Ritual scribal work relating to the writing of holy texts

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364 views

Are Rabbeinu Tam's Tefillin really Rabbeinu Tam's Tefillin?

I once heard from a Sofer the shocking revelation that Rabbeinu Tam's Tefillin do not actually follow Rabbeinu Tam's opinion. Is that correct? Did I misunderstand? Are there any Soferim in our ...
12
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1answer
871 views

What does the /shin/ marker (like Petucha/Setuma) at the end of Torah books mean?

I've been reading about details of Torah sofrut, and after learning about the paragraph markers peh / פ (petucha) and samekh / ס (setuma), I noticed some similarly placed shin markers (mostly at the ...
10
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1answer
107 views

STa"M on which children disagree

There is a halacha that if one is unsure if certain letters of STa"M (Sefer Torah/Tefillin/Mezuza) are of the right length, one can ask a child. What happens if there was a doubt in a letter in a ...
9
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3answers
671 views

Did Rabbi Dovid Feinstein of Uzda wear tefilin that were Ktav Ari or Ktav Beit Yosef? What about his son?

The biographical sketch of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein that appears in the beginning of Igrot Moshe volume 8 states that his father, Rabbi Dovid Feinstein of Uzda, was born and raised Hassidic, but took on ...
8
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1answer
1k views

Is this a mistake in a Torah scroll or intended decoration?

In the following pictures, is the superscript addition a correction or intended decoration? Are corrections like this kosher?
8
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1answer
351 views

Can an Ashkenazi write a Sephardi Torah?

If an Ashkenazi Sofer writes a Sefer Torah in the Sephardi or Yemenite tradition: a) has he fulfilled his obligation of writing a Sefer Torah (thanks, Double AA!), and b) since a Sefer Torah must be ...
7
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1answer
167 views

If the “Nun” preceding Bamidbar (Num) 10:35 is not upside down, is the Torah still kosher?

While reading last week's parsha, I noticed that the letter "nun" immediately preceding the verse Vayehi B'nso'ah ha'aron Bamidbar 10:35 was written as regular nun (tagin on top) rather than upside ...
7
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2answers
161 views

What is the reason for “stretched” letters in the Torah?

I noticed that in many Sifrei Torah, Sofrim prefer to "stretch" certain letters. It seems that these letters are stretched to end a line if there wouldn't be enough space to start a new word. That's ...
7
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1answer
79 views

Figuring out where Torah scrolls come from

Lets say a synagogue has inherited a lot of Torah scrolls, but doesn't know where many of them come from. How would they go about determining from which countries these scrolls hail from? Are there ...
6
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2answers
463 views

Is there a standard format for the start of each column in writing Sifrei Torah?

When I looked at a few Tikunei Lakor'im, they seem to follow what appears to be a standard where certain words begin at the top of a column. I did see several Sifrei Torah that seem to follow this ...
6
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1answer
233 views

Learning the shapes of the letters as a Baal Koreh

I would have thought that the shapes of the letters would be a good thing for Baal Koreh to know, but I was told that since Sefrie Torah are not invalidated until they are declared as such, this would ...
6
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2answers
348 views

What to do if you don't want a Torah written with a turkey feather?

Modern Ashkenazi Torahs are often (at least in part) written with turkey feathers. Not always - there are plenty of other quills that are acceptable (and reeds, plastic, and most say metal, among ...
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0answers
50 views

Source for the Beit Yosef's צ

In most forms of k'tav stam (Sephardi, Ari, Jeckisch, et c.) the righthand yud of the letter צ is reversed (see fig. 1). On the other hand, the Beit Yosef's צ uses a regular י shape in the righthand ...
5
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2answers
135 views

Is a Torah that does NOT have the (rabbati) large and small letters (keti'ah) still kosher?

I have a Torah in my shul that does not have any large or small letters where required (e.g. - the 1st letter in the Torah, "Breishit", is written larger than the rest.) Is this Torah still considered ...
5
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2answers
247 views

Is a Sfardi ש incorrect according to this Gemara?

In Masechet Shabbat 104a, it talks about the shapes of the letters, and meaning behind it. One thing it says is: ומאי טעמא שיקרא אחדא כרעיה קאי ואמת מלבן לבוניה? And what is the reason that [...
5
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2answers
245 views

Why does a Torah have 2 poles and a Megillah have 1?

A Torah scroll is a very long piece of parchement with two poles ("atzei chayim") at either end, while a Megillat Esther is a not-as-long piece of parchment with one pole at the end of the book. ...
5
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2answers
320 views

Composition of Sofer's ink

What ingredients are currently used in the manufacture of ink for Safrus? Is there a different formulation for the paint that is used to dye tefillin straps/boxes?
5
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1answer
156 views

Can a section of the Torah be “cut and pasted”?

While reading parshat Naso last week, it was easy to notice that near the end of the reading, there is a large section discussing the donations made by the 12 tribes for the dedication of the ...
5
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2answers
753 views

What is the Real Alter Rebbe Ksav?

There is a tradition that the Alter Rebbe (R' Shneur Zalman of Liadi) innovated a new Ksav (not the one in the Shulchan Aruch Harav) and taught it to sofrim who passed it on from teacher to student. ...
5
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3answers
112 views

Sefer about the writing of Neviim and Megillos

What sefer discusses the details pertaining to the writing of Nevi'im and Megillos (i.e., how the paragraphs are broken up, where there are "special letters", etc.)?
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1answer
156 views

Why are newer tefillin matte, while older ones are shiny

I have noticed that older tefillin — those manufactured a while ago — are typically shiny, whereas newer ones are typically matte. Is there any reason for this?
4
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2answers
114 views

May one use mezuzot with different scripts in the same house?

May one use mezuzot with different scripts in the same house? For example can the muzuzah in one room be ashkenaz (beit yosef) and in another be sefardi (vellish)?
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3answers
95 views

Is there an online resource that gives an “overview” of safrut?

Between Mincha and Ma'ariv on Shmini Atzeret, I'd like to give a short shiur on some interesting facts about how a Torah is written. I'm looking for some fairly easy to understand online resources on ...
4
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0answers
138 views

Shin on Tefilin - changed in Belz?

I recently heard that in Belz they changed the Shin on the Tefilin Shel Rosh due to an old pair that was found that the Rebbi believed to be the true Mesorah. Is this true? How does the new Shin ...
3
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1answer
179 views

Layout of Shiras HaYam: Half-Brick Over Brick

Is there a reason/meaning behind the "half-brick over brick" layout of Shiras Hayam as written in a Sefer Torah? I am familiar with the gemara in Megilla (16b) that states the layout is to be that way,...
3
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1answer
72 views

Online Safrut Courses

In this question, I asked about any safrut teachers in my area. As of present, I have not heard back from the sofer provided in the link. However, I was wondering, as a corollary, considering the ...
3
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2answers
156 views

Broken פ- What's wrong with it?

In Mishnat Sofrim, the Chofetz Chaim discusses the correct forms of the letters as they should appear in sifrei sta"m. When he comes to thee letter פ in its medial form, he says that the current ...
3
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1answer
298 views

Why are some letters in the names of Haman's sons little?

In Esther 9:7,9 there are letters in the names of Haman's sons which are written smaller than usual in the megillah. Barring the purimfest 1946 explanation, what is the reason for these letters being ...
3
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1answer
173 views

פ in German Sta"M Script

Does anyone know the German custom for the letter pey in Sta"m sofer? I know that the shape in Litvisch Bet Yosef is influenced by the Mekubalim of Tzfat (The Ari in particular) who said that the ...
3
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1answer
106 views

How are Sifrei Torah typically checked today?

Our shul has about 10 Sifrei Torah (no exaggeration) that are all passul. I am curious how complicated it would be to discover where the problems are. Someone told me that today, many sofrim (scribes)...
3
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2answers
330 views

What scribes' Torah scrolls does a non-Orthodox synagogue use?

There are rules, codified in Shulchan Aruch, about how to write a sefer Tora, Torah scroll. An Orthodox congregation's sefer Tora is written in the prescribed manner by an Orthodox sofer — ...
3
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1answer
157 views

Bent/Inverted Kaf in Torah Scroll, Parshas Bereishis

If a Torah reader finds certain writing errors in a Torah scroll, the scroll may be invalid, and the congregation would be required to take out a different one to continue the service. Some errors, ...
3
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1answer
45 views

Direction & order of strokes when writing letters

When writing Torah scrolls, mezuzahs, or tefillin scrolls, is there any significance to the direction of the strokes of the pen for each letter? Or the order of the strokes for each letter? IE: (If ...
3
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1answer
90 views

Is one allowed to remove sections from a Torah to repair one or more pasul ones?

This is a scenario of possibly benefiting multiple communities. Let's say there are five different shuls all in remote communities. Each shul has just one Torah but it is pasul (non usable). They ...
3
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1answer
52 views

Ashkenazi STa"M name

Why is Ashkenazi sta"m sofer referred to as Beit Yosef? Typically, the term refers to the seminal masterpiece written by the Mechaber, a Sephardi authority: so what gives?
3
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1answer
121 views

Antiquarian Safrut

Is there any resource for looking at examples of the old forms of safrut from before the Second World War? I have seen un-sourced photos of strikingly different variations within the Ashkenazi and ...
3
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0answers
36 views

Mamzerim and Sifrei Torah

In the Keset haSofer (1:ד) R' Ganzfried mentions that some hold that a Torah written by a mamzer is passul. In the Lishkat haSofer (ad loc.) he brings that most hold that there is no problem for a ...
3
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1answer
105 views

Who needs to check a m'zuza?

I have heard that a m'zuza must be checked twice every seven years by a qualified sofer. I have also heard that, assuming it's known to have been kosher at one point, it need only be checked for faded ...
2
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1answer
52 views

What's the difference between קסת הסופר and מנחת שי?

I am a Torah reader. I am always interested in learning about the nuances of how trope is used as well as the rules about how the Torah scroll is written, and the relationship between the writing ...
2
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2answers
49 views

Sofrim selling other's K'tav rather than their own

Some of the websites by sofrim which I have seen (this and this) show that the sofrim who run them do not write for themselves. Why is this?
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2answers
88 views

Resource for dotted letters in Nakh

It is relatively easy to find a list of dotted letters in Torah. Even a good tikkun kore will list them. However, it's harder to find a list of these in Nakh. Where can I find that resource? ...
2
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1answer
39 views

Advice on how to find a safrut teacher

I have been considering learning safrut from an individual. I know 2 sofrim in my area, but not well. I understand that learning this skill takes much time and this will probably be a significant ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

Seligman Baer tikkun

Does anyone know where to get a scan of R' Seligman Baer's tikkun korim, or other older Western European tikkunei-korim? A complete scan of a Western Ashkenazi sefer Torah would also work. Edit: I ...
2
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1answer
224 views

Women and writing a Mezuzah

Can a women write a Mezuzah?
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1answer
56 views

What factors might allow a shul not to repair a passul Sefer Torah?

Our shul has numerous Torah scrolls that are passul (unusable). I'm assuming that they contain missing or rubbed-out letters, and other errors that would invalidate using the Torah. Our shul ...
2
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2answers
147 views

How was the Torah written by Moshe (were there spaces)?

Someone told me that before Ezra Hasofer the Torahs did not have spaces (he said that according to some opinions not even between words). It was just given over when learned where the parshas (...
2
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1answer
97 views

Are there any safrut teachers in Boston?

I have, as I've expressed in previous questions, a strong interest in safrut. As such, I would love to learn the relevant halachot and beautify my writing, which although it would likely be kosher (...
2
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1answer
156 views

Handwritten Siddurim

I've seen assorted links on the net discussing handwritten siddurim, which brought up a number of questions, which I will ask here. Are there any halachot in regards to handwriting a siddur? In ...
2
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1answer
68 views

Is there a halacha that limits the use of stretching letters in the Torah?

See this related question . That question explains the reason for having them. My question asks if there are any halachot that limit its use. A few weeks ago - I think it was parshat Shmot, I read ...
2
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2answers
139 views

Where to buy tefillin parts

Does anyone know where to get tefillin parts, specifically retzuot and batim as a friend of mine needs new batim and I need new retzuot.