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Here is one of my mezuzas:

Mezuzah

The mezuzah, I was told, is of the highest quality, purchased from a wholesaler in Jerusalem. The scan I did did not come out very good however (click it to see it larger).

What I note anyhow is that the shin of Shma Yisrael has "extra" taggin beyond the standard, although it's hard to see in this image. Same for the shin of "ukshartem".

Also the ches of "elohim acherim" has 5 taggin, whereas the others don't have those.

Can anyhow shed any light on these differences?

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  • Also the ע at the end of the first word, and the ד at the end of the first פסוק.
    – msh210
    Mar 11 at 15:58
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    You need to take it to a sofer who can explain things to you and show you what is involved. Mar 11 at 16:01
  • The tag on the ת in ואספת is actually supposed to be on the far left edge of the letter not above the left leg as in your mezuza. Most sofrim don't realize this.
    – Double AA
    Mar 11 at 16:21
  • In any case ,a mezuzah without tagin is also kosher
    – sam
    Mar 11 at 23:33
  • @sam There are those who disagree (see Mishnah Berurah 36:15).
    – magicker72
    Mar 12 at 1:33
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There are traditions that add extra taggin on certain letters in mezuzot and tefillin. Some are listed in Rambam's Mishneh Torah (2:8–2:13, 5:3), the Tur (OC 36, starting here) and the Levush (OC 36:3). This particular mezuzah seems to be based on (a variant of?) Mishnat Chasidim (letters ו through ט; h/t @DoubleAA).

It's worth noting that even if extra taggin are added where there is no tradition for it, it is not disqualifying after the fact. See Mishnah Berurah 36:13:

ואם הוסיף הסופר לעשות תגין חוץ מאותיות שעטנ"ז ג"ץ וחוץ מאלו המוזכרים בטור ובלבוש שנהגו בהם הסופרים לא עכב

If the sofer added taggin besides on the letters שעטנ״ז ג״ץ and besides those that are mentions in the Tur and Levush that are customary among sofrim, it is not disqualifying

It used to be more common to add extra taggin and other decorations to certain letters in the Torah as well, but this is less common nowadays. See further here.

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  • Neat. He's using 18th century Mishnat Chasidim's alternate taggim for mezuza (though he put an extra on the first ק in וקשרתם and he missed two on פ in יפתה, while it's possible there's a different girsa but more likely he made a mistake since in tefillin that ק does get three and that pei is debated; still highly likely the checker didn't check the extra taggin) See hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=44978&st=&pgnum=164 I never knew about that source. I'm unaware of any Rishonim listing any non שעטנזגץ letters getting special taggim in a mezuzah.
    – Double AA
    Mar 11 at 18:09
  • @DoubleAA Huh, I always assumed that Rambam's list was in addition to שעטנ״ז ג״ץ, but I see how that's not the necessary read. Thanks for the Mishnat Chasidim, I'll add that in.
    – magicker72
    Mar 11 at 18:35
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    Rambam and the Geonim and others held when the Gemara says שעטנזגץ gets taggim it means in a mezuza in 7 specific places. The Yereim said it means those seven letters need sharp corners to their heads always. Some other rishonim thought it means two sharp corners and one small tag in the middle. And more variations. The modern practice to put three full taggim with individual heads on all those letters everywhere is really quite a chumra, but as you say here it doesn't invalidate anything.
    – Double AA
    Mar 11 at 18:42
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    For tefillin first you have a tradition in the geonim to add to specific letters to get all the alephbet ~once (including שעטנזגץ in the latter two sections). Rambam rejected that and said to use the torah taggim from sefer tagi in tefillin (probably because he saw a special conceptual connection of tefillin as mini torahs or some good lumdus like that). Tur/Baruch-Shemar say to follow both (no nafka mina for mezuza). And then later you have another set presented by students of the Ari. So max three sets (+internal variant girsaot, some non-trivial).
    – Double AA
    Mar 11 at 18:48
  • Really neat. I wonder, I remember some said (גר"ז?) that the reason that the right-hand heads on letters like Shin and Ayin are upturned is so that you can't put tagim on them, so that it's okay to "wait" to put the tagim on the "later" head on the left. If so, how could this parchment have tagim on the right-hand heads of some of these, even though they are still upturned?
    – MichoelR
    Mar 11 at 19:26

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