Showing posts from May, 2016


I search ebay periodically trying to find stolen tefilin.In Brooklyn iyt has become a makat medina, so far I have not seen any surface on ebay. I did come across this post and it seems legitimate , if anybody is interested and needs somebody local to look at them I can try to help. I have not contacted the seller nor do I know who it is You are bidding on two beautiful pairs of tefillin - a Rashi and a Rabainu Taam set, written by the late Rabbi Eliezer Zirkind (, the Lubavitcher Rebbe's personal scribe. They are extremely rare, in great condition, and were checked roughly three years ago. 

Siyum Sefer Torah during Sefriah days?

I want to know if some circles will do a siyum sefer torah during the sefirah days. (I understand that there is a debate among Ashkenazim and Sefardim about how one counts the mourning days.)  Here is my conclusion: During the S efirah  days (the days between  Pesach  and  Shavuos ), the Poskim differ if one may perform a siyum sefer torah with dancing and music,  it seems proper to avoid unless there are particular circumstances that preclude the celebration being done at another time. Certainly on  Lag B’Omer  one could make a siyum sefer torah since it is a day of celebration. Likewise a few days prior to  Shavuos  one may make a siyum sefer torah. My reasoning: Shulchan Aruch Harav (Orach Chayim 493:1)  holds that one is not allowed to dance [nor play music] even for the sake of a mitzvah during the sefirah days. (See however  Hiskashrus (vol. 246)  which understands the view of the  Shulchan Aruch Harav  differently to even allow making a siyum sefer torah during the sef

Gid to hold kesher on bayis shel yad

I can't remember if we've discussed this before but my many of my Ashkenazi customers ask me to fasten a gid to their kesher shel yad so that it doesn't move away from the bayis. I notice on some tefillin that this is done with fishing wire and sometimes even elastic, which is much easier to connect and also stronger (as the gid tends to break). Is there an inyan that this must be done specifically with Gid? And if not, why do so many people use gid if you don't have to? If anyone has looked into this or has any further info on this issue it would be greatly appreciated.

שי"ן וסמ"ך בכתב חב"ד

 כחיזוק לדברי ר' אלי גוטניק בנוגע לשי"ן, ברור שאין לו להיות עם מושב שטוח אלא מושב המסתיים בחוד שלא יהא ראוי לישיבה כמבואר בגמרא וב"י ושו"ע רבינו שהשי"ן אין לו עמידה משום ששק"ר אין להם רגלים. ולכן השי"ן שהביא כשר רק בדיעבד ואינו צורתה לכתחילה בשתי הדוגמאות אפשר לראות ברור שמושב השי"ן אינו שטוח, אלא נוטה אלכסוני לקיים דברי הגמרא והלכה הנ"ל בנוסף לזהירות בשי"ן לעשותה נכון כנ"ל, יש להוסיף גם זהירות באות סמ"ך שיהא מושבה עגולה ממש כלפי מטה ולא שטוחה עם קוץ בצד שמאל - כי גם זה אינו נכון לכתחילה

Alter Rebbe Shin Continued

I am currently reviewing and cataloguing a collection of over 100 older Torah manuscripts and fragments.  Within the collection, there is the above scroll which is approximately 200 years old. The klaf seems to have been cured by tanning as evidenced by its rich golden brown coloring.  Because of the script and jet black ink, I identify this scroll as coming from Russia. This Russian type script is the precursor of the Ba'al HaTanya's script. Here one can notice the clear upward curved strokes similarly employed in writing the Alter Rebbe's Shins. With the quill held at about ten degrees off vertical, the stroke rises to meet the bottom of the right top tooth of the Shin.  It is this upward rising stroke that creates the angled pointed base of the Shin that's so distinctive of this unique writing style.  Subsequently, the middle and leftmost teeth are then connected to the uppermost corner of the base, giving this letter it's final and alluring shape. The sa

shin in "Alter Rebbe" script

Both the Shulchan Aruch Harav and the Mishnah Brurah use similar terminology when describing the importance of the shin being "pointy" on the bottom and all three branches of the letter shin meeting at a point or "chad" at the bottom of the letter. There is a strong foundation in Halacha for this and for the bottom of the shin to be flat like a moshav (base) is considered questionable (Pri Megadim) and definitely not Kosher Lechatchillah. It is worse if the moshav is very wide, but it is still questionable if it is lechatchillah if there is a thick noticeable base rather than a chad. Even for Sephardim, who lechatchillah make an angular base, it is still important that the base is indeed on a (significant) angle. If the base is flat, even if all three branches of the shin come out of the base  connected , as in the top picture, it is problematic.  It is worse in the bottom picture below where the right head/ branch comes out of the right part of the base and the m

Email for R' Shmuel Rosenfeld of "Min Hastam" in Meah Shearim?

Does anyone have his email address?

Interesting Article

I saw this in a recent publication put out by Machon Stam in N.Y.

Mistaken Shem

I got extremely upset to find out I made a terrible mistake - the Elokim in the bottom was supposed to be written in the next line, which I inexplicably skipped (I started to scrape it off). I don't really understand how I got to this situation but Shgios Mi Yovin. The Shem was written Lishma. This is within the last 3 lines of the third column of the yeriah. Every column is 48 lines, so it's very unfortunate placing. Now - what are my options besides throwing the whole Yeria away? This Sefer is being written for my private use, so I would accept out of the box solutions as long as it doesn't makes the whole Torah bedieved. The options I thought: 1) Getting a Yemenite specialist to carve out just the Shem (they can do it). Problem: I heard that even if I do that it would be problematic to write over a non-shem word since the whole klaf area becomes Kadosh when you write the shem on it initially. 2) Getting a specialist to make a Matils. Problem: I

Chok Tochos

If a drop of  dyo fell into a reish turning it into a hey and it was erased is that a problem of chok Tochos does anybody have marei mekomos that talk about this shaila