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Definitions

Lechatchila Kosher:

A STaM product is lechatchila kosher if it fulfills the minimum requirements:

  • The entire text is written with proper intent, and HaShem’s name is sanctified correctly before being written
  • The text is correct, with no missing or extra letters or words
  • The letters are properly formed: each letter has the halachic characteristics of that letter
  • The letters are written in order, and created by writing, not by erasing
  • The letters are not touching each other
  • The text is hand written by a trained Jewish adult male Sofer, using a kosher instrument (e.g., not a metal pen) and written with kosher ink, on a kosher klaf (prepared animal hide)

Mehudar:

Mehudar means adorned. For STaM products, this includes not only the innate beauty of the writing, but also specific properties of the writing, as well as the actions of the Sofer himself. The following are some ways that a product can be made more mehudar:

The Sofer:

  • Immersed in a mikvah before starting to write for the day
  • Has a dedicated workspace
  • Wrote without music, shiurim, radio, or any other noise in the background

The text consists of:

  • Beautiful handwriting: the letters are consistent in length, height, and spacing
  • Letters and spacing which were formed properly from the start, with no question as to which letter is represented
  • Crowns on the letters where appropriate, written with the letter and not added afterwards
  • Two tagim on each Lamed, with the right tag (which represents the attribute of Mercy) taller than the left tag (which represents the attribute of Din/Justice).