6

Tefillin are divided into different categories based on the quality of the leather boxes Tfilin crafted from two separate pieces of leather (which are then glued together) are known as tfilin peshutim, the simplest tfilin. Hasofer says they generally last only three to five years, after which the pieces begin to separate and they lose their required square ...


5

These different terms describing tefillin are not all on the same "plane" so to speak. In other words, they describe different aspects of the tefillin. In one plane is the spectrum of peshutim, dakot, gasot. These words describe the batim (leather boxes) of the tefillin. Tefillin peshutim are the lowest quality and least expensive. They are composed of ...


4

R' Melech Michaels, of Mezuza Depot has told me that there are some halachic differences, although some of it is just semantics. First, we should define machine-made vs. hand-made. Machine-made means that some of the machines run off of electrical power hand-made means that all machines used are either hand- or foot-powered. For example, the squaring of ...


4

There are a number of ways in which hidur is applied to esrog (and acc to the Magein Avraham other mitzvos like seffer torah and shofar as well), all of them enumerated in Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim siman 656 and the Mishna Berurah there. The gemara says to add on a third for hidur mitzvah. This is explained either as meaning a third of it's size or a ...


4

First, a parallel to the idea behind the question: The Maharal in Gur Aryeh writes that the Avot fulfilled only positive mitzvot but not negative ones because there is no value in refraining from something without having been commanded. Another parallel may be the comment of Tosfot in Niddah (66b) that there is no preferred method to perform something which ...


3

The concept of Hiddur Mitzva is used for a variety of cases where a Mitzva is done beyond its bare necessity, be it in quality or quantity. After all, the source of Hiddur Mitzva is in Shabbat 133b - based on the verse in שמות טו:ב that says זה א-לי ואנוהו which is explained to mean (according to the Braisa) התנאה לפניו במצות - This is my Gcd and I will ...


2

I no longer recall what the Kesset haSofer (Siman 7) wrote, but the Shulchan Aruch in Orach Chaim 32:18 - סימן לב - סדר כתיבת התפלין - writes that if letters touch then one may erase where they touch and there's no need to erase and rewrite. אִם נִדְבְּקָה אוֹת לְאוֹת בֵּין קֹדֶם שֶׁתִּגָּמֵר בֵּין אַחַר שֶׁנִּגְמְרָה פָּסוּל, וְאִם גָּרַר וְהִפְרִידָהּ ...


2

I am not sure I will be able to locate the particular source you refer to, though my perusal of the Yad Moshe index would imply that it isn't in the Igros Moshe. If I find something I'll try to include it. It would seem, however, that if one is able to obtain a single min (species) that is mehudar one should do so. Practically at my own Shul, and I imagine ...


1

According to the the explanation of the Sulam on the Zohar the smoke rising in a straight pillar allowed the Kohen to apprehend some sort of mystical vision. בקטרת ההיא, כשהיה עולה העשן כעמוד, היה רואה הכהן אותיות של סוד השם הקדוש פורחות באויר ועולות למעלה כעמוד, לאחר כך, כמה מרכבות קדושות מסבבות אותה מכל הצדדים, עד שעולה באורה ושמחה ומשמח למי שמשמח, ...


1

Based on the Shiarei Knesset HaGedolah & Iggeret Shmuel brought in the Shaarei Teshuvah (OC §658, end) it appears that when pertaining to commandments that are incumbent on an individual one is not obligated to give precedence, to somebody who is ordinarily due, and by foregoing any exemplary elements (הידור) whereby himself not fulfilling the ...


1

There are no battim made completely by hand - all battim makers use high-power presses to form the leather into shape. All tefilin need to be made lishma anyway therefore humans are required in the process. The difference lies in who/what powers the machine that sands down the battim, as explained by NoachmiFrankfurt in his answer. R Reuvain Mendlowitz in ...


1

While there are halachos for the size requirements of each letter (as brought down by the Mishna Berura in Mishnas Sofrim - found in Chelek Alef), these are l'chatchila. Since spacing can be difficult, many sofrim (especially beginners) will extend letters to fill space, since space is an issue an separates the various parshiyos in the torah. So, as long as ...


1

Mehudar (מהודר) can be translated as 'pretty', but is generally used to mean 'above and beyond' what is strictly required. For example, a kosher etrog can be ugly, but there is no problem with using it. A mehudar etrog is a nice one, and generally more expensive also. It's a 'hidur mitzvah' (beautification of the mitzvah) to use a nicer set. Consider also '...


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