I have searched previous questions and didn't find anything on this topic, but please redirect me if this is a repeat.

I am a yeshiva Bachur learning in EY and I am considering staying here but I don't think I can sit in learning. To me, safrus seems like a really great option because the work is meaningful, it will not take all of my time, and it will give me an opportunity to work from anytime, anyplace and support my family (though I know sofrim have a "curse" of sorts they will not become rich). I figured the best way to go about this would be to try to find someone to become my mentor who would teach me to write.

Does any know anything about the process of learning to write? Are there any factors I am grossly overlooking, or other things that would be pertinent to know?

Thanks in advance!!

  • 7
    "...it will not take all of my time." - Think again.
    – ezra
    Sep 18, 2017 at 22:47
  • 9
    As with any career choice, you should speak with current practitioners about their experiences and advice, and see how it fits with your needs and wants. Don't just decide this based on some internet site.
    – Double AA
    Sep 18, 2017 at 23:09
  • If you're concerned about parnassa down the line, and you enjoy learning, consider becoming a congregational rav or an army chaplain. You can still learn, you'll be influencing numerous other people, and most likely, you'll be making a far better parnassa than a sofer does. And, you can also correct sta"m on the side, if you have time after your rabbinical day is done (which it never is, but then, again, you may end up being somebody like Ramba"m :-)
    – DanF
    Sep 19, 2017 at 14:35

1 Answer 1


Step #1: Learn the Halachot - there are some good Seforim on the subject. These include the shapes of all the letters and related halachot such as Chok-Tochos, Kesidron and Lishmo. The Chasam Sofer decreed that anybody who doesn't know every Halocho the Keseth Hasofer (of R' Shlomo Ganzfreied) cannot be a Sofer.

Step #2: Get a Sofer to teach you how to write - there are Safruth courses advertised in some publications and on noticeboards - or ask around.

Step #3: Get certification from a recognized Safrus certification board or Rov.

Step #4: Get a lot of exercise, else your eyes, hands, fingers and back will become your worst enemies and prevent you from writing.

  • In addition to all the above, I would recommend as a career choice focusing on correcting first. From speaking to a few sofrim, they tell me that this is much easier to learn than to write, and it's decent supplemental income. Demand for checking stam, esp. mezuzot and tefillin is always around, esp. in busy Jewish areas, which, of course, you are in, already, and, it won't occupy ALL your time as writing sifrei Torah will do. It also will give you a better idea if writing full time is something you really want to do.
    – DanF
    Sep 19, 2017 at 14:30
  • 1
    @DanF I heard it's much harder to learn to check than to learn to write Sep 20, 2017 at 6:41
  • @ShmuelBrin I can't completely argue with your viewpoint, either. You can use your own style when writing. When checking, you have to view many different k'tav styles and have to determine the nuances, sometimes. One thing seems certain about correcting. It seems far less time-consuming than writing a Torah. If one were to stick to writing tefillin and mezuzot, it would be far less time.
    – DanF
    Sep 20, 2017 at 13:58

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