I will start with this picture of two אתיות that are touching.

This classic case touches on several of the  central halachos of safrus: חוק תוכת, שלא כסדרן ומוקף גויל, the issur of carving a letter with a knife, writing out of order, and the requirement that every letter be surrounded by klaf. It says in chapter seven of the Kesses Hasofer “כתיב וכתבתם ודרשין שתהא כתיבה תמה  דהיינו שכל אות תהא ניכרת ובכלל זה שלא תדבק אות לחברתה ואפילו בעוקץ דק כל שהוא. It is written (in the Torah) and you shall write, and we darshan that to mean that the lettering should be ‘complete’. That ruling includes the halacha that no letter may touch another letter, not even by the slightest little ‘stem’ of ink.” The first thing we see is that in our case we are lacking כתיבה תמה. The Gemara’s terminology for this is is that the letters must be מוקף גויל, surrounded by klaf. The Gemara in Menachos says אמר רב יהודה אמר רב כל אות שאין גויל מוקף לה מארבע רוחותיה פסולה Rav Yehuda says any letter that is not surrounded by klaf is possel. This is the Halacha in the Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 32:4) which we will see soon. The Rambam also poskins this way. The Rishonim understand that the root of this p’sul is a lack of ‘completeness’ in the lettering and that this is from the Torah.

Even though I don’t have time to take apart each shaila that comes my way I will still do my best to photograph them and post them. Hopefully at some point we will get to discuss all of them. In the meantime if anybody would like to comment on any of the shailos please feel free. I will do my best to publish them.

Two letters touching
Mezuzah with touching letters
The nun is touching the pey in נפשכם


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