It’s amazing how daunting a small piece of k’laf, 12cms square can be. However eventually I felt I was ready and started to rule our the 22 lines that consist of the two paragraphs of the Shema found inside a mezuzah. My sargel broke and out came the superglue as I fixed another thorn to the wooden shaft. Clearly a lightness of touch was needed.
I also discovered that up until now I had been cheating! When doing designs in the past that called for Hebrew calligraphy, I had used guidelines for both the top and the bottom of the letters. A real sofer uses only a top guideline (shirtut), and suspends the letters from that, ensuring that they are 3 kulmusim (nib-widths)) tall.
It is at this point that you would think that I began writing the mezuzah, but before quill is even put to parchment, there are more ritual (see diary 4 for one and below for the other).
Amalek were the cowardly nation who attacked the defenseless at the rear when Israel left Egypt, and thus became the traditional enemy of the Jews (Haman, for example, was considered to be an Amalekite). As a result we are commanded :