Scribal Writing (Stam)
The term “Stam” (סת”ם) is an acronym for the Hebrew words: Sifrei Torah, Tefillin, Mezuzot, and refers to the special script used in writing them.
The Halachot of scribal writing involve many rules that determine the writing materials, the shape of the letters, the parchment (its processing and scoring), and the preparation and proper intention in writing.
There are different traditions regarding the style and form of the letters, and each ethnic community has a unique style that they use. Broadly speaking, there are two main styles: Sephardic and Ashkenazic. The differences between the styles of writing are characterized by minor differences, such as the point of the letter Yod or the foot of the Shin.
A. Sephardic script (Eastern communities and Yemenites)
B. Ashkenazic script – this can be broken up into three sub-groups: Beit Yosef, Ari and Habad.
Whatever style of writing is used, it is important to make sure that each letter stands on its own and does not touch another letter. The script must be ketiva tama – perfect and not missing any part of a letter, even the point of the Yod.
At Tefillin Hebron, you will find devout scribes who are expert in every type of scribal writing. You may choose one of our scribes to write your personal Tefillin.
The Parshiot must be written with a scribal pen, with black ink, on parchment that is processed for the purpose of fulfilling a Mitzvah. The parchment must be whole, without any holes through which the ink can leak. The writing must be on the inner side of the parchment (Halachah L’Moshe M’Sinai).
Tefillin Hebron takes care to use only thick, long-lasting cowhide, as well as quality pens and ink.
The Order of Writing the Parshiot
The Parshiot must be written according to the order that they appear in the Torah. If they are not written according to the correct order, they are ritually unfit.
If the scribe is right-handed or writes with either hand, the Parshiot must be written with the right hand.
If the scribe is left-handed, he must write with his left hand.
Before writing the Parshiot, he must make a verbal declaration that he is doing so for the purpose of writing Tefillin. Each time he writes Hashem’s name, he should state that his intention is for writing the holy name.
Tefillin Hebron scribes are experienced and devout, and scrupulously observe all of the laws of scribal writing.
Certain letters in the Hebrew alphabet are embellished with crowns, called Tagim. These crowns are in the form of a tiny letter ז. Some letters receive one crown and others, three.
The letters that are embellished with one crown are:
ב ד ק ח י ה
Those that receive three crowns are:
ש ע ט נ ז ג צ
The letterל has a certain type of embellieshment at its highest point, but it is not included in the list of “crowned” letters.
The other letters are not embellished with Tagim.
The experienced scribes of Tefillin Hebron produce Tefillin for you that are made to the highest Halachic standards of Hiddur, using beautiful script. Together with your new Tefillin, you will receive a photocopy of your Parshiot so that you can see their excellent quality for yourself.