This collection contains Sefaria Sheets which highlight interesting scribal traditions featured in Jewish manuscripts.
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The Torah's Column Structure Traditions
There are actually two separate traditions at play here, i.e. ווי העמודים (vavei ha'amudim) - the practice of heading every column possible with a vav - and בי''ה שמ''ו. How these are arrayed in a Sefer Torah varies by tradition, i.e. Ashkenaz, Western Sephardic, Mizrahi, Teimani, and Italian. This sheet lays these out in order across all five mentioned traditions.
Save "Sheet 365591"
Purim: The Whole Megillah
Herein, the details pertaining to the writing of a Megillat Esther are laid out. Included are elements involving structure, physical qualities, and liturgical additions.
Save "Sheet 387584"
Parashat Bo and the Tzaddik
Moshe is regarded as the ultimate tzaddik and all tzaddikim after him are compared to him. The foundation for this can be seen throughout his life, but we find in a particular scribal tradition pertaining to how Parashat Bo is written a visual midrash illustrating this.
Save "Sheet 461438"
The Inverted Nuns of Sefer Binsoa
The passage in Parashat Beha'alotcha known as Sefer Binsoa in the rabbinic literature, in every extant Torah scroll, is offset in the sefer Torah by a pair (or very rarely a trio) of what appear to be inverted nuns. There has been much rabbinical discussion on this phenomenon pertaining to both the sofrut aspect and the midrashic implications.
Save "Sheet 447522"
Otiyyot Ze'irot in the Sefer Torah
Not PublishedBrian Tice516 ViewsMarch 6, 2022
Save "Sheet 389446"
Parashat Vayiqra: The Aleph Calls Out
An examination of the reasons postulated for the small aleph in the first word of Vayiqra is presented, both from a scribal perspective and a spiritual one.
Save "Sheet 389138"
Parashat Ki Tissa: The 13 Attributes of Mercy
The 13 Attributes of Mercy is the heart of Hashem's response to the Golden Calf debacle. It is alluded to many times in the Tanakh and is central to the selichot prayers which we recite on the fast days of the Jewish calendar.
Save "Sheet 383108"
Parashat Tetzaveh: The Kohen's New Clothes
Sage Insights with regard to the garments prescribed for the Levitical priesthood in this week's parashah, as well as some orthographical observations respecting the sofrut practices associated with the parashah.
Save "Sheet 382959"
Visual Midrash: The Sinaitic Aseret haDibrot
The Sinaitic Decalogue (Esrei haD'varim), in Jewish scribal tradition, is arranged in such a way to create a visual midrash within the text of the Torah scroll. Its shape varies by community and also over time. This sheet presents several traditions with regard to the layout of this important passage.
Save "Sheet 378023"
Parashat Mishpatim: Sins which Lead to Death
Parashat Mishpatim presents a number of legal statutes, including those which require capital punishment. Herein we focus on those, including discussion of both the scribal layout of the passage and the Sage insights into its exegesis.
Save "Sheet 378029"
Parashat Beshalach: Mi Kamoekha - Block by Block
Nestled in the center of Parashat B'shalach, we encounter the song sung by the Israelites upon their deliverance from Egyptian captivity. The Song of the Sea is the first specially-formatted song of the Torah. Herein, we examine the structure, the layout, and the meaning "block by block."
Save "Sheet 370790"
Sofrut and the Accuracy of the Torah
The accuracy of the transmission of the Torah text is unsurpassed by any other text (manuscript tradition) in antiquity. This sheet discusses how this feat was accomplished.
Save "Sheet 374596"
Peh to Play: Shifts in the Letter Shape over Time
An illustrated study on what the specific shape of the peh in a Torah scroll can tell us about the scribal tradition and age of the scroll
Save "Sheet 365320"
The Reversed Lamed in D'varim 23:21
This article presents a rare scribal feature found in a few late medieval Torah scrolls and prescribed in a 15th century Yemenite tikkun soferim (scribal parent copy) codex.
Save "Sheet 365100"
The Otiyyot Menuqqadot of Parashat Vayeshev
Explanation for the dotted letters in the Torah scroll, with particular focus on the occurrence in Parashat Vayeshev (B'reshit 37:12).
Save "Sheet 365165"