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Mordechai Pinchas Sofer

As seen on the previous page there seems to be some considerable disagreement over which letters should be large and why...

However in the course of my researches, a pattern emerged regarding the letters that if one adds those that are accepted to those that are in dispute to those seen in an old kabbalistic sifrey torah I examined recently, we can say that within the Torah the scribes have been striving to make one of each letter of the Hebrew alphabet (including the final letters) large. For a while I thought this mere conjecture as one letter was missing.

However, I have now found the chaf which was missing listed in an halachic text, the Mishnat Avraham - this is from v’hitmacartem (and you will be sold) from Deut 28:68.

alphabet large opt

More importantly Mishnat Avraham 27:3-4 notes that ‘there are those that say there is found the tradition to make a large alphabet in the Torah alone’ (as opposed to the Tanach) and this is a large secret and proceeds to list both the letters in question and a number of great scribes whose sifrey torah he has seen where this is the case. He makes the telling point that if there is only supposed to be one of each letter large in the Tanach why are both the vav of gachon (from the torah) and the vav of vy’zata (from the megillah) both accepted as being writ large.

Over time, I’ve been finding various examples of the large letters, but above is a collection of all the letters found in a Torah I checked on 2010 which has each of the letters written large (though two versions of the lamed). A very interesting torah which also had additional spaces marking the start of p’sukim (verses) a Yemenite tradition.

Mordechai Pinchas

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