Questions tagged [safrus]

Ritual scribal work relating to the writing of holy texts

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66 views

Open and closed parshiot

In the Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah, Laws of Sefer Torah, סימן רעה הלכה ב it relates to the issue of between paragraph spacing. I would to know the frequency of open and closed parshiot (paragraphs) ...
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39 views

Where can I find the Halacha that a scribe who is unsure of a letter on a sacred text, can ask the opinion of a young child versed in the aleph-Bet?

I was told about a law that a scribe who is unsure about a letter in a mezuzah/Torah/tefillin, can ask a child who is versed in Aleph-Bet if it is Kosher or not. Where can I find it?
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75 views

What makes Ksav Arizal unacceptable to some?

A certain rabbi said that Megillas Ester written in Ksav Arizal should not be used in nussach Sefard shul because people won't be yotze with its reading. What makes Ksav Arizal so different as to make ...
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Status of Torah written in Ksav Ivri written before Ezra Hasofer

The gemara in Sanhedrin 21 brings a discussion regarding what script the Torah was givin . One opnion holds that the Torah was given in ksav Ivri (luchos prob given in ksav ashuris according to all). ...
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317 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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Which way should the Tagin be on a nun hafuchah (upside down nun)?

In a written Torah, there are two upside down nun's - one before Bemidbar 10:35 and another after Bemidbar 10:36. When the Sofer writes this, should the tagin ("crowns") be placed on top (i.e., ...
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170 views

Are the tagin considered part of the letter itself?

When writing a Torah, each letter must be written according to a specific shape / form that is defined for each letter. Certain letters contain tagin (crowns). Are these tagin considered part of the ...
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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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Tagim in Tefilin

I'm having tefilin written for my son's bar mitzvah, and the sofer told me that today the minhag is to only put tagim ("crowns" or "thorns") on the letters שעטנז גץ throughout the tefilin and nothing ...
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310 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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Possible to change tefillin from outward wrapping to inward?

Is it possible to change the tefillin shel yad from one that wraps outward to one that wraps inward? Is it necessary to re-tie the knot? Thanks in advance and shanah tovah.
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132 views

What is the difference in meaning between a Pesucha and a Setuma?

Paragraphs in a Torah scroll are separated in two ways: "open" breaks (a “Pesucha," generally a gap to the end of the line) and "closed" breaks (a “Setumah,” generally a gap in the middle of the line)....
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133 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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170 views

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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336 views

Layout of Shiras HaYam: Half-Brick Over Brick

Is there a reason/meaning behind the "half-brick over brick" layout of Shiras Hayam as written in a Sefer Torah? I am familiar with the gemara in Megilla (16b) that states the layout is to be that way,...
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Large Nun in Num 27:5

וַיַּקְרֵב מֹשֶׁה אֶת מִשְׁפָּטָן לִפְנֵי יְהוָה.‏ I've seen the ן letter in Number 27:5 (above) is written enlarged (Nun Rabati (Great)). Why is that?
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193 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 ...
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435 views

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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144 views

Clean Keset Hasofer Online

I have been trying to learn R' Ganzfried's Sefer Keset haSofer, however, I have been unable to find a printed copy and the HebrewBooks.org copy I've found is nearly illegible. Is there an online ...
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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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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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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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1answer
124 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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219 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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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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135 views

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
53 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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56 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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175 views

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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108 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" ...
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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
115 views

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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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
90 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
180 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
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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
50 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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430 views

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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46 views

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
157 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
110 views

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 ...