35

From the archaeological evidence it is clear that the Hebrew srcipt being used during the First Temple Period was what's known as the Ivri script (a handy conversion chart can be found here) which is very similar to Phoenician, as opposed to our script nowadays which is called Ashuri script. In terms of what script was used at Mount Sinai, there is a 3 way ...


25

Not only are these letters kosher, but they are part of the ancient way of writing the text. Maimonides (Sefer Torah 7:8) urges the scribes to ensure to be careful in preserving the irregular aspects of the text, among which he lists: אותייות הגדולות, ובאותייות הקטנות, ובאותייות הנקודות, ובאותייות שצורתן משונות כגון הפיין הלפופות, והאותייות העקומות כמו ...


16

You are right. There is a Shita of the Meiri Bais HaBechira in Megila that says that on Parshas Shekalim you should only take out one Sefer Torah. I imagine that the reason the Shulchan Aruch mentions that we use two Sefer Torahs is because of Lo Pelug.


15

The relevant word is דכא which in some scrolls is written דכה. See Deuteronomy 23:2. While the portion of Aleppo Codex containing that word is currently lost, we do have the Aleppo Codex to Tehillim 90:3 where the same word appears spelled with an Alef. The Mesorah there notes that this spelling is used in three places and lists them: Deuteronomy 23:2, ...


14

The following information is recorded on the Mechon Mamre website: בתנ"כים שלנו יש גם סימני הפרשייות {פ} {ס} {ר} {ש} שהם מסמנים פרשה פתוחה, פרשה סתומה, סוף שורה בשירות מסויימות, ושורה ריקה (או שורות ריקות בסוף ספר).‏ My translation: In our Tanakhs there are also [the following] disjunctive symbols: פ,‎ ס,‎ ר,‎ ש, which stand for "...


14

The nine places where a different letter (style and layout differences aside) appears in modern scrolls are: מנש(ו)א Genesis 4:13 Ashkenazi/Sephardi vs. Temoni מעינ(ו)ת Genesis 7:11 Ashkenazi/Sephardi vs. Temoni ויהי(ו)‏ Genesis 9:29 Ashkenazi/Sephardi vs. Temoni ת(י)עשה Exodus 25:31 Ashkenazi/Sephardi vs. Temoni האפ(ו)ד Exodus 28:26 Ashkenazi/Sephardi ...


13

Sefer HaToda'ah (The Book of Our Heritage) says that taking out multiple scrolls would seem unnecessary when the second portion is in close proximity to the first. Never-the-less, he says that the custom is to take out multiple Torahs.


13

In Melachim (Kings) Chapters 22-23, King Joshiahu discovers a Torah scroll during renovations of the Temple.


12

Rashi is actually quoting here from Bereshis Rabbah 61. The question is, do we trust the midrash with the text of our sifrei torah, and "fix" the problem accordingly, or do we trust the vast majority of our texts and sifrei torah that have the word with two yud's? Beis Yosef (YD 275), who claims that this problem happens quite often, seems to say (correct ...


12

R. J.D. Bleich covered this topic in a recent Survey of Recent Halakhic Periodical Literature. In the article he discusses a number of possible issues that have been raised with Silk-screen Sifrei Torah, but says that most of them are not so strong. He says there is one serious objection where the burden of proof falls on the innovators to show that it is OK:...


12

Since no one has listed a summary of concise rulings, I will list R. Bleich's conclusion from his Survey of Recent Halakhic Periodical Literature. I have inserted the sources that he mentioned throughout the survey in brackets. The silk screen method is certainly subject to challenge on the basis of its inherent incompatibility with a number of ...


11

From what I understand, your second question is based on the assumption that every column begins what a Vav. While this seems to be common practice, it is frowned upon by the Poskim who seem to claim that it has no basis in halacha. See for example the Keseth HaSofer at the end of Ch. 4 - and the footnote there. He claims that the ווי העמודים - as it's ...


11

Rabbi Moshe Isserlis writes (YD 275:6) about various scribal traditions including large/small letters that אם שינה לא פסל - if [the scribe] deviated, he did not invalidate [the scroll]. Obviously if they can be fixed, one should do so to conform with the tradition.


10

As others have mentioned, there are three opinions in the talmud regarding the issue. To summarize (as brought by DoubleAA): Rav zutra / R' Yossi - Torah was given ivri and turned to ashuri in the time of Ezra. Rebbe - given in ashuri, forgotten and used ivri until Ezra fixed it back to ashuri. R' Elazar Hamodai - Torah was always in ashuri. Rabbonim have ...


10

Per this link http://www.torahlab.org/calendar/article/is_there_another_torah/ Today the Maharam’s Torah is in the Aron Kodesh of the famous Alt-neu shul in Prague.


10

Tzedaka U'Mishpot 16:2 note 3 indictaes that he has been unable to find a source for this Minhag. וראיתי נוהגים כשמוליכים ס״ת ביחיד עוטפין אותו בטלית ולא מצאתי עדיין מקור לזה.‏ I have seen people who wrap the Sefer Torah in a Tallis when they take it from place to place; I have not yet found the source for this custom.


10

The Shulchan Aruch (YD 281:3) writes that a woman who writes a Torah scroll invalidates it: ‏ספר תורה שכתבו מסור, עבד, אשה, קטן, כותי, ישראל מומר פסולין. The Aruch Hashulchan (YD 281:1) writes the reason from the gemara: ‏וכך שנינו בברייתא: ספר תורה תפילין ומזוזות, שכתבן עבד אשה וקטן, כותי, ומלשין, ומצרי, ועבריין – פסולים. דכך גזרה התורה, ...


9

I got interested in the question because we did once win a sefer Torah at such a raffle during a tsedaka dinner for a school. It was organized by an organization run by a well-respected and very knowledgeable rav and no one raised halachik issues. Your question got me thinking. I found an interesting source on the topic. dinonline writes Panim Me’iros (3:...


9

The Taz (Yoreh Deah 271:8) says it is a good ksiva, and has the same Kedusha as a "regular Sefer Torah".


8

There is a book called Fixing God's Torah, Barry Levy. It deals with this Rashba. There is a Rebbi Akiva Aiger in Masechet Shabbat (55B) where he has a list of such issues. Also note, in the examples given above, they are letters that the gemara (Kiddushin 30A) says "we are not expert in full and defective spelling" i.e. the use of the vav. The yud is more ...


8

The Gemara there (70a) points out that there's a difference. In the kohen gadol's case, it would be one person reading from two different sifrei Torah; that would lead people to think that the first one was invalid. Where it's different people reading from different scrolls, though, it is fine. (The example the Gemara gives there - Rosh Chodesh Teves on ...


8

The Tur Yoreh Deah 274 says in the name of the Rosh that there is no issue with the different lettering. The Meiri Shabbos 104a also indicates that there is no issue. The Noda B'Yehuda Yora Deah 171 also indicates that it is fine.


8

Taken from my answer here: Yalkut Yosef 685:12 ומתוך ספר תורה בכתב אשכנזי, יצאו ידי חובה וכן ההיפך, שהכל יוצאים ידי חובה בספר תורה שנכתב בכתב ספרדי, אף שהיו''ד של הצד''י נכתב כיו''ד הפוכה. a) A Sefaradi who heard from a Ahkenazi written Sefer Torah is Yose. b) An Ashkenazi is also Yose from a Torah written in Sefaradi ...


8

Rav Belsky, on page 9 of Shulchan Halevi (English version), explains that while theoretically silk-screening could be kosher for writing Stam, there are some issues which can come up. He mentions that forgeries would increase, and there there could be a problem of kesidran ("written in order," which Teffilin and Mezuzah require). Then he brings an issue ...


8

In the Sefer Avnei Yashfei 4:109:2 was asked if a sefer Torah fell inside the Aron Kodesh does one have to fast. He writes that one does not have to fast(there is more savoros but put in whats applicable here), the main reason being that it is not a place for walking like the Atzei HaLevanon 2:71 writes(he is quoted in previous part of tshuva regarding some ...


8

Your second answer seems to be closest... As far as we can tell, scrolls in the ancient world were kept wrapped in cloth and stored in wooden cases or boxes. The Gemara attests both to mitpahot [cloth wrappers] (Megillah 26a) and a tik [wooden case] (Megillah 26b) used to store sifrei Torah. Bracha Yaniv's article on Torah scroll accessories in the Balkans ...


8

Rambam Laws of Tefilin, Mezuzah, and Sefer Torah 1:13: יג ספר תורה תפילין ומזוזות שכתבן מין, יישרפו. כתבן גוי, או ישראל משומד, או מוסר, או עבד, או אישה, או קטן--הרי אלו פסולין וייגנזו: שנאמר "וקשרתם . . . וכתבתם" (דברים ו,ח-ט; דברים יא,יח-כ)--כל שמוזהר על הקשירה ומאמין בה, הוא שכותב. נמצאו ביד מין ואין ידוע מי כתבן, ייגנזו; נמצאו ביד גוי, כשרים. ואין ...


8

Rabbi Moshe Isserlis (OC 149) writes: ובמקומות שמצניעין אותו בהיכל, שהוא הארון בבהכ"נ, מצוה לכל מי שעוברת לפניו ללוותה עד לפני הארון שמכניסין אותה שם (ד"ע ומהרי"ל). וכן הגולל ילך אחר הס"ת עד לפני הארון, ועומד שם עד שיחזירו הספר תורה למקומה (הגה' מיימוני פ' י"ב מה"ת) וכן נוהגין במגביה הס"ת, כי הוא עיקר הגולל וכמו שנתבאר; ויש שכתבו שמביאים התינוקות לנשק ...


8

If the Nun's were not inverted but were left as regular letters, it is kosher bdieved. Source: Sefer Keses Hasofer (Mahadura Tinyana), Chakira 17 (s.v. v'hinei hageonum) citing Noda Beyhudah and others (Sefer Keses Hasofer is the classic source for Hilchos Stam by Rav Shlomo Ganzfried, the author of the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch and is probably the standard ...


8

The Ramma in siman 131 siff 2 brings from the Beis Yosef who quotes a Rokeach -- The Rokeach also writes in siman 324 not to 'fall' unless in front of a seffer torah. And a siman for this is found in the war against Ay (Yehoshua 7, 6) 'and he fel lon his face in front of the aron'." The Beis Yosef concludes by saying if it's accepted (kabbala), he'll ...


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