Monthly Archives: May 2012

Letter forms

A scribe today has an exhaustive list of rules for how each letter ought to look – here’s an example for letter shin, from the Mishnah Berurah: Shin has three heads. The first head, with the leg which is drawn out of it, is like a vav, and its face is tilted slightly upwards. The […]


I’ve talked a bit about how it’s okay to fix mistakes, in most circumstances. The sages were well aware that when you copy a document, and then copy from the copy, and so on, mistakes are likely to creep in over time. This is why we have a rule that even one mistake in a […]


(Meant to post this last week, sorry.) Leviticus 19:23–And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as forbidden; three years shall it be as forbidden unto you; it shall not be eaten. Except in our sefer it’s more […]


Something you do not need to see when you open tefillin: BUGS. The vacated exoskeletons of bugs, I grant you (note the hole in the centre one where the bug burst its way out), but still, ick. At least a dozen of them. Perhaps surprisingly, the klafim were ok, once I’d brushed the crumbled bugs […]