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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Why Use Of Torah Crown Only By Shabbos/Yom Tov Shachris?

Many Shules place the Torah's crown on the Sefer Torah only by Shabbos/Yom Tov Shachris, why is that so? Edit: I added Yom Tov as I agree with msh210's observation that it is also true on Yom Tov.
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105 views

Why does the Torah have to be in a scroll format

Why does the Torah have to be in a scroll format? How do we know that's what God wants? What insight do we have into why god wants that? Why is it diffenent from all other religions in the world ...
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Is the mitzva to write a Torah scroll for oneself derived from Deuteronomy 31:19?

This site cites (under Torah - 16) Deuteronomy 31:19 for the reason that there is a mitzva to write your own Torah scroll. That every person shall write a scroll of the Torah for himself. Is ...
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41 views

I would like to buy a Torah scroll in order to host Shabbat services in my home. What should I know and how much should I expect to spend?

It's something that's not immediate because I don't have the space nor the money but I'd like to one day. What would the process be like and how much should I expect to spend?
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51 views

Consequences for dropping a Torah scroll [duplicate]

Just before my Bar Mitzvah, I asked my Hebrew teacher what would happen if I dropped the scroll while holding it. She solemnly told me that I, along with everyone present, would have to fast for some ...
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78 views

Difference between touching a naked Torah vs. a naked Megillah

Megillah 32a: Megillah 32a:38-44: כל האוחז ספר תורה ערום נקבר ערום ערום סלקא דעתך אלא אימא נקבר ערום בלא מצות בלא מצות סלקא דעתך אלא אמר אביי נקבר ערום בלא אותה מצוה Whoever takes hold of ...
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3answers
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Are women explicitly forbidden from handling and reading the Torah?

I am interested to know, despite the "political agendas" involved, if the "women of the wall" are in breach of halacha and if so, which one(s). As a part of that, I ask: Are women explicitly forbidden ...
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Could a Torah Scroll Be Writtin in Ktav Ivri (Paleo Hebrew)?

The Talmud (ibid) brings different opinions about the origin of the two in regards to how was the Torah initially written. It is agreed by all that the language has remained the same, Hebrew – ...
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42 views

Why Is A Yemenite Torah Scroll Kosher? [duplicate]

How come a yemenite Torah scroll is kosher to read from, even though it is different from all other Torah scrolls?
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3answers
104 views

Why is beautification essential for a sefer torah?

The gemara in Gitin 54b declares worthless a Torah scroll that had all the Tetragrammatons rewritten because it ends up looking menumar (spotted), apparently because this would be a violation of "ze ...
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Figuring out where Torah scrolls come from

Lets say a synagogue has inherited a lot of Torah scrolls, but doesn't know where many of them come from. How would they go about determining from which countries these scrolls hail from? Are there ...
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1answer
59 views

Displaying Torah Fragments on a Wall [duplicate]

Assume the following: A Torah scroll has gone into such disrepair that it could not be made Kasher again. Rather than burying the remaining leaves that are still usable, they are sold off as art ...
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1answer
55 views

What factors might allow a shul not to repair a passul Sefer Torah?

Our shul has numerous Torah scrolls that are passul (unusable). I'm assuming that they contain missing or rubbed-out letters, and other errors that would invalidate using the Torah. Our shul ...
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95 views

Are there any mentions of Torah Scrolls before Ezra?

Ezra the Scribe famously discovered a Torah Scroll and instituted public Torah readings on Shabat, Monday, and Thursday. Are there any mentions of Torah Scrolls (specifically written) between Moshe ...
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Is one allowed to create a “mixed” Vavei Ha'amudim and non Vavei Ha'mudim Torah?

Related to this M.Y. question: The answers and comments seem to state that one cannot create a Torah that has two different writing styles. During Simchat Torah, I noticed that the main Torah I read ...
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Is there an online resource that gives an “overview” of safrut?

Between Mincha and Ma'ariv on Shmini Atzeret, I'd like to give a short shiur on some interesting facts about how a Torah is written. I'm looking for some fairly easy to understand online resources on ...
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1answer
105 views

How are Sifrei Torah typically checked today?

Our shul has about 10 Sifrei Torah (no exaggeration) that are all passul. I am curious how complicated it would be to discover where the problems are. Someone told me that today, many sofrim (scribes)...
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73 views

Would a non-Israeli Jewish king need to write a sefer Torah?

In Deuteronomy/Devorim 17:14, and 17:18-20 we see that a king of Israel is required to write a copy of the Torah to read and keep with him always. Would a convert to Judaism, who is a king of another ...
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40 views

Spanish-Portuguese Torah Vestments

The first Shabbat I was in Yerushalayim (Parshat Shoftim) my father and I davened at the Italian Synagogue. While the nusach there follows the older Roman nusach, the Sifrei Torah are caparisoned in ...
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Are the chaseiros and yiseiros (optional vowelizing letters) in our Torahs identical to the original? [duplicate]

In the introduction to the Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash, it says that it is an important belief that every letter of the Torah is the original as dictated by God to Moshe, and it says that every ...
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38 views

Are there any halachot regarding the “atzei chayim” (wooden poles) placed on a Torah scroll?

Are there any halachot regarding the poles used on the sides of a Torah scroll? For example: All the poles that I have seen are made from wood. Must they be made from wood or can any materials ...
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90 views

Is one allowed to remove sections from a Torah to repair one or more pasul ones?

This is a scenario of possibly benefiting multiple communities. Let's say there are five different shuls all in remote communities. Each shul has just one Torah but it is pasul (non usable). They ...
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279 views

what is the single letter difference between ashkenazi and sephardi torah scrolls

According to http://onthemainline.blogspot.co.uk/2005/12/textual-criticism-of-torah-response-to.html The only letter difference between Ashkenazim and Sephardim is whether a particular word ends ...
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Does the Rambam's definition of cofer Torah no longer hold? [duplicate]

In hilchot teshuvah, perek 3, halacha 8, the Rambam writes that someone "who denies the Torah" is "one who says the Torah, or one verse, or one word is not from God". Taking into consideration the ...
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What is Sta"m ink made from?

I have several questions related to Sta"m (Torah, mezuzot tefillin) ink: What materials are allowable? What materials are typically used to make the ink? Why these materials, specifically? (cheaper, ...
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112 views

Torah - as a source of ritual impurity

During the Second Temple period, Torah scroll was considered to be a source of ritual impurity? Today this is not the case. When did this halakha change?
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64 views

Can Torah scrolls be stored in drawers laying horizontally?

All arks that I have seen have the Torah scrolls stored standing vertically in the ark. Is this an absolute halachic requirement that the Torah must be stored vertically? What if an ark contained a ...
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1answer
206 views

Why do most Ashkenazim read the Torah flatly on a table while many Sefardim read it standing vertically?

(In case you didn't know,) I am Ashkenazic. Most Ashkenazic congregations perform Torah reading by laying the Torah flatly on a table and reading the Torah as it is on the table. Many Sefardic ...
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Rabbi Akiva and Ketarim

In Menachos the Gemara relates the Moshe asked Hashem about the meaning of the "crowns" on many Hebrew letters as written in the Torah. Hashem then gives the following response: אמר לו, אדם אחד יש ...
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Following both Rashi and Rabbeinu Tam (mezuzah, sefer torah and tefillin)

I have heard it said that the reason as to why Ashkenazim place their mezuzot at an angle is to harmonise the opinion of Rashi, who held that it should be vertical (Menachot 33a, s.v. איסתוירא), with ...
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1answer
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Where to place the tie/wrap when doing Gelilah

We were taught as kids that when doing Gelilah (for an Ashkenazi Sefer Torah) that the tie/wrap around the Sefer Torah should be in the upper-third of the Sefer Torah similar to a Mezuzah should be in ...
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Should the same laining procedure be followed for errors outside the aliyah as the ones during the aliyah?

According to Shulchan Aruch O.C. 143:4 (Mechaber), if someone finds a mistake in the Torah during the aliyah he is reading, he should stop, take out another Torah, finish the aliyah, and have the oleh ...
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Touching the Klaf of the Torah not while reading it

Is there a distinction made between during Torah reading and not during Torah reading in regards to the halacha to not touch the klaf (parchment) of a Torah scroll directly? I have seen people use ...
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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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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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128 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 this,...
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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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364 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
117 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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147 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 ...
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1answer
108 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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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 ...