A scroll of parchment on which is written the Five Books of Moses. Portions from it are read aloud in synagogue at least 4 times a week.

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Help me find a source for glossing “sefer” (in Shabbat 14a) as “Torah, Nevi'im, and Ketuvim”

In Shabbat 14a we find a discussion about the Rabbinic enactment that a book (sefer) renders one's hands unclean (which is itself discussed in the Mishnah Yadayim 3:5). Long ago I found a source ...
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0answers
12 views

Why do we cover a Sefer Torah with a talis when traveling? [duplicate]

There's a widespread custom to cover a Sefer Torah with a talis when travelling. Has this custom been mentioned in halachic literature? Why is this done? The closest I found was Shulchan Aruch, YD ...
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1answer
51 views

Why is a Greek Torah Scroll Kosher?

I once read that a Greek Sefer Torah is Kosher, is this correct? Is it also correct that Greek is the only language other than Hebrew that a kosher Sefer Torah can be written in?
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2answers
62 views

Why can't someone who can read check the Sefer Torah?

In this question, i talk about if a Sefer Torah might have a misformed letter, a child who can recognize letters but not read is brought to say what letter it is. If everything surrounding is covered ...
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2answers
67 views

What happens if a sefer torah might have a mistake?

If a sefer torah has a definite mistake, it cannot be used, and the reading must be done again from a kosher torah. (SA OC 143:4) But what if it only might have a mistake? For example, if it's ...
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1answer
147 views

Was a sefer torah ever actually written in Greek?

This answer to a different question states that the only other language a sefer torah can be written in and be kosher is Greek. (Rambam, Hilchot Sefer Torah 1:19 says that this Greek no longer exists ...
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2answers
441 views

Why is a “classicly” printed Sefer Torah not kosher?

"Classic" printing was a fairly simple process, very similar to using a large stamp. You carve out letters on a block, and cover it with ink. Then the printer presses the board on paper. This printing ...
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1answer
84 views

Is a machine written sefer torah distinguishable from Machine Matzos

The Jewish University in Berlin has developed a machine written quill* on parchment Sefer Torah. The report from the BBC takes it for granted that such a Sefer Torah is posul because it lacks the ...
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27 views

Should one wear a tallit to “set” a sefer Torah?

Occasionally in my community, despite having daily minyanim et c., I have had to take out a sefer to have it set for the next kriah. I have worn a tallit when doing so. Is this practice typically ...
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1answer
179 views

Should we allow women to dance with a Torah on Simchas Torah?

Active women in my shul are demanding the right to dance with a Torah on Simchas Torah, behind the mechitza. They are saying that it is not something forbidden, and that it is religiously healthy. ...
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1answer
118 views

Why can't a Sefer Torah be written in Aramaic?

In the Mishna, Megillah 1:8, Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel is quoted as having said that Greek is the only language, other than Hebrew, in which it is permissible to write sifrei Torah. Commenting on ...
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50 views

Are there digitized Sefer Torahs?

I have heard that it is common these days for digitized images to be made when a Sefer Torah is written, though we don't have any such images at the shul I attend. Having yet to find a tikkun that ...
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2answers
212 views

Should women kiss the Torah with their hand or with a prayer book?

When the Torah comes around in shul, is it preferable for women to touch it with their hand (and then kiss their hand) or with their prayer book (and then kiss their prayer book)? Presumably some ...
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2answers
81 views

Can I take out a sefer and not learn from it?

There is an issue with taking out a sefer Torah and not learning/reading from it, as it is disrespectful to the sefer. Does such a concern exist by other sefarim? I ask because I know that for some ...
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2answers
126 views

Machine-Readable Torah

Is there a machine-readable Sefer Torah or Chumash? Machine-readable meaning formatted as to be understood by a computer program. Despite the phrase, this is different from a Torah simply stored in ...
4
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1answer
90 views

Why do we only cover the head during Tachnun if there is a Aron Hakodesh

It says in Aruch Hashulchan1 That we tried all positions, Sitting by Krias Shema, Standing by Amidah, and Fall on one's face during Tachanun. So then we say ואנחנו לא נדע...מה נעשה "We do not know ...
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2answers
100 views

What is the reason for “stretched” letters in the Torah?

I noticed that in many Sifrei Torah, Sofrim prefer to "stretch" certain letters. It seems that these letters are stretched to end a line if there wouldn't be enough space to start a new word. That's ...
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2answers
215 views

Is there a standard format for the start of each column in writing Sifrei Torah?

When I looked at a few Tikunei Lakor'im, they seem to follow what appears to be a standard where certain words begin at the top of a column. I did see several Sifrei Torah that seem to follow this ...
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1answer
57 views

Can the Torah Scroll be opened while still inside the Aron Kodesh?

I can't imagine for what reason, but can a Torah Scroll be opened while still in the Aron Kodesh? In other words, must a Torah Scroll always be removed from the Aron Kodesh in order to open the Torah ...
7
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1answer
125 views

If the “Nun” preceding Bamidbar (Num) 10:35 is not upside down, is the Torah still kosher?

While reading last week's parsha, I noticed that the letter "nun" immediately preceding the verse Vayehi B'nso'ah ha'aron Bamidbar 10:35 was written as regular nun (tagin on top) rather than upside ...
7
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1answer
87 views

Sending a Torah to the Moon

According to this article, there's an organization that wants to blast a Sefer Torah into space for safe keeping on the moon. Are there any halachik problems regarding such an endeavour (and if so, ...
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Are there any extant scrolls containing multiple books of Nach?

Related to this question, are there any known extant scrolls containing either all of tanach or multiple books of Na"ch? I am not counting trei-asar scrolls as they are considered one Book for ...
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2answers
97 views

Is a Torah that does NOT have the (rabbati) large and small letters (keti'ah) still kosher?

I have a Torah in my shul that does not have any large or small letters where required (e.g. - the 1st letter in the Torah, "Breishit", is written larger than the rest.) Is this Torah still considered ...
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2answers
49 views

In what relative positions are multiple Sifrei Torah placed on the bimah?

When two Sifrei Torah (when the second sefer is needed for a special maftir) are placed on the bimah just before hagbah for the first Torah, should the first sefer read from be on the left or the ...
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1answer
135 views

What are the differences between Teimani and Ashkenazi/Sefardi sifrei torah?

I have heard that there is a small number of textual differences between Teimani torah scrolls and Ashkenazi/Sefardi ones. What are these differences? If I encounter a manuscript of unknown origin ...
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1answer
87 views

What's the significance of בי״ה שמ״ו סימן, espcially on Dt. 31:28?

In most sifre Tora (Torah scrolls), 240 columns of text each start with the letter vav (ו), and five do not. The first of those five exceptional columns, of course, is the first column of the Torah, ...
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1answer
271 views

Is a miniature Torah scroll considered a real Sefer Torah

My son received a miniature Torah scroll as a reward in Hebrew school. The letters are not printed clearly and I cannot really read it well, but I would like to know if it should be accorded the ...
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0answers
64 views

Is it disrespectful to have a raffle where the prize is a Sefer Torah?

I recently came across an advertorial on thelakewoodscoop.com regarding a Shul that is having a raffle where one can win a Sefer Torah. The first comment was: "Is it just me or is using a Sefer ...
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2answers
203 views

Kissing a Sefer Torah as it passes

Some people in shul mark it as a sign of respect, as the Torah makes its way to/from the Aron Kodesh, to kiss it, and rush to get as close as possible. Others, given the cold season, think that this ...
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1answer
91 views

Fasting when seeing an Aron Kodesh fall with a Sefer Torah inside

Discussed already were the "customs" surrounding fasting when a Sefer Torah falls the floor: The earliest source is the Shu"t Mishpetei Shmuel 12 quoted by the Magen Avraham 44:5. He bases it on ...
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1answer
147 views

standing during gelilah

I've noticed that people usually stay standing after hagbah until the Torah is dressed, even after the magbia sits down. Is there a mekor for this practice, or is it muttar to sit once the magbia ...
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1answer
84 views

Why The Torah is in scrolls in modern times when books are more convenient

Why The Torah is in scrolls in modern times when books are more convenient to hold and read ? I can understand that in olden days it was convenient to carry and read on scrolls as the Torah was often ...
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2answers
269 views

What to do if you don't want a Torah written with a turkey feather?

Modern Ashkenazi Torahs are often (at least in part) written with turkey feathers. Not always - there are plenty of other quills that are acceptable (and reeds, plastic, and most say metal, among ...
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2answers
222 views

What scribes' Torah scrolls does a non-Orthodox synagogue use?

There are rules, codified in Shulchan Aruch, about how to write a sefer Tora, Torah scroll. An Orthodox congregation's sefer Tora is written in the prescribed manner by an Orthodox sofer — ...
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2answers
85 views

How does a Torah's life end?

Let's say a Torah has been in use for a temple's services for awhile. However the Torah was rendered incapable of use due to a disaster of some sort. Will the Torah (or what's left of it) meet a ...
3
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1answer
115 views

What is to be done with a Sefer Torah written by an apikoreis, or by a soffer of unknown apikoreis-status?

What is to be done with a Sefer Torah written by an apikoreis, or by a soffer of unknown apikoreis-status (whether it be a question of the status of the soffer who wrote it, or if it is unknown who ...
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86 views

What scribal variations (decorations etc) have changed from the earliest sifrei torah until now?

This article reports on the identification of what is possibly the oldest complete sefer torah we have, dated c.1155-1225, at the University of Bologna. (The scroll was previously thought to date to ...
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1answer
131 views

How much of the sefer torah did the king read each day?

According to D'varim 17:18-20, a king was required to write for himself a sefer torah and read from it each day ( וְקָרָא בוֹ כָּל-יְמֵי חַיָּיו). This doesn't say he had to read the whole sefer each ...
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0answers
146 views

The Torah scrolls written by Jewish kings

The Torah commanded Jewish kings to write their own Torah scroll from a master in the possession of the Levites, and to read it every day of their life so that they should not become haughty and so ...
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1answer
313 views

Ta'amei Mikra and the Torah Scroll

I have heard that a haftorah klaf (scroll) is still considered kosher and usable if the Ta'amei Mikra have been written on it. Yet I've always been told that this is not true for a Torah scroll. Why ...
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1answer
96 views

Writing Sefer Torah for Melech (King)

It says in the Mishnah (Sanhedrin Daf 21b): וכותב לו ס"ת לשמו — that a Sefer Torah should be written for the King "l'shmo". What does l'shmo in this case mean: for the "sake of the King"? ...
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2answers
81 views

Sephardim and Two Sifrei Torah

On a day when we take out 2 Sifrei Torah do the Sephardim put both on the bima and open one and read from it leaving the other closed? Or do they put only one on the bima and leave the other in a ...
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1answer
219 views

Correct way to deal with a damaged mini-torah?

My son is 4 years old. When he entered Hebrew School at the local (Reform) synagogue, they gave him a mini-torah as part of a Consecration ceremony. Specifically this one: ...
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2answers
224 views

What is the appropriate method for transporting a Torah scroll?

Is there a best practice for transporting a Torah scroll from one building, or one city, to another?
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2answers
105 views

Sifre Tora in boxes vs. in cloths

All S'faradi synagogues I've been in have each sefer Tora in a box. All Ashk'nazi ones I've been in have each sefer Tora in a cloth. When did this split occur, and why, and how? I assume either: ...
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139 views

Why when we read from two Torah scrolls is the one taken out first returned last and vice versa?

When we Askenazim read from two Torah scrolls, the one taken out first is returned last and the one taken out second is returned first. But we say “maalin bekodesh ve’ain moridin” – we go up in ...
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5answers
283 views

What's a floor?

There are certain laws pertaining to a floor. For example, if a Sefer Torah is dropped on the floor, one is supposed to do some sort of atonement (eg., most famously, fasting for 40 days). What is ...
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68 views

Times where one must refrain from flatulence?

From my understanding one should refrain from passing gas during the amidah prayer and when wearing tefillin. Are there other times where one is adjured not to flatulate, perhaps when holding a sacred ...
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1answer
140 views

Layout of Shiras HaYam: Half-Brick Over Brick

Is there a reason/meaning behind the "half-brick over brick" layout of Shiras Hayam as written in a Sefer Torah? I am familiar with the gemara in Megilla (16b) that states the layout is to be that ...
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56 views

Removing dirt from Sefer Torah on Shabbos

In SA OC Siman 340 in the Taz Sif-Katan 1 and brought in M"B Sif-Katan 10 that one shouldn't remove wax from on top of an ois (letter) in a Sefer because of the issur of "erasing" (mechika). The Biur ...