A tikkun or tiqqun (Hebrew : תיקון) is a book used by Jews to prepare for reading or writing a Torah scroll. There are two types of tikkun, a tikkun kor'im and a tikkun soferim.
A tikkun kor'im or tiqqun qor'im (readers' tikkun) is a study guide used when preparing to chant [lein] the Torah reading from the Torah in a synagogue. Each tikkun contains two renditions of the Masoretic Text in Hebrew. The right side of each page is written with the cantillation marks and vowel points, while the left is written in unpointed Hebrew, as it appears in the actual scroll. People who chant from the Torah must learn the tune and the pronunciation of the words beforehand, as the scroll itself has neither points nor cantillation marks, and because there are places where the word to be read (the qere ) differs from that written (the kethib ) in the scroll.
A tiqqun soferim (scribes' tikkun) is similar, but is designed as a guide or model text for scribes writing a copy of the Torah by hand. It contains additional information of use to scribes, such as directions concerning writing particular words, traditions of calligraphic ornamentation, and information about spacing and justification. For instance, it helps the scribe to know how many letters there are per line, so a tikkun soferim gives the size of each line, measured in yud-widths (because yud is the smallest Hebrew letter).
The Torah is the compilation of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, namely the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. It is known as the Pentateuch or the Five Books of Moses by Christians. It is also known as the Written Torah in Jewish tradition. If meant for liturgic purposes, it takes the form of a Torah scroll. If in bound book form, it is called Chumash, and is usually printed with the rabbinic commentaries.
The Masoretic Text is the authoritative Hebrew and Aramaic text of the 24 books of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) in Rabbinic Judaism. The Masoretic Text defines the Jewish canon and its precise letter-text, with its vocalization and accentuation known as the mas'sora. Referring to the Masoretic Text, masorah specifically means the diacritic markings of the text of the Hebrew scriptures and the concise marginal notes in manuscripts of the Tanakh which note textual details, usually about the precise spelling of words. It was primarily copied, edited and distributed by a group of Jews known as the Masoretes between the 7th and 10th centuries of the Common Era (CE). The oldest known complete copy, the Leningrad Codex, dates from the early 11th century CE.
Hebrew cantillation, trope, trop, or te'amim is the manner of chanting ritual readings from the Hebrew Bible in synagogue services. The chants are written and notated in accordance with the special signs or marks printed in the Masoretic Text of the Bible, to complement the letters and vowel points.
The haftara or haftorah "parting," "taking leave", is a series of selections from the books of Nevi'im ("Prophets") of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) that is publicly read in synagogue as part of Jewish religious practice. The haftara reading follows the Torah reading on each Sabbath and on Jewish festivals and fast days. Typically, the haftara is thematically linked to the parashah that precedes it. The haftara is sung in a chant. Related blessings precede and follow the haftara reading.
It is a custom among religious Jewish communities for a weekly Torah portion to be read during Jewish prayer services on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. The full name, Parashat HaShavua, is popularly abbreviated to parashah, and is also known as a Sidra or Sedra.
A Sefer Torah or Torah scroll is a handwritten copy of the Torah, meaning the five books of Moses. The Torah scroll is mainly used in the ritual of Torah reading during Jewish prayers. At other times, it is stored in the holiest spot within a synagogue, the Torah ark, which is usually an ornate curtained-off cabinet or section of the synagogue built along the wall that most closely faces Jerusalem, the direction Jews face when praying.
Torah reading is a Jewish religious tradition that involves the public reading of a set of passages from a Torah scroll. The term often refers to the entire ceremony of removing the scroll from the Torah ark, chanting the appropriate excerpt with special cantillation (trope), and returning the scroll(s) to the ark. It is also commonly called "laining".
Chumash is a Torah in printed and book bound form as opposed to a Sefer Torah, which is a scroll.
Qere and Ketiv, from the Aramaic qere or q're, קְרֵי and ketiv, or ketib, kethib, kethibh, kethiv, כְּתִיב, also known as "q're uchsiv" or "q're uchtiv," refers to a system for marking differences between what is written in the consonantal text of the Hebrew Bible, as preserved by scribal tradition, and what is read. In such situations, the qere is the technical orthographic device used to indicate the pronunciation of the words in the Masoretic text of the Hebrew language scriptures (Tanakh), while the ketiv indicates their written form, as inherited from tradition.
A sofer, sopher, sofer SeTaM, or sofer ST"M is a Jewish scribe who can transcribe Sifrei Kodesh, tefillin (phylacteries), mezuzot and other religious writings.
Masekhet Soferim, the "Tractate of the Scribes", is a non-canonical Talmudic tractate dealing especially with the rules relating to the preparation of holy books, as well as with the laws of Torah reading. One of the minor tractates, it is generally thought to have originated in eighth-century Land of Israel. Being of late and uncertain date, it is now generally printed as Talmudic addenda.
A tag is a decoration drawn over some Hebrew letters in the Jewish scrolls of Sifrei Kodesh, Tefillin and Mezuzot. The Hebrew name for this scribal feature is kether (כתר). Tag and kether mean 'crown' in Aramaic and Hebrew respectively.
Ktiv hasar niqqud, colloquially known as ktiv maleh, are the rules for writing Hebrew without vowel points (niqqud), often replacing them with matres lectionis. To avoid confusion, consonantal ו and י are doubled in the middle of words. In general use, niqqud are seldom used, except in specialized texts such as dictionaries, poetry, or texts for children or for new immigrants.
Hebrew orthography includes three types of diacritics:
Tiqqūn sōferīm is a term from rabbinic literature meaning "correction/emendation of the scribes" or "scribal correction" and refers to a change of wording in the Tanakh in order to preserve the honor of God or for a similar reason. Today, the phrase Tiqqun Soferim can also refer to a copy of the Five Books of Moses that is used to copy therefrom the Torah scroll.
The sof passuk is the cantillation mark that occurs on the last word of every verse, or passuk, in the Tanakh. Some short verses contain only members of the sof passuk group.
A baal keriah, colloquially called the baal korei, is a member of a Jewish congregation who reads from the Sefer Torah during the service. As there are no niqqud, punctuation, or cantillation marks in a Sefer Torah, and these are required features of the reading, the baal keriah must memorize them beforehand.
Yemenite scrolls of the Law containing the Five Books of Moses represent one of three authoritative scribal traditions for the transmission of the Torah, the other two being the Ashkenazi and Sephardic traditions that slightly differ. While all three traditions purport to follow the Masoretic traditions of Aaron ben Moses ben Asher, slight differences between the three major traditions have developed over the years. Biblical texts proofread by ben Asher survive in two extant codices, the latter said to have only been patterned after texts proofread by Ben Asher. The former work, although more precise, was partially lost following its removal from Aleppo in 1947.
In orthography, a plene scriptum is a word containing an additional letter, usually one which is superfluous – not normally written in that word – nor needed for the proper comprehension of the word. Today, the term applies mostly to sacred scripture.
Paleo-Hebrew Leviticus Scroll, known also as 11QpaleoLev, is an ancient text preserved in one of the Qumran group of caves, and which provides a rare glimpse of the script used formerly by the Israelites in writing Torah scrolls during pre-exilic history. The fragmentary remains of the Torah scroll is written in the Paleo-Hebrew script and was found stashed away in cave no. 11 at Qumran, showing a portion of Leviticus. The scroll is thought to have been penned by the scribe between the late 2nd century BCE to early 1st century BCE, while others place its writing in the 1st century CE.