Between Mincha and Ma'ariv on Shmini Atzeret, I'd like to give a short shiur on some interesting facts about how a Torah is written. I'm looking for some fairly easy to understand online resources on Safrut and some other ideas. Among some of the topics I'd like to discuss include:
The general rules regarding minimum / maximum:
- parchment size (in inches, pref.) - height , width, thickness
- font size (I've seen small & large sifrei Torah)
- column size (inches; proportion to parchment width, etc.)
- min. / max. number of lines per column
- number of columns per parchment sheet
- minimum / maximum allowable spacing between lines. I'm assuming this allows for "risers" and "drops" - i.e. a lamed has an area above the line and a nun goes below the line. How much space must be allowed for these?
- If there are different rules for Ashkenaz / Sefardi, etc. (I don't think so, offhand), please inform
I understand that there are various standardized formats that developed. The only one I am somewhat familiar with is Vavei Ha'amudim. Is there are an article that discusses its history - who and why this was established, and what the rules are? Any other common formats?
Rules regarding minimum spacing for "closed" (stumot) and "open" (ptuchot) paragraphs
Rules regarding the shape of letters, I read, for example, that an aleph has two yods; the chet is 2 vavs, etc. - I know this is quite detailed, but if there is an online source that explains this with some pics, I can, possible, glean a few items.
Thanks for your help. I'd prefer one or more online sources. At the moment, the general and the vavei ha'amudim standard are the two more critical items for me, but anything else is a huge help.