Given that you aren't allowed to stretch spaces in Hebrew (would be interested to know where the primary source for this is), is it acceptable to simply stretch all characters in a line by some ratio so they all increase however slightly much is necessary to justify the line? Or must only certain characters be discretely stretched in some determinate way? That is, must only the letters הדרת be "scaled" on there horizontal sections by a factor of 0.2 or some specific amount (e.g. 1 + 0.2, 1 + 0.4, 1 + 0.6, ...)? Or can I stretch all characters by 1.234 if it means the text is justified now?

  • 2
    Stretching the horizontal section of a vav is a good way to end up with a reish.
    – Rish
    Nov 10, 2019 at 0:42
  • 4
    Also, you've asked several questions recently on the formatting of Hebrew text in books and Sifrei Torah - is there an XY problem here? If you're trying to do something specific involving formatting Hebrew texts, you'd probably get more useful answers if you tell us what it is. (If you're just curious how it works that's fine, of course, but it seems like you haven't gotten the answer you actually wanted, and are slightly changing your question and trying again to learn whatever you actually want.)
    – Rish
    Nov 10, 2019 at 0:45
  • Hi @Rish, I want to make a replica of the Sefer Torah or Tikkun in a book format for my own personal documentation purposes. So I need to know every nitty gritty typographic detail.
    – Lance
    Nov 10, 2019 at 0:46
  • @Rish I don't know Hebrew too much yet, what is reish, google leads me to resh or the beginning of the alphabet. Also, not sure why the -1's.
    – Lance
    Nov 10, 2019 at 0:48
  • 3
    Didn't downvote, but I do think including the motivation in the question may help you. Reish and resh are both ways one might transliterate the name of the 20th letter of the alef-bet, and a vav with the horizontal section extended looks the same as that letter, which would be problematic.
    – Rish
    Nov 10, 2019 at 0:55

1 Answer 1


Historically, stretched letters were very common, although not specifically following a ratio (The Kesset haSofer frowns on this practice, as does the Mishnah Berurah, in his commentary on O"Ch 37).

Modern tikkunim follow R' Davidovitch זצ"ל, who set up a format which did not require any stretching to correctly space and fit letters, a level of achievement which is really comparable to Rashi writing his commentary on Torah or (most of) Sha"s without Pirush Rashi (source: my chevrutah with fellow MY user Yitzchak).

Edit: It is possible to purchase tikkunei sofrim for writing, such as here.

  • Can you link to the docs so I can find out more about that format which did not require any stretching? R' Davidovitch זצ"ל
    – Lance
    Nov 10, 2019 at 0:44
  • Or if no link, can you explain the general algorithm used?
    – Lance
    Nov 10, 2019 at 0:44
  • I think in the shiros you still need stretching, right?
    – Heshy
    Nov 10, 2019 at 0:59
  • @LancePollard, to find the system used, simply open up any tikkun korim published within the last 25+ years (Yosher, Simanim, et c.) to see this. The modern tikkunim all follow him. I could link a tikkun soferim if you'd prefer, as well, but it's a purchase link Nov 10, 2019 at 1:02
  • @Heshy, no, not in the modern sifrei Torah I've seen Nov 10, 2019 at 1:02

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