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Instead of a yad (finger pointer), can someone use a laser pointer to help him follow the place as he reads the Torah during public Torah reading? I can't imagine that there are any halachic issues, offhand. Are there? Any problems of kavod Hatorah?

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Why not? Some point with their fingers, some don't use a yad at all....how could this be worse than not using a yad at all? – Shokhet Jun 9 '14 at 22:39

Although it is unlikely given the power of most commonly available lasers, it is possible to damage the klaf using a laser if you had a high powered laser.

Some may not like the idea of using a laser since it is moving away from the ancient tradition of using a yad, which is considered to hiddur to the Torah in the same way that all the Torah adornments are considered a hiddur. Torah covers, crown, breastplate, mantles, bells, etc. often use velvet and silver to increase respect of the Torah and the yad is included in this.

Chapter 28 Shemot speaks about the clothes of the Cohen Gadol's. There appears to be a correlation between the Torah ornaments and the Cohen Gadol's garb (mentioned here). But the relevance to the yad to the Cohen Gadol here is absent. The function of the yad is merely to point, so as not to damage the Torah. Indeed you are correct, that in principle a laser could be used, but may not be mehuddar in the same way as an ornate silver yad.

There is also the unlikelihood of someone mistaking that it could be used on all days of the week. Although, in a public reading on shabbat/yom gov, I would imagine this is somewhat far fetched.

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If the laser is pretty then it's also a hiddur, no? – Double AA Jun 9 '14 at 22:39
"Although it is unlikely, given the power of most commonly available lasers, it is possible to damage the klaf using a laser." => very unlikely IMHO – Shokhet Jun 9 '14 at 22:40
I don't think the heat of the laser from the laser pen is hot enough that it would damage the klaf. Have to look this up a bit further. – DanF Jun 10 '14 at 2:26
The chance of scratching the letters with a metal yad is much higher than burning the klaf with your typical laser pointer. || Don't know why this is downvoted, since it does answer the question... – Shmuel Jun 10 '14 at 3:03
@Skokhet I can see that I may have been unclear. Indeed it is very unlikely, but its worth a mention. It could be argued that a yad has greater potential to do more damage as Shmuel mentions – bondonk Jun 10 '14 at 6:04

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