHAF?

Here is a TAV that has a longer right foot and a shorter left foot than what it should be.  As such, it may resemble a Peh Peshutah with an inverted nose.  This is why our Hakhamim always impress us to make the right foot a bit shorter than the left. The above letter must be shown to a Tinok, and the right foot shortened if read like a TAV.  If the child reads it like a PEH PESHUTA, then its PESSULA. As per the KHAF, it looks like a cursive BET.   I believe that there is room to be lenient and not invalidate it right off the bat, as the letter appears more like a KHAF in the original smaller Ketav. Your input is however requested.  Should it be shown to a Tinok, and fixed if read properly; or do we say that it has lost its shape and de-facto invalidate it?  I'd very much appreciate your response.

Kesivas Shem HaShem: to fix, or not to fix?

shalom rabbosai, a post from a few years' back ( kesivas shem Hashem ) briefly mentioned various opinions on the hiddur of writing the holy 5-part azkara as it pertains to ksav arizal. in my possession is a ketores written in ksav arizal except the shemot are not written according to the Zohar's prescription. is it permissible to m'taken these shemot so they have the appearance of being written as described by the zohar? l'aniyus da'ati it would seem there is room to say 'yes' namely because various opinions such as the keset hasofer held that writing this way was extraneous given the kavanot that he felt were meant to be included at the time of the ksivas haShem i'm interested in hearing from anyone, in particular those who have experience with the issue of whether this sort of tikkun is considered an improvement to the ksav or whether it should not be touched....

Opinion on this negiya please

It is a thin but dark negiya, from the time of writing. I'd appreciate Reb Moshe's opinion on this, thanks

Wishing one and all a Gut Yom Tov!

Zman Matan Toroseinu has slightly extra significance for those who are osek in the physical writing, checking and repairing of sifrei Torah. May we all have a wonderful Yom Tov and be mekabel the Torah b'simchah u'bepinimiyus with an abundance of brachah and hatzlocha in our holy work.

Interesting Shaila