Ritual scribal work relating to the writing of holy texts

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Non-lishmah parchment

I was learning the first two chapters of Rambam's Hilchot Megillah v'Chanukah before minchah last Shabbat. In one of the halachot of Ch. 2:9 the Rambam discusses that megillot need not be written on ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Metal Kulmus for Sifrei Kodesh?

I was just looking at the Keset haSofer and came across an interesting halacha ואין נוהגין כן אלא כותבין בנוצה ואפי׳ בקולמס של ברזל This is to say that we may write with a metal kulmus * (pen ...
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Clean Keset Hasofer Online

I have been trying to learn R' Ganzfried's Sefer Keset haSofer, however, I have been unable to find a printed copy and the HebrewBooks.org copy I've found is nearly illegible. Is there an online ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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Please explain location of end of verse pattern in Ha'azinu

Parshat Ha'azinu is, for the most, written in 2 side-by-side columns. I noticed the following pattern: verses 1-13 end in the left column verses 14-38 end in the right column verses 39-43 end in the ...
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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?
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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?
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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 ...
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When Sofrim write Sifrei Torah, do they think of the Ba'alei Kri'ah (readers)?

I have read from many different Sifrei Torah as a Ba'al Kri'ah during the past approx. 30 years. Each Torah is unique, as B"H, it should be. Every sofer has a slightly different writing style, even ...
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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 ...
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Are there any extant scrolls containing multiple books of Nach?

Related to this question, are there any known extant scrolls containing either all of tanach or multiple books of Na"ch? I am not counting trei-asar scrolls as they are considered one Book for ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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.
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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 ...
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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?
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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?
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What is the general process for writing errata pages to sefarim?

Not sure if this question is on topic but here goes. Background There is a STA"M textbook called מאיר עיני סופרים which summarizes the rulings of the major sources on hilchos STA"M for ...
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282 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 ...
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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? ...
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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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Hachnassas Sefer Torah at night

When concluding the writing of a Sefer Torah at the start of a Hachnassas Sefer Torah, do the last letters need to be filled in before shkiah (sunset) or can that be done also after shkiah? I wonder ...
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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 ...
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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 — ...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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. ...
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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, ...