I believe the script which is called "Rashi script" was invented to avoid using the normal Hebrew alphabet for things which weren't strictly Torah. Is this true?

If so - why are only TWO letters totally different ( Aleph and Shin ) while all the others are easily recognisable.

  • It was "invented" by printers to save on space and expensive paper. It is more compact than regular script – mbloch Feb 13 '18 at 9:26
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    Can you source was invented in order to avoid using the "holy Alphabet"? – Danny Schoemann Feb 13 '18 at 10:29
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    @mbloch while it was perfected by printers - it's a script which developed from writing see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashi_script – user15253 Feb 13 '18 at 12:51
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    see judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/8842/… for a possible duplicate – sabbahillel Feb 13 '18 at 12:57
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    @DannySchoemann I think most people find Rash"i script harder to read as it doesn't include vowels, and it tends to be tiny. – DanF Feb 13 '18 at 16:19

Indeed, there is a prohibition on the books that bans using the traditional Hebrew script for mundane matters. This prohibition is codified by Rabbeinu Yerucham (Nesiv 2, §50) and by Rama (Yoreh Deah §284:2). Rama (Teshuvos HaRama §34) is inclined to rule that one can treat Torah materials written in the popular script differently than an actual Torah scroll because the former is not written in the real Ashuri and is therefore not as holy as a Torah scroll. However, Rabbi Aharon HaKohen of Lunel adds (Orchos Chaim, Hilchos Talmud Torah §9) that for this reason the Sephardic Jews traditionally write in a script that is different enough from traditional Ashuri that it can be considered an entirely different script. They use what is colloquially known as “Rashi Script” (which is a misnomer because the script has nothing to do with Rashi).

SOURCE: R.C. Klein, Lashon HaKodesh: History, Holiness, & Hebrew (Mosaica Press, 2015), p. 203

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