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Hilchos Tefillin 32 (page 84)
מאמצע סעיף ח טוב להוציא עד אמצע סעיף ט וכן נוהגין 

At Which Stage is Lishma Required?
Which Klaf is Acceptable for Mezuzah but not for Tefillin?
Using Klaf Prepared by a Goy


At which stage is lishma required? 

It is proper to declare the intention of lishma when tanning the skins for stam. Bedieved, an unspoken intention is also valid. In the tanning process, the hides are first soaked in water and then in lime. The lishma declaration should be made after the water and before the lime. The poskim discuss whether a declaration which preceded the water is valid if the necessary declaration was not made at the time of placing the hides into the lime.

(סעיף ח וס"ק כד-כה; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 43)

Which klaf is acceptable for mezuzah but not for tefillin?

Klaf prepared for a sefer Torah may be used for tefillin and mezuzah, but klaf prepared for tefillin and mezuzah may not be used for a sefer Torah. The intention needed for tefillin and mezuzah is not adequate for the greater level of kedusha of a sefer Torah. Similarly, klaf prepared for mezuzah cannot be used for tefillin, which is of greater kedusha, but klaf prepared for tefillin can be used for mezuzah. Klaf prepared for any form of stam may not be used for ordinary purposes unless it was specifically stipulated at the time it was prepared that it can be used for other purposes.

(סעיף ח וס"ק כו)

Using klaf prepared by a goy

According to the Rambam and Tosofos, a goy cannot participate in making klaf for stam. According to the Rosh, a goy may assist in making the klaf when he is supervised and reminded about lishma by a Yid. Lechatchila, a Jew should participate at some point in the production. The opinion of the Rambam and Tosofos should be followed whenever possible. If the goy is at a distance from the Jew or if the Jew did not instruct the goy about lishma during the processing, the klaf is pasul.

(סעיף ט, ס"ק כח-כט, ושעה"צ ס"ק לה)





  • Mezuzos require sirtut (lines engraved into the parchment to mark where to write) for every line of text and around the four borders of the column. The standard practice today is to do a complete sirtut (every line and the four borders) for all stam.
  • Sifrei Torah should be written on the outer side of the g'vil, tefillin on the inner side (the side that touches the duchsustus) of the klaf and mezuzos on the inner side (which faces the klaf) of the duchsustus.
  • The klaf should be processed by soaking it in gallnut water or a lime bath. Although today there are chemicals available for processing, it is preferable to continue the old-fashioned system of using lime.




  • Using machines to tan klaf

  • Necessary precautions when a goy prepares the klaf

  • Using klaf from an animal which may not be eaten