Mishneh Torah, Tefillin, Mezuzah and the Torah Scroll
Chapter 1א׳
1 א

אַרְבַּע פָּרָשִׁיּוֹת אֵלּוּ. שֶׁהֵן (שמות יג א) ״קַדֶּשׁ לִי״. (שמות יג יא) ״וְהָיָה כִי יְבִיאֲךָ יְיָ׳‎״ שֶׁבְּסֵפֶר וְאֵלֶּה שְׁמוֹת. וּ(דברים ו ד) ״שְׁמַע״. (דברים יא יג) ״וְהָיָה אִם שָׁמוֹעַ״. הֵן שֶׁנִּכְתָּבוֹת בִּפְנֵי עַצְמָן וּמְחַפִּין אוֹתָן בְּעוֹר וְנִקְרָאִין תְּפִלִּין וּמַנִּיחִין אוֹתָן עַל הָרֹאשׁ וְקוֹשְׁרִין אוֹתָן עַל הַיָּד. וַאֲפִלּוּ קוֹצוֹ שֶׁל אוֹת אַחַת מֵאַרְבַּע פָּרָשִׁיּוֹת אֵלּוּ מְעַכֵּב אֶת כֻּלָּן מִן הַתּוֹרָה עַד שֶׁיִּהְיוּ נִכְתָּבוֹת שְׁלֵמוֹת כְּתִקּוּנָן:

The four Pentateuchal sections, beginning respectively, "Sanctify unto me" (Ex. 13:1-10), "And it shall be when the Lord shall bring thee" (Exodus 13:11-16)—these two being in the Book of Exodus, "Hear, O Israel" (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) "And it shall come to pass if ye shall hearken diligently" (Deuteronomy 11:13-21), are written and covered with a skin. These are called Tephillin, and are placed upon the head and bound on the arm. The omission of the point of a single letter in any one of these sections bars, according to Scriptural enactment, the use of all of them. They must all be written perfectly and in accordance with rule.

2 ב

וְכֵן שְׁתֵּי פָּרָשִׁיּוֹת שֶׁבַּמְּזוּזָה שֶׁהֵן (דברים ו ד) ״שְׁמַע״ (דברים יא יג) ״וְהָיָה אִם שָׁמוֹעַ״ אֲפִלּוּ אוֹת אַחַת מִשְּׁתֵּי הַפָּרָשִׁיּוֹת אִם חָסֵר קוֹצוֹ מְעַכֵּב מִן הַתּוֹרָה עַד שֶׁיִּהְיוּ שְׁתֵּיהֶן נִכְתָּבוֹת שְׁלֵמוֹת. וְכֵן סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה שֶׁחִסֵּר אֲפִלּוּ אוֹת אַחַת פָּסוּל:

This is the case also with the two sections of the Mezuzah, beginning respectively, "Hear, O Israel" (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) and "And it shall come to pass if ye shall hearken diligently (Deuteronomy 11:13-21). If the point of a letter is missing in these two sections, the Mezuzah may not, according to Scriptural enactment, be used. The two sections must be written perfectly. So too, a scroll of the Law, in which a single letter is missing, is unfit for use.

3 ג

עֲשָׂרָה דְּבָרִים יֵשׁ בַּתְּפִלִּין כֻּלָּן הֲלָכָה לְמשֶׁה מִסִּינַי וְכֻלָּן מְעַכְּבִין. לְפִיכָךְ אִם שִׁנָּה בְּאַחַת מֵהֶן הֲרֵי הַתְּפִלִּין פְּסוּלוֹת. שְׁנַיִם הֵן בִּכְתִיבָתָן וּשְׁמוֹנָה בְּחִפּוּיָן וּקְשִׁירַת רְצוּעוֹתֵיהֶן. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן הַשְּׁנַיִם שֶׁבִּכְתִיבָתָן. שֶׁכּוֹתְבִין אוֹתָן בִּדְיוֹ וְשֶׁיִּהְיוּ נִכְתָּבִין עַל הַקְּלָף:

There are ten points in regard to Tephillin (phylacteries). The observance of each is enjoined by a rule that goes back to Moses who received it on Sinai. The neglect of any of them is an absolute bar to the use of the Tephillin. Hence, if there was a variation in any one of them, the Tephillin are unfit for use. Two of these have reference to the writing; eight, to the covering and the tying of the straps. The two points to be observed in the writing are that the sections must be written with ink, and must be written on parchment.

4 ד

כֵּיצַד מַעֲשֵׂה הַדְּיוֹ. מְקַבְּצִין הֶעָשָׁן שֶׁל שְׁמָנִים אוֹ שֶׁל זֶפֶת וְשֶׁל שַׁעֲוָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן וְגוֹבְלִין אוֹתָן בִּשְׂרַף הָאִילָן וּבִמְעַט דְּבַשׁ וְלוֹתְתִין אוֹתוֹ הַרְבֵּה וְדָכִין אוֹתוֹ עַד שֶׁיֵּעָשֶׂה רְקִיקִין וּמְיַבְּשִׁין אוֹתוֹ וּמַצְנִיעִין אוֹתוֹ. וּבִשְׁעַת כְּתִיבָה שׁוֹרֵהוּ בְּמֵי עֲפָצִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ וְכוֹתֵב בּוֹ. שֶׁאִם תִּמְחָקֶנּוּ יִהְיֶה נִמְחָק. וְזֶהוּ הַדְּיוֹ שֶׁמִּצְוָה מִן הַמֻּבְחָר לִכְתֹּב בּוֹ סְפָרִים תְּפִלִּין וּמְזוּזוֹת. וְאִם כָּתַב שְׁלָשְׁתָּן בְּמֵי עֲפְצָא וְקַנְקַנְתּוֹם שֶׁהוּא עוֹמֵד וְאֵינוֹ נִמְחָק כְּשֵׁרִיִם:

How is the ink prepared? Soot of oils or of pitch, wax or similar substance is collected; kneaded with gum of trees and a little honey; thoroughly wetted and pounded till it is like wafers. It is then stored away. When the scribe wishes to write, he soaks it in water in which gall-apples or similar substances have been steeped, and with this fluid he writes. Such writing when erased leaves no mark. This is the best way to write scrolls of the Law, Tephillin and Mezuzahs. If the scribe has written with fluid of the gall-oak or of caper,*Caper: flower-buds or seeds of a low shrub of Mediterranean countries, used as a condiment. since the writing stays and is not rubbed out, scrolls of the Law, Tephillin or Mezuzahs so written are fit for use.

5 ה

אִם כֵּן מַה מִּעֲטָה הַהֲלָכָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר לְמשֶׁה מִסִּינַי שֶׁיִּהְיוּ כְּתוּבִים בִּדְיוֹ. לְמַעֵט שְׁאָר מִינֵי צִבְעוֹנִין כְּגוֹן הָאָדֹם וְהַיָּרֹק וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. שֶׁאִם כָּתַב בַּסְּפָרִים אוֹ בַּתְּפִלִּין אוֹ בַּמְּזוּזוֹת אֲפִלּוּ אוֹת אַחַת בִּשְׁאָר מִינֵי צִבְעוֹנִין אוֹ בְּזָהָב הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ פְּסוּלִין:

This being so, what is excluded by the Halacha, dating back to Moses, which ordains that these must be written with ink? It excludes pigments of other colors, such as red or green, etc.; so that if even a single letter in a scroll of the Law, Tephillin or Mezuzah was written with pigment of any other color [but black] or with gold, such a Scroll, Tephillin or Mezuzah is unfit for use.

6 ו

שָׁלֹשׁ עוֹרוֹת הֵן. גְּוִיל וּקְלָף וְדוּכְסוּסְטוּס. כֵּיצַד. לוֹקְחִין עוֹר בְּהֵמָה אוֹ חַיָּה וּמַעֲבִירִין הַשֵּׂעָר מִמֶּנּוּ תְּחִלָּה. וְאַחַר כָּךְ מוֹלְחִין אוֹתוֹ בְּמֶלַח. וְאַחַר כָּךְ מְעַבְּדִין אוֹתוֹ בְּקֶמַח. וְאַחַר כָּךְ בָּעֲפְצָא וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ מִדְּבָרִים שֶׁמְּכַוְּצִין אֶת הָעוֹר וּמְחַזְּקִין אוֹתוֹ. וְזֶה הוּא הַנִּקְרָא גְּוִיל:

There are three kinds of parchment, Gewil, Kelaf and Duxustus. How are these made? A hide of domestic cattle or wild beast is taken. First, its hair is removed. It is then pickled in salt, afterwards prepared with flour and subsequently tanned with gall-wood or similar materials which contract the pores of the hide and make it durable. And this it is that is called Gewil (parchment of whole-hide leather).

7 ז

וְאִם לָקְחוּ הָעוֹר אַחַר שֶׁהֶעֱבִירוּ שְׂעָרוֹ וְחִלְּקוּ אוֹתוֹ בְּעָבְיוֹ לִשְׁנַיִם כְּמוֹ שֶׁהָעַבְּדָנִין עוֹשִׂין עַד שֶׁיִּהְיוּ שְׁנֵי עוֹרוֹת. אֶחָד דַּק הוּא שֶׁמִּמּוּל הַשֵּׂעָר וְאֶחָד עָבֶה וְהוּא שֶׁמִּמּוּל הַבָּשָׂר וְעִבְּדוּ אוֹתוֹ בְּמֶלַח וְאַחַר כָּךְ בְּקֶמַח וְאַחַר כָּךְ בָּעֲפְצָא וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ. זֶה הַחֵלֶק שֶׁמִּמּוּל הַשֵּׂעָר נִקְרָא קְלָף וְזֶה שֶׁמִּמּוּל הַבָּשָׂר נִקְרָא דּוּכְסוּסְטוּס:

If, after removing the hair, the hide had been split through its thickness into two parts, so as to make of it two skins, one thin, namely that which had been next to the hair; the other thick, namely that which had been next to the flesh, and if these were prepared first with salt, then with flour and afterwards with gall-wood or similar substance the skin which had been next to the hair is called Kelaf (= outer-skin parchment), and that which had been next to the flesh is called Duxustus (inner-skin parchment).

8 ח

הֲלָכָה לְמשֶׁה מִסִּינַי שֶׁיִּהְיוּ כּוֹתְבִין סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה עַל הַגְּוִיל וְכוֹתְבִין בִּמְקוֹם הַשֵּׂעָר. וְשֶׁיִּהְיוּ כּוֹתְבִין הַתְּפִלִּין עַל הַקְּלָף וְכוֹתְבִין בִּמְקוֹם הַבָּשָׂר. וְשֶׁיִּהְיוּ כּוֹתְבִין הַמְּזוּזָה עַל דּוּכְסוּסְטוּס וְכוֹתְבִין בִּמְקוֹם הַשֵּׂעָר. וְכָל הַכּוֹתֵב עַל הַקְּלָף בִּמְקוֹם שֵׂעָר אוֹ שֶׁכָּתַב בִּגְוִיל וּבְדוּכְסוּסְטוּס בִּמְקוֹם בָּשָׂר פָּסוּל:

It is a rule dating back to Moses who received it on Sinai that the scroll of the Law should be written on Gewil (whole hide parchment), and the writing should be on the side which had been next to the hair. The Tephillin should be written on Kelaf (the exterior part of the split hide) and the writing should be on the side which had been nearer the flesh; and the Mezuzah should be written on Duxustus (made of the inner part of the split hide), on the side which had been nearer the hair. If, on a Kelaf, one writes on the side that had been next to the hair, or, on a Gewil or Duxustus, one writes on the side that had been next to the flesh, the Scroll, Tephillin or Mezuzah so written is unfit for use.

9 ט

אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכָּךְ הִיא הֲלָכָה לְמשֶׁה מִסִּינַי אִם כָּתַב סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה עַל הַקְּלָף כָּשֵׁר. וְלֹא נֶאֱמַר גְּוִיל אֶלָּא לְמַעֵט דּוּכְסוּסְטוּס שֶׁאִם כָּתַב עָלָיו הַסֵּפֶר פָּסוּל. וְכֵן אִם כָּתַב אֶת הַמְּזוּזָה עַל הַקְּלָף אוֹ עַל הַגְּוִיל כָּשֵׁר. לֹא אָמְרוּ עַל דּוּכְסוּסְטוּס אֶלָּא לְמִצְוָה:

Though this is the rule dating back to Moses who received it on Sinai, yet if one writes a scroll of the Law on parchment made from the exterior half of a split hide it is fit for use. The reason why a complete hide is mentioned is in order to exclude that made from the inner half of the split hide. If one wrote on it a scroll of the Law, it is unfit for use. So also, if one wrote a Mezuzah on the external half of a split hide or on an undivided hide, the Mezuzah is fit for use. The inner half of a split hide is recommended to be used, only as a Mitzvah (specially approved).

10 י

אֵין כּוֹתְבִין סְפָרִים תְּפִלִּין וּמְזוּזוֹת עַל גַּבֵּי עוֹר בְּהֵמָה טְמֵאָה וְעוֹף וְחַיָּה הַטְּמֵאִים. אֲבָל כּוֹתְבִין עַל גַּבֵּי עוֹר בְּהֵמָה וְחַיָּה וָעוֹף טְהוֹרִים וַאֲפִלּוּ נְבֵלוֹת וּטְרֵפוֹת שֶׁלָּהֶן. וְאֵין כּוֹתְבִין עַל גַּבֵּי עוֹר הַדָּג הַטָּהוֹר מִפְּנֵי הַזֻּהֲמָא. שֶׁאֵין הַזֻּהֲמָא פּוֹסֶקֶת בְּעִבּוּדָהּ:

Scrolls, Tephillin, and Mezuzahs are not written on the hide of a domestic or wild beast that is unclean or on the skin of an unclean bird. They are written on the hides of domestic or wild beasts that are clean or on the skins of clean birds, even when the flesh of these animals may not be eaten owing to their not having been slaughtered according to the ritual or being found to have suffered from a lesion of a mortal character. Nor are Scrolls, Tephillin and Mezuzahs written on the skin of a fish, even if it be of a clean species, because of its foulness. For this is not removed by tanning.

11 יא

גְּוִיל שֶׁל סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה וּקְלָף שֶׁל תְּפִלִּין אוֹ שֶׁל סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה צָרִיךְ לְעַבֵּד אוֹתָן לִשְׁמָן. וְאִם עִבְּדָן שֶׁלֹּא לִשְׁמָן פְּסוּלִין. לְפִיכָךְ אִם עִבְּדָן הַכּוּתִי פְּסוּלִין אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאָמַרְנוּ לוֹ לַכּוּתִי לְעַבֵּד עוֹר זֶה לְשֵׁם הַסֵּפֶר אוֹ לְשֵׁם הַתְּפִלִּין פְּסוּלִין. שֶׁהַכּוּתִי עַל דַּעַת עַצְמוֹ הוּא עוֹשֶׂה לֹא עַל דַּעַת הַשּׂוֹכֵר אוֹתוֹ. לְפִיכָךְ כָּל דָּבָר שֶׁצָּרִיךְ מַעֲשֶׂה לִשְׁמוֹ אִם עֲשָׂהוּ הַכּוּתִי פָּסוּל. וּמְזוּזָה אֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה הַעֲבָדָה לִשְׁמָהּ:

The undivided skin for a scroll of the Law, and the external half of the hide to be used for Tephillin or for a scroll of the Law must be tanned for their specific purposes. If they were not expressly so tanned, they are not fit for use. Accordingly, if a non-Israelite or a Samaritan tanned them, they are unfit for use. Even if the Samaritan was instructed to tan a particular hide for the purpose of its being used for a scroll of the Law or Tephillin, it is unfit for use; since he works with his own purposes in mind, not with those of his employer. Hence, anything that has to be done with a purpose in mind, if done by a Samaritan, is unfit for use. The skin for a Mezuzah does not require to be tanned for that express purpose.

12 יב

הֲלָכָה לְמשֶׁה מִסִּינַי שֶׁאֵין כּוֹתְבִין סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה וְלֹא מְזוּזָה אֶלָּא בְּשִׂרְטוּט. אֲבָל תְּפִלִּין אֵינָן צְרִיכִין שִׂרְטוּט לְפִי שֶׁהֵן מְחֻפִּין. וּמֻתָּר לִכְתֹּב תְּפִלִּין וּמְזוּזָה שֶׁלֹּא מִן הַכְּתָב שֶׁהַכּל גּוֹרְסִין פָּרָשִׁיּוֹת אֵלּוּ. אֲבָל סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה אָסוּר לִכְתֹּב אֲפִלּוּ אוֹת אַחַת שֶׁלֹּא מִן הַכְּתָב:

It is a rule dating back to Moses who received it on Sinai that a scroll of the Law or Mezuzah may only be written on parchment that is ruled. Phylacteries need not be ruled, because they are covered. So too, phylacteries and a Mezuzah may be written from memory, as these sections are recited by and are familiar to everyone. But not a single letter may be written in a scroll of the Law, except from a written copy of the text.

13 יג

סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה תְּפִלִּין וּמְזוּזוֹת שֶׁכְּתָבָן אֶפִּיקוֹרוֹס יִשָּׂרְפוּ. כְּתָבָן כּוּתִי אוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל מוּמָר אוֹ מוֹסֵר בְּיַד אַנָּס אוֹ עֶבֶד אוֹ אִשָּׁה אוֹ קָטָן הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ פְּסוּלִין וְיִגָּנְזוּ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים ו ח) ״וּקְשַׁרְתָּם״ (דברים ו ט) ״וּכְתַבְתָּם״ כָּל שֶׁמֻּזְהָר עַל הַקְּשִׁירָה וּמַאֲמִין בָּהּ הוּא שֶׁכּוֹתֵב. נִמְצְאוּ בְּיַד אֶפִּיקוֹרוֹס וְאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ מִי כְּתָבָן יִגָּנְזוּ. נִמְצְאוּ בְּיַד כּוּתִי כְּשֵׁרִים. וְאֵין לוֹקְחִין סְפָרִים תְּפִלִּין וּמְזוּזוֹת מִן הַכּוּתִים בְּיוֹתֵר עַל דְּמֵיהֶם שֶׁלֹּא לְהַרְגִּיל אוֹתָן לְגָנְבָן וּלְגָזְלָן:

A scroll of the Law, Tephillin, or Mezuzoth written by a heretic must be burnt. If written by a Samaritan, by a Jew converted to another faith, by one who surrenders Israelites to tyrants, by a slave, woman or minor, they are unfit for use, and must be hidden; for it is said, "And thou shalt bind them", "And thou shalt write them". The implication is that only that person is qualified to write them, who is charged with the duty of putting on Tephillin and believes in the obligation. If they are found in the possession of a heretic, and it is not known who wrote them, they should be hidden. If found in the possession of a Samaritan or non-Israelite, they are fit to be used. Scrolls of the Law, Tephillin and Mezuzoth are not to be bought from non-Israelites for more than their value, so as not to accustom the latter to steal these holy articles or take them by force.

14 יד

סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה תְּפִלִּין וּמְזוּזוֹת שֶׁכְּתָבָן עַל גַּבֵּי עוֹר בְּהֵמָה חַיָּה וְעוֹף הַטְּמֵאִין אוֹ עַל גַּבֵּי עוֹרוֹת שֶׁאֵינָם מְעֻבָּדִין אוֹ שֶׁכָּתַב סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה וּתְפִלִּין עַל עוֹר שֶׁלֹּא עִבְּדָן לִשְׁמָן הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ פְּסוּלִין:

A scroll of the Law, phylacteries or Mezuzoth, written on the skin of a beast or bird—whether domestic or wild—which belongs to an unclean species, or written on skins that have not been tanned, and likewise a scroll of the Law or phylacteries written on skins not expressly tanned for those purposes, are unfit for use.

15 טו

הַכּוֹתֵב סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה אוֹ תְּפִלִּין אוֹ מְזוּזָה וּבִשְׁעַת כְּתִיבָה לֹא הָיְתָה לוֹ כַּוָּנָה וְכָתַב אַזְכָּרָה מִן הָאַזְכָּרוֹת שֶׁבָּהֶן שֶׁלֹּא לִשְׁמָן פְּסוּלִין. לְפִיכָךְ הַכּוֹתֵב אֶת הַשֵּׁם אֲפִלּוּ מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל שׁוֹאֵל בִּשְׁלוֹמוֹ לֹא יְשִׁיבֶנּוּ. הָיָה כּוֹתֵב שְׁנַיִם אוֹ שְׁלֹשָׁה שֵׁמוֹת הֲרֵי זֶה מַפְסִיק בֵּינֵיהֶם וּמֵשִׁיב:

If one who writes a scroll of the Law, phylacteries or a Mezuzah, had not concentrated his mind while writing, and wrote one of the Names of God without express intent, these articles are unfit for use. Accordingly, when one is writing the name of God, even if an Israelite king greets him, he must not return the greeting. If he is writing two or three names of God, he may pause between writing one and writing the others and may respond.

16 טז

הַטּוֹבֵל אֶת הַקֻּלְמוֹס לִכְתֹּב אֶת הַשֵּׁם לֹא יַתְחִיל מֵאוֹת הַשֵּׁם אֲבָל מַתְחִיל הוּא מֵאוֹת שֶׁלְּפָנָיו. שָׁכַח לִכְתֹּב אֶת הַשֵּׁם כֻּלּוֹ תּוֹלֶה אוֹתוֹ בֵּין הַשִּׁטּוֹת. אֲבָל מִקְצָת הַשֵּׁם בַּשִּׁטָּה וּמִקְצָתוֹ תָּלוּי פָּסוּל. וּבִשְׁאָר הַתֵּבוֹת אִם שָׁכַח כּוֹתֵב מִקְצָת הַתֵּבָה בַּשִּׁטָּה וּמִקְצָתָהּ לְמַעְלָה. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּסֵפֶר תּוֹרָה אֲבָל בִּמְזוּזָה וּתְפִלִּין אֵין תּוֹלִין בָּהֶן אֲפִלּוּ אוֹת אַחַת. אֶלָּא אִם שָׁכַח אֲפִלּוּ אוֹת אַחַת גּוֹנֵז מַה שֶּׁכָּתַב וְכוֹתֵב אַחֶרֶת. וּמֻתָּר לִכְתֹּב אֶת הַשֵּׁם עַל מְקוֹם הַגֶּרֶד וְעַל מְקוֹם הַמַּחַק בְּכֻלָּן:

After dipping the pen in ink to write the Name of God, the scribe does not start with a letter of the name but with a letter of the previous word. If he altogether forgot to write the name of God, he writes it above the line. But to write part of the name on the line and part above the line makes the scroll unfit for use. Other words that the scribe forgot to write may be written partly on the line and partly above it. These rules apply to a scroll of the Law. But in a Mezuzah or in phylacteries not a letter may be written above the line. If the scribe forgot even one letter, he must hide what he wrote and write a fresh slip. In all of them (Scrolls of the Law, Mezuzoth and Phylacteries) it is permissible to write the name of God upon a surface from which writing has been erased or obliterated.

17 יז

כּוֹתְבֵי סְפָרִים תְּפִלִּין וּמְזוּזוֹת אָסוּר לָהֶם לַהֲפֹךְ הַיְרִיעָה עַל פָּנֶיהָ אֶלָּא פּוֹרֵשׂ עָלֶיהָ בֶּגֶד אוֹ כּוֹפְלָהּ:

Scribes of scrolls, phylacteries and Mezuzoth are forbidden to turn over the parchment sheet with its written surface beneath touching the board on which it lies, but should cover it with a cloth or fold it.

18 יח

סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה תְּפִלִּין וּמְזוּזָה שֶׁאָמַר הַסּוֹפֵר אַחַר שֶׁיָּצְאוּ מִתַּחַת יָדוֹ לֹא כָּתַבְתִּי הָאַזְכָּרוֹת שֶׁבָּהֶן לִשְׁמָן אֵינוֹ נֶאֱמָן לְפָסְלָן אֲבָל נֶאֱמָן הוּא לְהַפְסִיד כָּל שְׂכָרוֹ. וְלָמָּה אֵינוֹ נֶאֱמָן לְפָסְלָן שֶׁמָּא לֹא נִתְכַּוֵּן אֶלָּא לְהַפְסִיד עַל הַלּוֹקֵחַ אוֹ עַל זֶה שֶׁשְּׂכָרוֹ וְדוֹמֶה שֶׁאֵינוֹ מַפְסִיד בַּאֲמִירָה זוֹ אֶלָּא שְׂכַר הָאַזְכָּרוֹת. לְפִיכָךְ אִם אָמַר סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה זֶה אוֹ תְּפִלִּין אֵלּוּ עוֹרוֹת שֶׁלָּהֶן אֵינָם מְעֻבָּדוֹת לִשְׁמָן מִתּוֹךְ שֶׁנֶּאֱמָן לְהַפְסִיד שְׂכָרוֹ נֶאֱמָן לְפָסְלָן. שֶׁהֲרֵי הַכּל יוֹדְעִים שֶׁאִם אֵין הָעוֹרוֹת מְעֻבָּדִים לִשְׁמָן אֵין שָׂכָר לוֹ כְּלָל:

If, after a scroll of the Law, phylacteries or a Mezuzah had passed out of the scribe's hands, he makes the statement, "I did not write the name of God in them with that purpose distinctly in mind", he is not believed to the extent of rendering them unfit for use, but his statement is accepted so far that he forfeits his entire remuneration. The reason why he is not believed so as to render them unfit for use is because his motive may possibly have been to cause a loss to the person who bought or hired them. It would seem however that his statement would only cause him to forfeit that quota of remuneration to which the writing of the names of God would entitle him. Hence, if he stated, "the skins of this scroll of the Law or of these phylacteries were not expressly tanned for those purposes", then since in such a case he is believed so fully that he forfeits the whole of his remuneration, his statement is also credited so as to disqualify the articles from being used—it being a matter of general knowledge that if the skins had not been expressly tanned for the purpose of being made into phylacteries or a scroll of the Law, the scribe receives no remuneration whatsoever.

19 יט

אֵין כּוֹתְבִין תְּפִלִּין וּמְזוּזָה אֶלָּא בִּכְתָב אַשּׁוּרִית. וְהִתִּירוּ בַּסְּפָרִים לִכְתֹּב אַף בִּיוָנִי בִּלְבַד. וּכְבָר נִשְׁקַע יְוָנִי מִן הָעוֹלָם וְנִשְׁתַּבֵּשׁ וְאָבַד לְפִיכָךְ אֵין כּוֹתְבִין הַיּוֹם שְׁלָשְׁתָּן אֶלָּא אַשּׁוּרִית. וְצָרִיךְ לְהִזָּהֵר בִּכְתִיבָתָן כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תִּדְבַּק אוֹת בְּאוֹת שֶׁכָּל אוֹת שֶׁאֵין הָעוֹר מַקִּיף לָהּ מֵאַרְבַּע רוּחוֹתֶיהָ פָּסוּל. וְכָל אוֹת שֶׁאֵין הַתִּינוֹק שֶׁאֵינוֹ לֹא חָכָם וְלֹא סָכָל יָכוֹל לִקְרוֹתָהּ פָּסוּל. לְפִיכָךְ צָרִיךְ לְהִזָּהֵר בְּצוּרַת הָאוֹתִיּוֹת שֶׁלֹּא תִּדְמֶה הַיּוּ״ד לְוָא״ו וְלֹא וָא״ו לְיוּ״ד וְלֹא כָּ״ף לְבֵי״ת וְלֹא בֵּי״ת לְכָ״ף וְלֹא דָּלֶ״ת לְרֵי״שׁ וְלֹא רֵי״שׁ לְדָלֶ״ת וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה עַד שֶׁיָּרוּץ כָּל הַקּוֹרֵא בָּהֶן:

Phylacteries and Mezuzoth may only be written in square Hebrew script. Permission was also given to write scrolls of the Law in Greek characters but not in those of any other foreign tongue. The ancient Greek script has gone out of use, been corrupted and become obsolete. Hence, at the present day, all three religious articles,—Scroll of the Law, Tephillin and Mezuzah,—are only written in the square Hebrew script. Care must be taken in writing that no letter shall adhere to any other letter; for any letter which is not completely surrounded on all four sides by a blank space of parchment has been improperly written. Any letter that cannot be read by a child of ordinary intelligence—not particularly bright or dull—is improperly written. Thus a Yod must not be like a Vav nor a Vav like a Yod, nor a Koph like a Beth, nor a Beth like a Koph, nor a Daleth like a Resh, nor a Resh like a Daleth, etc., so that the reader may be able to read fluently.

20 כ

עוֹר שֶׁהָיָה נָקוּב לֹא יִכְתֹּב עַל גַּבֵּי הַנֶּקֶב. וְכָל נֶקֶב שֶׁהַדְּיוֹ עוֹבֶרֶת עָלָיו אֵינוֹ נֶקֶב וּמֻתָּר לִכְתֹּב עָלָיו. לְפִיכָךְ מֻתָּר לִכְתֹּב עַל גַּבֵּי עוֹר הָעוֹף שֶׁנִּתְעַבֵּד. נִקַּב הָעוֹר אַחַר שֶׁנִּכְתַּב אִם נִקַּב בְּתוֹךְ הָאוֹת כְּגוֹן תּוֹךְ הֵ״א אוֹ תּוֹךְ מֵ״ם וְכֵן בִּשְׁאָר אוֹתִיּוֹת כָּשֵׁר. נִקַּב בַּיָּרֵךְ שֶׁל אוֹת עַד שֶׁנִּפְסְקָה. אִם נִשְׁתַּיֵּר מִמֶּנָּה מְלֹא אוֹת קְטַנָּה כָּשֵׁר וְהוּא שֶׁלֹּא תִּדְמֶה לְאוֹת אַחֶרֶת. וְאִם לֹא נִשְׁתַּיֵּר מִמֶּנָּה מְלֹא אוֹת קְטַנָּה פְּסוּלָה:

If the parchment was perforated, the scribe must not write on the perforation. A perforation over which the ink passes is not regarded as a perforation, and it is permitted to write across it. Hence, it is permitted to write on the skin of a bird that has been tanned. Should the parchment have become perforated, after it has been written on, if the perforation is in the interior of a letter, as, for example, in a or Mem, etc., it is regarded as properly written. Should one of the sides of a letter have been perforated, so that the letter is divided—then the rule is that if there is left of the part that is unperforated as much as would form a small letter, it is regarded as properly written, provided that it does not resemble a different letter. If the part that is left unperforated is not as much as would form a small letter, it is not regarded as properly written.