1. The Klaf is generally 48
to 56cm in size. The larger the Klaf the larger the letters and generally that
means more work. When you write larger it uses more ink and the Klaf is more
expensive. It takes longer to write the letter and more time to complete the
sefer Torah. The sefer Torah is a bit more heavier as it gets larger. It can
be more beautiful being large though smaller is also nice. It depends on the
2. The quality of the
writing is also a big factor in price and so is reputation. The writing
should be consistent. A nice writing is that the letters are spaced well,
they are formed cleanly and that they sofer gives it his own added touch.
For instance, the final mem instead of the top line being square, he can
bend the top corners out. This gives the letter an extra beautiful look to
it. To do this does add to the time writing. If a person is paid well for
the job then they would be more willing to extend themselves. It is
completely not necessary to make the mem in this way but those who value
their work might try and do so. The same goes with other letters. Now its a
problem that many soferim extend themselves overly much and they might
actually put the kosherous of the sefer Torah in jeopardy thereby. This can
be a big problem so it can be better not to get someone who is too into his
calligraphy. The main thing after all is #3.
3. Not always addressed
enough is the level of Fear of Hashem that the sofer has. This truly should be
more important then #2 but is usually put thereafter.
4. Another factor is
Kavanah. The spiritual energy invested in the writing effects the
congregation. The Torah after-all represents Hashem giving us the
commandments. This is rarely addressed but important. There is a concept of
doing kavanos, having in mind Kabbalistic intentions during writing. Most
soferim are not on the level to do this and it is also more important to
concentrate on more basic thoughts and intentions. Anything above that is an
added gift and blessing.
6. The price varies a lot
based on the above. New Sefer Torah's start at $19,000 and go all the way up