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14

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 between ...


12

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 ...


12

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.


12

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.


12

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 ...


10

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.


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

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

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 ...


7

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 ...


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

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 ...


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

(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 ...


4

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.


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

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 ...


4

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 ...


4

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 ...


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.


3

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 ...


3

There is no halachic or customary reason for the change in paint styles. The following does not entirely answer your question but is relevant: It used to be common for cheaper peshutim to be painted with a very stiff black putty (tiach in rabbinic Hebrew). Depending on a couple halachic factors, this is either kosher or not on a case by case basis but that ...


3

DoubleAA is correct that a Torah that is missing scribal traditions is still valid. However, if another Torah is available, the Torah inconsistent with tradition should not be used. (see Shevet HaLevi 4, Yoreh Deah 141) In addition, if the Torah was from a tradition that normally conforms with the small and large letters and, nevertheless, is consistently ...


3

I can't really answer the question that asked for "the background for the[] rules" about what makes a sefer invalid. But as to why "[someone would] want to invert or bend the Kaf on this particular verse, and if so, why is one worse than the other", there are many oddly-shaped letters in various parts of the Torah in various traditions, many of which are ...


3

If you look at a sefer torah written in the 'Sefaradi' style you will see that the Shin is not quite the same as the one you posted. Although it does have more of a base, you will see that it is still on a tilt. Only the bottom left corner reaches the bottom, the right side is raised. See this image for an example (from here):


2

Minchas Shay is a commentary on Tanach that focuses on the correct reading (both k'siv and k'ri), including such things as paragraph breaks. (I don't know for certain that he comments on every sefer or which, but I know he does on many.) He does leave some questions open, mentioning both sides, and even where he takes a side I don't know whether sof'rim ...


2

In my experience having "passuled" more Torahs than I should admit over the last 13 years layning in Shuls in the US and Israel, mistakes are mistakes, whether they are noticed or not. However, in regards to the simple Halacha, if the mistake does not seriously affect the letter's form, then the Torah is still Kosher, but should be corrected as soon as ...



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