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Questions tagged [safrus]

Ritual scribal work relating to the writing of holy texts

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1answer
46 views

What are the rules regarding resewing Torah “sheets”?

During my Yom Tov Torah reading, I noticed that two Sifrei Torah had seams that seemed (OK, a bit of a pun intended, here ;-) a bit loose. So, I have a few questions regarding some of the requirements ...
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1answer
54 views

Is there ever a rule not to place certain words on separate lines in a Sefer Torah?

The Gemara in Chulin 64b - 65 discusses the Bas Hayaana bird, and explains that although that is indeed the name of the bird, the fact that it is two separate words allows us to also interpret them ...
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121 views

Does the writing on a mezuzah have to be totally straight?

I saw a mezuzah parchment where it seems that the while the letters where all in a line, in the sense that they did not collide with the rows above or below them, but within the row, the letters were ...
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1answer
47 views

looking for the text of the mezuzah in the sofer font

Where can I find the font of mezuzah in the ktav stam (the way its written in the mezuzah) not in picture, but in text "so I can copy paste the text"?
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Can a woman write a megillah?

I know that a woman can't write a sefer torah. What about Megillat Esther? If a female soferet wrote a Megillah Esther, would it be kosher?
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1answer
72 views

Can I see a list of the 18 Tikunei Sofrim (emendations of the scribes), with each described?

Can I see a list of the 18 Tikunei Sofrim(emendations of the scribes)? (Describing each of them) I have found various references to the 18 Tikunei Sofrim online, but no elaboration on what each one ...
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2answers
206 views

Is one allowed to remove sections from a Torah to repair one or more pasul ones?

This is a scenario of possibly benefiting multiple communities. Let's say there are five different shuls all in remote communities. Each shul has just one Torah but it is pasul (non usable). They ...
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1answer
241 views

What is the purpose of the “crowns” on top of the letters (tagin)?

When writing a Torah the letters שעטנזגצ (as well as the "final" letters, ן and ץ) have "crowns" on top of the letters. What is the purpose of these crowns and why were these specific letters chosen ...
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Tagin on letter Tet

Shalom! I recently read that in Genesis 1:4, the word Tov is used for the first time and when written in Hebrew, the Tet is crowned with 4 tagin instead of the usual 3. I have been searching for ...
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39 views

Strange letters according to Sefer haTaggin

My chevrusoh mentioned last week that there is a sefer entitled Sefer haTaggin which discusses all of the strange letters found in Tana"ch. Is there a collection of these letters and their forms (...
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1answer
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Why does the number of letters Vav in name Achashverosh vary?

Why does Megillas Esther spell Achashverosh's name varyingly with one (as in 2:21), two (as in 1:1), and zero (as in 10:1) letters Vav?
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Elevated Ayin (ע) in Iyov 38:13 and 38:15

I noticed this in Iyov 38:13,15: יג לֶאֱחֹז, בְּכַנְפוֹת הָאָרֶץ; וְיִנָּעֲרוּ רְשָׁעִים מִמֶּנָּה.‏ טו וְיִמָּנַע מֵרְשָׁעִים אוֹרָם; וּזְרוֹעַ רָמָה, תִּשָּׁבֵר.‏ I know about ...
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Examples of old tefillin parshiot

I recently opened a pair of parshiot (Beit Yosef, first half of the 20th century) and I'm trying to identify where they were written. I am certain that if they date to around the bar mitzvah of their ...
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Is untanned klaf kosher? [closed]

A recent article (here) was written by Rabbi Hoffman. He writes that the Mishnah lays out a detailed process for tanning klaf, which was held as the only kasher form of parchment by nearly all sages ...
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1answer
50 views

Torah Hebrew calligraphy [closed]

I want to know what was the calligraphy used in the first Torah manuscript? I searched Google but found no answer.
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Making lines to copy the Torah

Do the Scriptures themselves say to write lines when making a copy of the Torah, or if this is an oral tradition?
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46 views

Why is every verse in the first 4 chapters of Eicha written as its own parsha?

I recently browsed a Tikun Simanim and noticed that in the first 4 chapters of Eicha (Lamentations), each verse is in its own parsha (paragraph). I don't know if this is unique among the books of ...
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Why do a sefer Torah's letters have to be black?

My son asked why the letters have to be black, considering there are lots of other colors out there.
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Criteria for special formats of some chapters in the Tanach Scrolls

Usually, when writing verses in Tanach Scrolls, words are written across the column from the right margin to the left (except, of course, for required Parsha spacing.) I have seen two "special" ...
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Tikkun Sofrim for Nach

Is there a mainstream (or popular) Tikkun Sofrim used for the layout of complete Sifrei Nevi’im (and K’suvim)? Notes: In the recent years, there seems to be a great uniformity in the way sofrim write ...
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1answer
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Sofer wearing a special robe

In the book “Israel: Splendors of the Holy Land” by Sara Kochav, there is a picture of a sofer (Torah scibe). The image describtion claims that the sofer needs to wear a special robe, as depicted in ...
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2answers
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Safrut in practice - Calculating Ma Tovu at the top of the column

I think this question might be best answered by a professional sofer or someone who has written a Torah even once. There is a fairly "strong" minhag to place the verse of Ma Tovu at the top of the ...
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1answer
78 views

Why is there no mitzvah for an individual to write his own mezuzah?

Ramba"m states that there is a mitzvah for every individual to write his own Torah. This mitzvah can be accomplished by writing one letter. Why is there no mitvah for writing a mezuza. It seems that ...
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1answer
123 views

Why does one need to go to the mikvah before writing a letter in the Torah?

My cousin is writing a new Torah. He requested that anyone who wishes to write a letter in the Torah must have gone to the mikvah that day. Is this halacha or minhag? The sources that I saw that ...
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1answer
36 views

Is there a ketivat ot for tefillin or mezuzot?

I've heard and attended a few ketivat ot ceremonies for the writing of a Torah. I've never heard of a similar ceremony for tefillin or mezuzot. I assume that it may be that these items have far fewer ...
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1answer
41 views

What is the halacha regarding filling in letter outlines in a Torah?

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 ...
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What is the general process for writing errata pages to sefarim?

Not sure if this question is on topic but here goes. Background There is a STA"M textbook called מאיר עיני סופרים which summarizes the rulings of the major sources on hilchos STA"M for ...
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1answer
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If the signatures of the witnesses and names filled in on a kesuva fade is it still kosher?

If the signatures of the witnesses and names filled in on a kesuva fade is it still kosher? What if it is to the point that one can’t read anything anymore? Can this be corrected?
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What was the material used to write the curses for the Sotah on?

וְ֠כָתַב אֶת־הָאָלֹ֥ת הָאֵ֛לֶּה הַכֹּהֵ֖ן בַּסֵּ֑פֶר וּמָחָ֖ה אֶל־מֵ֥י הַמָּרִֽים׃ The priest shall put these curses down in writing and rub it off into the water of bitterness. (Bamidbar 5:23) I ...
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1answer
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What is the minimum number of lines on a klaf?

I remember hearing once that sifrey Tanach had to have a required minimum number of lines when written on a klaf and that this requirement is often not followed by those writing "parshas ketores" and ...
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1answer
141 views

What are the symbols in the margins of the Aleppo codex?

I'm doing some research on the history of safrut and am trying to gain some understanding of the Aleppo Codex, in particular. I'm curious what all the symbols in the margin mean. See here for a ...
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Where can one see how klaf is made?

One elementary grade yeshiva in my area has a "creative" activities director that tries to hunt for some "unusual" day trips for the kids. Sometimes, I assist him. I'm curious if there are any places ...
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1answer
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Must every sidrah begin at the start of a parsha? (Rashi on Breishit 47:28)

Rashi on Genesis 47:28 (excerpt) ויחי יעקב לָמָּה פָּרָשָׁה זוֹ סְתוּמָה? ויחי יעקב AND JACOB LIVED — Why is this section (weekly reading) totally closed? Explanation for novices: The Torah ...
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2answers
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Do all the letters in Sta“m need to be the same ”baseline" height?

I know that prior to writing a column in a Sefer Torah, a Sofer "scores" the parchment to mark the rows. I am also aware that certain letters have "risers" and "descenders" (e.g. a final nun has a ...
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141 views

What is the source for writing names of Haman's sons in a separate column?

What is the source for writing names of Haman's sons in a separate column? We see that most megillos are written this way, but where can I find halacha? Shulchan Aruch doesn't seem to be discussing it?...
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2answers
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Metal Kulmus for Sifrei Kodesh?

I was just looking at the Keset haSofer and came across an interesting halacha ואין נוהגין כן אלא כותבין בנוצה ואפי׳ בקולמס של ברזל This is to say that we may write with a metal kulmus * (pen for ...
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1answer
89 views

History of using a feather quill for safrut

In the times of Chazal a reed (קנה) was used for writing (as is clear from Ta'anit 20b). When did the practice of writing with a feather begin? Also, since feathers did exist in those times, why did ...
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May one etch punctuation and trop into a sefer torah?

Is a Torah still kosher if various annotations are scored into the parchment? To be clear, I am asking not about writing annotations, but scratching them into the parchment.
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What’s the reason behind having to use specifically animal skin for klaf?

What’s the reasoning behind the need to use animals per se as opposed to any other paperlike material for klaf (to write on)? Is there significance in the need to take the life of an animal for the ...
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1answer
147 views

Correcting a Torah with a marker

About a month ago, a sofer corrected a mistake in one of our shul's Torah scrolls. I found the mistake while reading the end of parshat Masei. There was an incorrect letter that changed the meaning ...
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3answers
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Confusing Tes with Pei

The Gemara (Shabbos 103a) gives a list of letters that should be written very carefully to avoid being mixed up with other letters: "וכתבתם שתהא כתיבה תמה שלא יכתוב אלפין עיינין עיינין אלפין ביתין ...
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Why does a Torah have 2 poles and a Megillah have 1?

A Torah scroll is a very long piece of parchement with two poles ("atzei chayim") at either end, while a Megillat Esther is a not-as-long piece of parchment with one pole at the end of the book. ...
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1answer
222 views

Has Paleo Hebrew (Ktav Ivri) Ever Been Found With Crowns?

Has Paleo Hebrew (Ktav Ivri) Ever Been Found With Crowns? Whether we are talking about ancient scrolls, or amulets, or any type of ancient Hebrew writing.
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What qualities should one seek in Sefer Torah parchment and ink?

As a "seasoned" Torah reader, I've become interested in some aspects of Safrut. Our shul has existed for many decades, and we have accumulated many Sifrei Torah. We recently had a sofer evaluate ...
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Can a ger tzedek be a sofer?

I just heard from somebody that there is a machlokes whether a ger tzedek can be a sofer or not. What are the sources (if any)? If it is, then would that make it impossible to earn money as one if you'...
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2answers
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What scribes' Torah scrolls does a non-Orthodox synagogue use?

There are rules, codified in Shulchan Aruch, about how to write a sefer Tora, Torah scroll. An Orthodox congregation's sefer Tora is written in the prescribed manner by an Orthodox sofer — ...
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1answer
157 views

Becoming a Sofer Stam

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'...
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1answer
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What halachic sefarim do sofrim learn?

I was told by one of my Roshei Yeshiva that there are books that are designated for sofrim (scribes). Does anyone know what are the main books they use to review the Halachot and as reference for ...
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1answer
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Can one add in missing words above the line in a Torah scroll? [duplicate]

One of the Torah's in my shul has this interesting safrut style. Note that the last word of the verse appears between the lines. It seems that the Sofer (scribe) ran out of room, and stuck in the last ...