STAM 101: She’elas Tinok

In a situation where it is not possible to objectively determine if a letter has its ikar tzura, we show the letter to a child who knows “alef beis” thoroughly. If the child correctly identifies the letter then it is kosher (but should be repaired if possible to prevent confusion in the future). If the child can not identify the letter or calls it a different letter then the letter is pasul and can not be repaired shelo kisidran in tefilin and mezuzos. When showing the letter to a child it is not necessary to cover subsequent letters, but it is preferable to at least cover the preceding letters.

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