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Monday, February 8, 2016

Curriculum for hilchos STa"M?

Sorry if this is an ignorant question, but ignorance is what I'm trying to get rid of. 
When I first started learning STa"M, the sofer I did shimush with had me practice chaseros and yeseros, and learn Kesset Hasofer and Mishna Berurah 32 (with biur halacha) and that's what Va'ad Mishmereth STa"M tested me on. Since I'm writing more lately, I feel that I should know the halachos on a deeper level than the Mishnah Berurah provides. I've gone through Hilchot Sefer Torah and Mezuzah in Y"D Mechaber/Rema and am starting נושאי כלים. Can any of the rabbonim and more knowledgeable sofrim recommend a list of seforim that are absolutely necessary to "really" know STa"M and a second tier that are I should avoid until after getting a solid grasp of the halacha through the main ones?

6 comments:

  1. Apparently you've already learned the basics, I would just add that these basics do not cover properly the details of kashrus of batim, and there's many important details to be aware of in that aspect that matters to the kashrus of a pair Tefillin. Therefore i would recommend the sefer Zichron Eliyohu, which is the bible of everything connected to the kashrus of batim. It's also well constructed.
    Besides that, more basics seforim would be important depending on your minhogim and location, for example, Yeriot Shelomo is very important for a sofer serving a Sefaradic community. Osiyos HaRav form Rav Moshe Weiner here on the blog is of great use for a Chabad sofer and so on and so forth.
    Otzar Hilchos Mezuza is also one of the must-have, especially to learn proper placement of the Mezuzoth.

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    1. Thanks! I forgot to mention that I have otzar tefillin umezuza which I use for placement questions (so far mainly my own apartment.) I have the battim kuntres in Rav Kahana's Likut Sifrei Stam but I admit that I learned to check battim for ribua and that's about it and that is not good.

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  2. The sugyos in Hakometz Rabba and in Shabbos with rishonim, Ri"f, Ro"sh, Mordechai in Halachos ketanos, Rambam Hilchos Sta"m, Meiri in Kiryas Sefer, Tikkun Tfillin, Baruch Sheamar, and the Alpha Beisos from the Baal HaEshkol, Tur/Beis Yosef. That should keep you busy for a while. I am personally very unimpressed when I meet sofrim who are kim'at 'am haaratzim in Hilchos Stam aside from the basic seforim they are farhered on (and often not that). I remember once asking a very talented, ehrliche, and tmimusdike sofer who wrote mostly mezuzos which shitta he made the hefsek parsha like. He gave me blank stare and admitted that he had no idea; he just followed the spacing in his tikkun. My safrus Rebbi often jibes that nowadays most sofrim do "paint by number" safrus. I wish you much hatzlacha and I commend your sh'ifa to be a proper sofer and know the sugyos properly.

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    1. Sefer HaTruma is also great. The nice edition even has footnotes from the Steipler. The Ohr Zarua is probably less key, but once you get a solid two feet in the sugyos he often quotes extremely interesting shitos that are often completely different than how the classical poskim understand the sugya. As an example, see the shita of Rabbeinu Elyakim quoted there regarding "Shin shel Tfillin". Many of these shitos are quoted by the Baruch Sheamar as well. Hatzlacha Rabba!

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    2. Thank you. That will definitely keep me busy for a long time to come! My safrus Rebbi actually advised me to stay away from learning the sugyos b'iyun until I knew Kesset and the chaseros/yeseros of tefillin to get a solid grounding in the basics l'maiseh. I'm shocked that the sofer you spoke to didn't know whose shiur parsha he uses since that is in the Mishna Berurah!

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  3. The next obvious step up from keses and M"B is the mikdash me'at and Daas kedoshim.

    In terms of practical contemporary seform, Rav Sterns Mishnas Hasofer is IMHO the most practical and widely regarded.

    As mentioned previously, if you do wider communal type Safrus work, it's important to widen your knowledge base to include batim and other peripheral areas

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