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Questions tagged [safrus]

Ritual scribal work relating to the writing of holy texts

15
votes
2answers
494 views

Are Rabbeinu Tam's Tefillin really Rabbeinu Tam's Tefillin?

I once heard from a Sofer the shocking revelation that Rabbeinu Tam's Tefillin do not actually follow Rabbeinu Tam's opinion. Is that correct? Did I misunderstand? Are there any Soferim in our ...
5
votes
0answers
79 views

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" ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a standard format for the start of each column in writing Sifrei Torah?

When I looked at a few Tikunei Lakor'im, they seem to follow what appears to be a standard where certain words begin at the top of a column. I did see several Sifrei Torah that seem to follow this ...
6
votes
2answers
503 views

Composition of Sofer's ink

What ingredients are currently used in the manufacture of ink for Safrus? Is there a different formulation for the paint that is used to dye tefillin straps/boxes?
3
votes
2answers
205 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Is this a mistake in a Torah scroll or intended decoration?

In the following pictures, is the superscript addition a correction or intended decoration? Are corrections like this kosher?
2
votes
1answer
138 views

Are there any safrut teachers in Boston?

I have, as I've expressed in previous questions, a strong interest in safrut. As such, I would love to learn the relevant halachot and beautify my writing, which although it would likely be kosher (...
7
votes
1answer
265 views

Learning the shapes of the letters as a Baal Koreh

I would have thought that the shapes of the letters would be a good thing for Baal Koreh to know, but I was told that since Sefrie Torah are not invalidated until they are declared as such, this would ...
10
votes
3answers
859 views

Did Rabbi Dovid Feinstein of Uzda wear tefilin that were Ktav Ari or Ktav Beit Yosef? What about his son?

The biographical sketch of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein that appears in the beginning of Igrot Moshe volume 8 states that his father, Rabbi Dovid Feinstein of Uzda, was born and raised Hassidic, but took on ...
8
votes
1answer
256 views

Can a section of the Torah having the same words be “cut and pasted” to a different section?

While reading parshat Naso last week, it was easy to notice that near the end of the reading, there is a large section discussing the donations made by the 12 tribes for the dedication of the ...
8
votes
2answers
308 views

What is the reason for “stretched” letters in the Torah?

I noticed that in many Sifrei Torah, Sofrim prefer to "stretch" certain letters. It seems that these letters are stretched to end a line if there wouldn't be enough space to start a new word. That's ...
5
votes
3answers
443 views

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. ...
3
votes
1answer
151 views

Antiquarian Safrut

Is there any resource for looking at examples of the old forms of safrut from before the Second World War? I have seen un-sourced photos of strikingly different variations within the Ashkenazi and ...
3
votes
2answers
132 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?...
1
vote
0answers
69 views

Understanding places where the Torah writes היא instead of הוא

In most cases in the Torah, the feminine 2nd person word (equiv. to "she" or "her" in English) is written as הוא using a ו and pronounced הִוא . Avot Derabbi Natan 42:5 lists 11 places in the Torah ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

What does the /shin/ marker (like Petucha/Setuma) at the end of Torah books mean?

I've been reading about details of Torah sofrut, and after learning about the paragraph markers peh / פ (petucha) and samekh / ס (setuma), I noticed some similarly placed shin markers (mostly at the ...
10
votes
2answers
392 views

May one write with a pencil or marker in the margins of a sefer Torah?

As a Ba'al Kri'ah (Torah reader), I sometimes find it difficult to locate the start of an aliyah (reading) on Shabbat, esp. in parshiot Vayetze and Miketz where both of these are one contiguous parsha ...
9
votes
1answer
243 views

If the “Nun” preceding Bamidbar (Num) 10:35 is not upside down, is the Torah still kosher?

While reading last week's parsha, I noticed that the letter "nun" immediately preceding the verse Vayehi B'nso'ah ha'aron Bamidbar 10:35 was written as regular nun (tagin on top) rather than upside ...
6
votes
2answers
213 views

Is a Torah that does NOT have the (rabbati) large and small letters (keti'ah) still kosher?

I have a Torah in my shul that does not have any large or small letters where required (e.g. - the 1st letter in the Torah, "Breishit", is written larger than the rest.) Is this Torah still considered ...
6
votes
1answer
160 views

Must the spacing between words in a written Torah be consistent?

I'm asking this question with some emphasis on the beginning of parshat Vayechi. Most chumashim that I have seen have a notation that unlike the end of every other weekly Torah reading that has a ...
5
votes
2answers
199 views

May one use mezuzot with different scripts in the same house?

May one use mezuzot with different scripts in the same house? For example can the muzuzah in one room be ashkenaz (beit yosef) and in another be sefardi (vellish)?
3
votes
0answers
202 views

Could a Torah Scroll Be Writtin in Ktav Ivri (Paleo Hebrew)?

The Talmud (ibid) brings different opinions about the origin of the two in regards to how was the Torah initially written. It is agreed by all that the language has remained the same, Hebrew – ...
3
votes
1answer
105 views

May one patch a hole in a Sefer Torah?

Let's say the Torah parchment has a hole such that a letter is missing where the hole is, making the entire Torah "pasul". May one use either of these methods to fix the problem? 1 - Get a small ...
3
votes
1answer
179 views

Bent/Inverted Kaf in Torah Scroll, Parshas Bereishis

If a Torah reader finds certain writing errors in a Torah scroll, the scroll may be invalid, and the congregation would be required to take out a different one to continue the service. Some errors, ...
3
votes
1answer
228 views

פ in German Sta"M Script

Does anyone know the German custom for the letter pey in Sta"m sofer? I know that the shape in Litvisch Bet Yosef is influenced by the Mekubalim of Tzfat (The Ari in particular) who said that the ...
2
votes
2answers
144 views

Resource for dotted letters in Nakh

It is relatively easy to find a list of dotted letters in Torah. Even a good tikkun kore will list them. However, it's harder to find a list of these in Nakh. Where can I find that resource? ...
1
vote
2answers
165 views

When Sofrim write Sifrei Torah, do they think of the Ba'alei Kri'ah (readers)?

I have read from many different Sifrei Torah as a Ba'al Kri'ah during the past approx. 30 years. Each Torah is unique, as B"H, it should be. Every sofer has a slightly different writing style, even ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Mehudar K'tav: erasing touching letters before continuing

One of the hiddurim on my tefillin is that any letters which touch are erased and re-written before continuing. However, if I recall properly, the Kesset haSofer (Siman 7) requires that this be done ...
1
vote
0answers
60 views

Dyo lesafrut - mutar beficha or not

I came across a thread today on the International Sta"m Forum. In the comments, some of the sofrim who frequent the site were debating whether sofer's ink, or dyo, need be mutar beficha (permitted to ...
1
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0answers
42 views

Has any commentary explained why the Torah reading for fast days doesn't begin at a parsha?

Every public Torah reading, except for two, begins at a parsha (the start of a new "paragraph" as written in a Torah scroll.) The two exceptions are: Vayechi which has a space of just one letter ...