Mar. 24th, 2013

cremains: (always rain)
So, I finished writing and correcting Shir HaShirim; tomorrow I'll be able to sew it up. It's written on gewil, which is not really parchment but the whole skin of the animal, like moccasin material. Gewil is beautiful to write on, soft and smooth, but truly hideous for dealing with any mistakes. You can write with 99% accuracy, but that 1% of the time when you miswrite it will basically definitely look like ass, no matter how you fix it. Often you can get a "decent" erasure by wetting a cloth and rubbing at it carefully but hard; however, this still leaves a smudge and often the letters come out thicker and less elegant on the erased surface, like so:



The Talmud assumes and indeed urges that most writing will be done on gewil rather than parchment (which dominates ritual writing today, especially in the Ashkenazi world), and accordingly favours non-erasure-based error correction, such as allowing one or two letters to hang off the edge of the margin (as opposed to demanding perfect justification). If you forgot words, Talmudic halakhah tells you just to write them small above where you need them, rather than trying to erase and jam in. Like so:



However, strangely and happily, a lot of this scroll was done without any mistake (probably due to heightened attention caused by fear). Below the cut is an excerpt.

מה דודך מדוד )

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this hill is far enough

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