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I attended a ketivat ot (writing a letter in a Torah) last night. The entire Torah had been written, but many letters had outlines. The person "writing" the letters filled in the outlines.

I understand the practicality of this, as most people are not skilled in writing letters properly, and the letters need to be written sequentially. However, I'm curious about the actual halacha in terms of outlining.

In other words, does the halachic requirement of writing sequentially mean that just the outlines of the letters need to be written sequentially, and the filling in of the letters can be done non-sequentially?

Is filling in the outline considered, halachically, as if you are making a correction? If it is that, isn't there a halacha that one may not correct G-d's name, and therefore, any letter of G-d's name can not be filled in?

  • by G-d's name the problem is only erasing not fixing – hazoriz Jun 14 '18 at 14:14
  • @hazoriz. I did not know this. Please post as an answer with a source, when you can. Pleae explain why there is a difference, if possible. – DanF Jun 14 '18 at 14:16
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    -1 is not from me but the halacha of k'sidran is only for tefilin and mezuzot, not for sifrei Torah – mbloch Jun 14 '18 at 15:39
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from the source below it seems that by a Torah there is no problems of fixing its letters even not in order

Shulchan Aruch Harav 32:34

Regarding Teffilin

...
After completing a passage, one should read it in its entirety with concentration and careful attention two or three times before one begins to write the second passage. This should also be done after completing the second and the third passages.
...
Why must one go back and carefully check over every passage after one completes it? Because if one finds a letter missing in one passage, not only is that passage invalidated, but everything [written] afterwards is also invalidated thereby, for after [letters] have been rewritten in the early passage, [the later passages] will have been written in incorrect sequence.
For this reason one may not [insert] the missing letter by suspending it between the lines, as is done with regard to a Torah scroll. For with regard to tefillin it is written, “And these [words] shall be....” Implied is that they shall come into being [in the order in which they appear in the Torah]. The same applies with regard to a mezuzah.


  • Thanks for the source. Regarding the last paragraph, since he cites a verse, would you know if the Gemarah somewhere deduces the same idea? – DanF Jun 14 '18 at 14:49
  • @DanF it seems not to be in the gemara (only sefaria.org/Sotah.32b.20 ) it is in the sulchan aruch sefaria.org/Shulchan_Arukh%2C_Orach_Chayim.32.23 it is in the rambam halcha 16 here chabad.org/925417 , where the comentray points to Jerusalem Talmud פרק א הלכה ט can be found here mechon-mamre.org/b/r/r2a01.htm – hazoriz Jun 14 '18 at 15:44
  • @danf the Gemara never mentions Kisidran for letters. The Yerushalmi says you can hang missing letters later on if you wrote it with sufficient margins to fit more letters (and you can't hang letters in a Torah scroll if you wrote it cramped like tefillin). Most Rishonim only quote the rule of no hanging letters (since it's assumed for tefillin you wrote cramped) and thats where people get sequential writing idea from. But there's no real conclusive source for it, and probably most Rishonim never even considered it. – Double AA Jun 14 '18 at 16:19
  • @DoubleAA it seems you are preparing an good quality answer (as your answers always are) – hazoriz Jun 14 '18 at 16:37

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