is this mezuza lechatchila or bdieved your thoughts please


  1. Hi Shmuel,
    This is a decent mezuzah but it is not written lechatekhilah. The main problem is that it purports to be Ketav Arizal, but it is not written according to his dikdukey.

    To begin with Shema:
    1. Shin of Shema is lacking a tag on its middle tooth. Likewise the two rightmost teeth should be facing slightly upwards.
    2. Mem of Shema should be square at the bottom right
    3. Ayin of Shema – the right head of the Ayin should be angled – decending towards the right.

    Continue with Yisrael:
    1. The top Yods of most Alephhs are lacking an Oketz facing upwards.
    2. The Alephs bottom feet need to be written similar to an upside down DALET – a tag is not sufficient.
    3. The top of the lamed looks like a flag, rather than a vav.

    Hashem’s name is not written in accordance to the dikdukey of the Arizal.
    1. The first HEI of Hashem’s name should have a small pessiah facing outwards to the left at the bottom left. Here it faces downwards.
    2. The second HEI of Hashem’s name should not have the shape of a YOD at the bottom left. Rather, it should be shaped like a straight VAV without a head and a very tiny little KOTZ sticking out at the bottom right.

    To note other problems, the first VAV of Vehaya is long. Likewise, all VAVs lack a tag on the left side of the Rosh. Attention should be paid to the spacing in the word Yamima. The right Gag of the Chutra in the CHET is not thicker than the left, etc... In short, there are many problems in the way in which the letters are shaped that restrict us from designating this mezuzah as a Lechatekhila product.

    I will not belabor the problems. At first glance the mezuzah looks descent, but upon examination if sold as an Arizal mezuzah, we cannot say it is lechatekhila. At the very best it is Arizal style. Not Lechatekhila, and most certainly not mehudar.

  2. In line 7, the ל of the word אל penetrates the letter ת above it. How much of a problem is it?

  3. Notice the yud of the word לאבתיכם it should be fixed.

  4. Right Rosh of the Ayin should be angled upward. Is there enough space - lechat'chiilla' - after the first Uvish'arecha? Every Lamed has a "Kotz" at the base of the "Vav" part, where it meets the "Chof" part. The Tzaddik's Yud Hafucha should be rounded like a Yud (top left), not squared or - in some cases - with a left-pointing "Kotz". Every Pei has a sort of left-pointing Kotz at the top left of the letter proper. Some Shins (Hishamru, Beshivtecha, Nishba) are almost like Rashi Shins, with the middle Regel meeting the left one quite high up. The left Vav on the Tess is not the conventional K'sav Arizal.

  5. I've glanced over parshas Shma. Based on my quick scan, while there may be a few letters that need minor tikkun, it seems to generally be a lechatchila ksav. Most of the aforementioned comments have merit to make the ksav not mehudar.

  6. I agree with Yerachmiel. From a generall look (on my phone) it can be classified as lechatchillah. The small lechatchillah l'eksivah items such as the kotz on the middle head of the shin and upper yud of Aleph do not make the mezuzah "Bedieved".

    But it does need fixing on some letters. For example I noticed the shin on nishba (second last line) the middle branch meets the left branch too high (all three should meet lower, in one place) but this is easy to fix.

    In my quick glance I also noticed the chof from anochi which is stretched. Lechatchillah only the letters "L'haderes" should be stretched. But it still has correct tzurah

    If I was selling this mezuzah I would tell the sofer to add the okzim.

    If I was checking it, I'd go through it properly and fix a few letters, such as that shin that caught my eye. Unless there were any other surprises, I'd give it back to the customer and say it's kosher. If it was a "heimishe" customer, I'd say it's kosher but not Mehudar.

  7. actually I grade mezuzos in 3 categories
    kosher-all letters are kosher
    lechatchila -has all vital organs and kotzin but might be a bit sloppy or length and width of letters are not proper but are still kosher (i.e. a beis that bottom is a bit wider then top,or a hei that inner foot is wide)
    and mehudar
    since it is missing kotz on the yud of alef, is it still lechatchila, or I might as well just sell the cheaper 10 cm which i call kosher


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