Old Sefrei Torah Are Less Standardized Than New Ones: Leave a comment

Take a look at the white square in this old sefer torah. This is the section in the torah of Birkas Yaakov. The white square is the opened spacing for  the break in between parshios. Look at the way we do this today in the second picture. The second picture is from the Dovidovitz Tikkun. Dovidovitz put a great deal of work into creating very organized and standardized ways of writing sefrei torah, megillos, tefillin and mezuzos. Almost all soferim follow his tikkunim, page setups, and we are better doing it his way. The reason for this is that he worked out many many problems. Until he came along, soferim copied from another sefer torah, or from what ever they were writing. If they ran out of space at the end of a line, they would sometimes have to adjust in some pretty strange ways. Dovidovitz found all of the problematic areas, and set the page up so to avoid difficulties and spacing problems. Although today many soferim follow a tikkun made on computer, even this tikkun exists only because of the work that Dovidovitz already did. The computerized tikkun may have some small improvements to his work, but without him, it couldn’t have been done. In the bottom picture you can see that there is enough white space in between the parshios to write the word ‘asher’ three times, which is how it is supposed to be done in order to fulfill all the shitos, opinions. In the top picture,  although it is kosher, it is not according to all the opinions.

Unusual configuration of parshios in old sefer torah.
Dovidovitz sefer torah with better, more organized spacing.

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