Inspiration from Torah in Writing Stam
This months post is simply התעוררות to study the אותיות דרבי עקיבה.
The Baruch She’amar brings an azhara that sofrim should be well versed in this medrash and Rabenu Tam has this azhara in his הלכות ס״ת.
It makes sense that when one thinks of any concept in Torah, a pasuk or a halacha, one automatically thinks of the Torah Shebal Peh associated with it, the words of חז״ל and their drashos on it. While knowing the halachos are paramount and one must concentrate on the tziur of each letter in order to write it properly, you also want to have the Torah perspective, a deeper meaning to contemplate on, as you write. Sefer Ohr Zarua לר׳ יצחק מוינה copies down the entire medrash as the hakdama for his entire sefer of Halachos! It obviously is more far reaching in its significance than hilchos Stam גרידה.
When A sofer thinks of the letter Alef, for example, right away the drasha א'מת ל'מד פ'יך and פ׳יך ל'מד א׳מת should come to mind. The letter beis (or “bey” as it’s called in the medrash),
אל תקרי ב״י אלא בי״ת, ומה הוא בית? אמר הקב״ה, ב'ניתי י'צרתי ת'כנתי...
And so on...
There are other מדרשי חז״ל that discuss the letters and there meaning,
זהר הק׳, ספר התמונה, הבהיר וכו׳.
There are also drashos on them in halachic works such as in אלפא ביתא and in the לבוש, aside from The explainations given by the ארי הק׳ etc. All of these are powerful tools for writing the holy letters with proper kavana.
There is a printed nice edition of it available but you can also find it online:
I’d be curious to know what other sofrim consider for inspiration, while they write or any sefer found to be particularity meaningful to you in your work.