Questions tagged [safrus]

Ritual scribal work relating to the writing of holy texts

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Writing a ה or ק half on a patch and half off

When you need to patch a Torah, the practice is to write a letter either entirely on the original klaf or entirely on the patch, but not partly on one and partly on the other. See eg. Keset HaSofer 18:...
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How many cows are required to obtain the parchment of a typical Sefer Torah?

How many cows are required to obtain the parchment of a typical Sefer Torah? I have tried estimating the question with some online sources: Chabad states that a Sefer Torah has 62 and 84 sheets of ...
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Obligation to Purchase Sta"m from non-Jew

According to a halacha I read, There is an obligation to purchase any Sta”m which is in the possession of a non-Jew. If such items remain in his possession, they may become desecrated. If the non-Jew ...
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Dagesh in pe lefufah

If you were writing pointed text with a pe lefufah (or doubled/spiral pe, or pe kefulah) for pedagogical purposes, and the pe had a dagesh, would you write the dagesh inside the inner spiral, or ...
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Changes to the name of Hashem in written texts

I have seen an article which cites a text called Massorah and this text supposedly catalogs 134 instances (referenced here) in which the written text "originally" used the 4 letter name of ...
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Taz on Sefer Aftarta: why mention that printing is writing?

On the topic of a sefer aftarta (a scroll containing the haftarot of the year), the Taz writes as follows (OḤ 284:2, translation mine): ‮א"כ אפי' אם יהיו נכתבים אין להם דין ספר אלא משום עת לעשות ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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Were scrolls ever written on both sides?

Every Hebrew scroll I've ever seen has been written on only one side. This makes sense both due to the physical properties of velum (the outer side is smooth and easy to write on; the inner side is ...
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Do Sifrei Torah use kashida justification? [duplicate]

During aliyah, I noticed that the certain letters in the Sefer Torah what appeared to me to be kashida justification. From Wikipedia: Kashida or Kasheeda (Persian: کشیده; "extended", "...
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First archaeological evidence of Crowns on Letters in a written scroll

What is the first archaeological evidence of Crowns on Letters in a written scroll of Torah? I took a look at the oldest Torah scrolls and didn't see the crowns until the 12th century.
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What is the status of Hebrew/Aramaic text canonicalization / standardization? [closed]

I am looking through the Sefaria Exports and finding it is extremely messy, non-uniform, and full of modern "Latin script" symbols, see this literature question for a small amount of context....
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Authentic Q'laph for Tephilin [closed]

The Gemara describes a process for developing q'laph for tephilin. However, this tradition has been lost since then. Has there been any research on restoring the method of producing authentic q'laph? ...
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List of all un-erasable names in Tanakh

There are certain words in Tanakh that refer to God (shemot or azkarot) that have special rules: they cannot be erased and they require special sanctification before a sofer writes them. These include ...
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Can a paper crease be a sirtut?

When writing books of Tanakh, we need a sirtut, a horizontal line that helps align the text. Indeed, it is forbidden to write any three words of a verse in k'tav Ashurit without a sirtut. See, for ...
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Practicing tefillin knots

I'm trying to learn how to tie the various tefillin knots: Double-dalet, single-dalet, yud, yud like Chabad... There are various youtube videos (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LSzRf4Lww8 et al), and ...
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Why is the final Heh in Ha'Shem's name different in K'thav Chabad/Alter-Rebbe?

Now I'm no Sofer by any means, although I do have a strong interest in the different Hebrew calligraphic traditions. All of which I find extremely beautiful in their own way. While studying the style ...
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Form of letters for safrut

Does anyone know of a good online resource for how to make the letters for Sefer Torah, tefillin, mezuzot, based on the Mishnah Berurah's Mishnat Sofrim (siman 36) or Keset Hasofer (Ch. 5), and/or ...
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Does anyone permit writing Shir HaShirim on klaf from a non-kosher species?

A Torah, tefillin, mezuzah, and Esther scroll must be written on klaf that comes from a kosher species. See Shulchan Aruch OH 32:12 (and OH 691:1 and YD 271:1): יהיה הקלף מעור בהמה חיה ועוף ידהטהורים ...
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Thickening letters for tefillin and mezuzos

The poskim in Orach Chaim 32 talk about the requirement that the letters for tefillin and mezuzos be written כסדרן, in order. As a result (32(23)), if a letter is missing there is no way to fix it ...
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Combining the blessing of Benjamin with the death of Jacob

When I was reading the blessing of Jacob (Bereishit 49), it caught my attention that the blessing of Benjamin and the summary is combined with the death and the funeral of Jacob. Based on Sifra, Rashi ...
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Seeking details on "teliyah", dangling missing words in a Sefer Torah

Can one add in missing words above the line in a Torah scroll? discusses an example of adding in a missing word in a Sefer Torah. The answer gave a reference Shulchan Aruch YD 276:1, but it is very ...
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Mezuzah - Copying from memory

The gemara Menachos 32b says that even though a Sefer Torah may not be written except "מן הכתב", copied from another text, tefillin and mezuzah don't have that requirement and may be written ...
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Can one write sta"m via a stencil?

Say you wanted to write a tefillin, mezuzah, Torah, or any other sta"m venture. To make it easier for you, you created a stencil of the text that you can overlay on the klaf and fill in. You hope ...
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Are there books or training exercises that scribes use to strengthen their skills?

I'm not a scribe and I have no plans on becoming a scribe. This would not be used for religious practice or religious needs. I just happen to enjoy the practice of Hebrew calligraphy and I'm ...
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I need to conduct an interview with a sofer (scribe)

I am a Bible teacher at a Christian school and I am wanting to research and possibly write more about the process of scribes creating a sefer Torah scroll. I would really enjoy and be honored to ...
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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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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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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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2 votes
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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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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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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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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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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"?
3 votes
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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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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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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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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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5 votes
1 answer
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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8 votes
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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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