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20

This is a valid way of inserting missing words, as the Shulchan Aruch in Yoreh De'ah in סימן רעו - דין תלית הדלוג Paskens: א: טָעָה וְדִלֵּג תֵּבָה אוֹ יוֹתֵר, יָכוֹל לִתְלוֹתָהּ בֵּין הַשִּׁיטִין אֲבָל לֹא בָּרֶוַח שֶׁבֵּין דַּף לְדַף.‏ If he erred and missed a word or more, he can hang it between the lines, but he may not put it in the space ...


14

R' Moshe himself apparently used Beis Yosef kesav. In his letter to the Lubavitcher Rebbe about Rabbeinu Tam's tefillin (Igros Moshe, vol. 6, no. 9), at the end, R' Moshe asks that the sofer whom the Rebbe charged with writing him a pair of R"T tefillin (I have heard orally that this was R' Eliezer Zirkind) should do so using Beis Yosef script, so that it ...


13

The following information is recorded on the Mechon Mamre website: בתנ"כים שלנו יש גם סימני הפרשייות {פ} {ס} {ר} {ש} שהם מסמנים פרשה פתוחה, פרשה סתומה, סוף שורה בשירות מסויימות, ושורה ריקה (או שורות ריקות בסוף ספר).‏ My translation: In our Tanakhs there are also [the following] disjunctive symbols: פ,‎ ס,‎ ר,‎ ש, which stand for "...


13

The Keset HaSofer, by Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried, rules (6:4) that when multiple children disagree about the reading of a letter we follow the majority. I suppose if there are only 2 children, we wait עד שיבוא השלישי ויכריע ביניהם -- until a third one comes and resolves the contradiction.


13

Rabenu Tam (as cited in paragraph 6 of the Rosh's laws of sefer Tora) holds that ink made of gallnuts (which we use even in 'his' t'filin) is no good. Also, Rabenu Tam (as cited in Tosafos to M'nachos 33:1 s.v. "Ha daavida") holds the parchments must be lying flat in their case, and we put them upright (per SA OC 32:45), and even in 'his' t'filin.


11

Rabbi Moshe Isserlis writes (YD 275:6) about various scribal traditions including large/small letters that אם שינה לא פסל - if [the scribe] deviated, he did not invalidate [the scroll]. Obviously if they can be fixed, one should do so to conform with the tradition.


10

The Tefillin of Rabbenu Tam were written by R' Zirkind, at the special request of R' Moshe. These tefillin were checked by my rebbe, Rabbi Shmuel Schneid, who told me that the tefillin were written in typical Russian Beis Yosef script. As any sofer experienced with Sifre Torah of the world will tell you, before 1948, each country and Edah had their unique ...


9

Indeed, the Beit Yosef (OC 36) cites the Gemara you reference and claims that the ש should have a pointed base. The Peri Megadim (EA end of 32) is unsure if this is a necessary component of the letter. The Keset HaSofer (5:2:ש) implies it would be Kosher Bedieved, but one should be very careful to avoid a flat base. The Mishna Berura (Mishnat Sofrim ש) is ...


8

In addition Rabeinu Tam holds (see Bais Yosef (3rd from top)) that the word Letotofos in the Parsha Vehaya Im Shomo'a is written without any Vov while we write it with a Vov after the first Tes even in Rabeinu Tam's Tefillin.


7

There are two special layouts for songs - half-brick over brick, and half-brick over half-brick. The half-brick over brick is triumphant and good. The half-brick over half-brick is bad - bury the sons of Haman or the sins of the Jews. Megillah 16b that you reference says: ‫אמר רבי חנינא בר פפא דרש ר' שילא איש כפר תמרתא כל השירות כולן נכתבות אריח ...


7

Standard Sifrei Torah today have 42 lines in each column. While there are different opinions how many lines a Sefer Torah should be (See Keses Hasofer 13:6), this has not developed solwly out of Halacha. There's a good article about how this came to be here Until some 30 years ago, Sofrim didn't really have a good tikkun to copy from. They either used ...


7

Keset HaSofer, by R Shlomo Ganzfried, discusses the laws of writing as a Sofer STaM. Topics include: how to make Kosher parchment, shapes of the letters, intent when writing, what sorts of corrections are permitted, prohibition of erasing God's name (among other things). Online at Hebrewbooks.org here. Minchat Shai, by R Yedidya Nortzi, discusses the ...


6

If the Nun's were not inverted but were left as regular letters, it is kosher bdieved. Source: Sefer Keses Hasofer (Mahadura Tinyana), Chakira 17 (s.v. v'hinei hageonum) citing Noda Beyhudah and others (Sefer Keses Hasofer is the classic source for Hilchos Stam by Rav Shlomo Ganzfried, the author of the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch and is probably the standard ...


6

I just saw your question and wanted to let you know there is an online safrut course starting on November 15th. All the information can be found here: http://mastery.webyeshiva.org/safrut-certification/


5

I discovered that the מגילת אסתר of the תורה שלֵמה has some answers: For פרמשתא, citing מדרש רבי עקיבא בן יוסף על אותיות קטנות:‎ פרמשתא, ש׳ ת׳ של פרמשתא קטנה, הסר פ׳ ור׳ וישאר שמתא.‏ This one is hard to translate and explain. So I'll leave it as is. For ויזתא: The Gemara in Megila (16b) says in the name of Rav Yochanan - the Vav of ...


5

(Note that not every m'gila has a pole at one end. Some do, though, as you note. See Mishna B'rura 691:16.) Aruch Hashulchan (Orach Chayim 691:7) explains: A sefer Tora (Torah scroll) requires two poles because we read from it constantly; for n'viim and k'suvim one pole suffices. I suspect the intent is that a sefer Tora needs the greater stability ...


5

As noted in another answer of mine: Tzitz Eliezer 14:3:4 permits post facto even Sta"m that was written with a mix of Vellish and Ashkenazi. Igrot Moshe OC 5:2 also permits other forms of writing but he is quick to point out that it is better to stick to one's custom on the matter.


5

This seems to be a good page to see. For a more comprehensive source, see the Mishkenos Yaakov. For retzuah paint, you can just use shoe polish. It doesn't require d'yo. The above linked pages contain recipes for the ink used by most sofrim today, known as מי עפצים וקנקנתום -- oakgall juice and ferrous sulfate. This post, written by a very qualified ...


5

There are two factors determining the start of columns in sifrei torah: Halacha requires that certain words be at the top of the column. The acronym for these words is בי"ה שמו, the mem of which is מה טובו as you noted. Despite the best efforts of earlier poskim including Keset Hasofer, it is traditional for all other columns to begin with the letter ...


5

From personal experience, here's what the Sofer thinks about, while writing: It's Lishma - and watch out for names of Hashem that need individual attention to become Lishma. Don't smudge, it's wet ink all around! Is there enough ink to finish the word? Don't drip when refilling the quill. Double check that you didn't overfill and risk a flood. Don't miss ...


5

Machon Mishmeret Stam published a book on Mishnat Sofrim with a commentary. In an appendix, they deal with this exact issue: (I couldn't find an online version...sorry) Based on this text, I can answer your questions: Why did the Chofetz Chaim effectively seek to passul nearly all existing sifrei sta"m of his day? Why wasn't the existing פ kosher?...


4

The Gemara in Gittin(מ''ה ע''ב) says ספר תורה תפילין ומזוזות שכתבן אשה וכו' פסולין שנאמר וקשרתם וכתבתם כל שישנו בקשירה ישנו בכתיבה That would seem to Indicate that a women may not write a Mezuzah. The Drisha(יור''ד סימן רפ''א) asks why is it that the Tur skips this Halacha about Mezuzah but does say it about Teffilin (אור''ח סימן ל''ט) The Rif and the ...


4

You can find good scans of Baer and Delitszch's Masoretic Bible at: http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=creator%3A%22Baer%2C+S.+%28Seligmann%29%2C+1825-1897%22 Wish they'd turn Bereishis (https://archive.org/details/libergenesis00baer) the right way up!


4

This is the picture from my sefer, which experts have identified as either German or Czech. As you can see, there is a beis visible inside the Peh but it made neither in the style of the old European Bet Yosef ksav nor the Mishna Berurah's modification.


4

It's a shame that the Mesorah is no longer printed in most Tanachs as it was in the past. This particular question is answered by the short Mesorah on Bamidbar 3:39 where it says י' נקודות בתורה. The long Mesorah on the same verse elaborates on where the 10 dots are. It says that there are 10 in the Torah and another 5 in Nach as follows: Torah- Bereishis 16:...


4

There is an inyan that one should not buy STaM from someone who is not a certified sofer. Someone could have a talent for checking, buying, and selling STaM without being really good at writing them. Such a person could have qualified as a sofer on the strength of his knowledge of halachos while only possessing limited skill at (or interest in) the ...


4

I would say that the best way to find a teacher for this is to ask a trusted rabbi to refer someone. Your rabbi would tell you someone who he trusts does the job well. If he doesn't know the field well enough to refer someone, he should at least be able to direct you to someone else who can make a recommendation. As you said in your question, you don't ...


4

Yes, the Oz veHadar edition does have the Mishnas Sofrim as does the edtion published by Moznaim.


3

In the vast majority of cases, Torah scrolls are written by Orthodox sofrim. Though there are ideological/halakhic reasons for this in some cases, the main reason is simple market share. Most of the people who have dedicated their lives to writing Torah scrolls are Orthodox. This is the same reason that most kosher meat is slaughtered by Orthodox shochtim ...


3

It seems that Torah scrolls didn't always have 2 poles but that it was added for greater maneuverability. See this Hakirah article (p.210 - 211) for some speculation on when and why this change was made.



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