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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518 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
350 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 ...
8
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4answers
196 views

Copies of Aleppo Codex

From what I understand, the loss of the Torah portion of Keter Aram Soba (the Aleppo Codex) in 1948 is heavily lamented because it was the oldest preserved and probably most accurate text of Torah. ...
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2answers
96 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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0answers
34 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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0answers
67 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 ...
3
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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 ...
4
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1answer
107 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 ...
3
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2answers
142 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
316 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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vote
1answer
70 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 ...
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1answer
158 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 ...
8
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1answer
112 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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votes
6answers
4k views

Which alphabet were the original Torah scrolls in?

I've assumed that the Torah scrolls we read today as the same that Moses wrote. I always assumed it's been the same alphabet. However lately I came across documents explaining the evolution of the ...
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0answers
37 views

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 ...
5
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2answers
133 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 ...
6
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2answers
65 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
353 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 ...
12
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1answer
841 views

What does the /shin/ marker (like Petucha/Setuma) at the end of Torah books mean?

I've been reading about details of Torah sofrut, and after learning about the paragraph markers peh / פ (petucha) and samekh / ס (setuma), I noticed some similarly placed shin markers (mostly at the ...
3
votes
1answer
423 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
79 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 ...
12
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1answer
358 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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2answers
205 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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1answer
121 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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0answers
187 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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2answers
334 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
167 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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vote
1answer
100 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
172 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
320 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
112 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
votes
1answer
173 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
96 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
149 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 ...
1
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1answer
116 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"? ...
4
votes
2answers
113 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: ...
7
votes
1answer
252 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: ...
2
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2answers
413 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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0answers
77 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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0answers
63 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
344 views

Can a Jew sell a sefer Torah to a non-Jew? Why or why not?

A question was raised whether a non-Jew can run a Judaica store. My thought on that was it depended on what types of judaica he sold. I doubted that a sofer would sell him mezuzah parchments, ...
6
votes
1answer
367 views

Can a chumash be used for a public torah reading?

I recently attended a weekday morning minyan where the Torah reader was reading simultaneously from a sefer Torah and a printed Chumash. It appeared that the person was mostly reading from Chumash and ...
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votes
1answer
411 views

What are the halachot when finding a Sefer Torah on the floor?

Recently, 6 Torah Scrolls that were stolen from the Tzemach Tzedek shul in Yerushalaim were found on the floor of a cave. I am curious what the halachic differences are (if any) between finding a ...
2
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1answer
136 views

Fasting when Navi on Klaf falls on the floor

As is known if a Sefer Torah falls on the floor (even if it's covered) there is a halacha that one must fast. (See this question and answer for many sources on this topic.) What about in a case when ...
2
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0answers
106 views

Use of a commoner's talis to read the Torah on

Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 153:21: אין לקנות מעילים שנשתמש בהם הדיוט לתשמיש קדושה One must not purchase for holy use garments that a commoner used. "Holy use" here includes use as the ...
7
votes
1answer
342 views

Customs surrounding fasting when a sefer torah falls to the floor?

Based on this question I would like to know what the earliest source for fasting when a sefer torah falls comes from? Is is true that if a person is in the room but turns away so as not to see it ...
6
votes
1answer
230 views

Learning the shapes of the letters as a Baal Koreh

I would have thought that the shapes of the letters would be a good thing for Baal Koreh to know, but I was told that since Sefrie Torah are not invalidated until they are declared as such, this would ...
5
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1answer
176 views

Bells on Sefer Torah

If musical instruments are forbidden on shabbat why do we adorn the crown of a (ashkenazik) sefer torah with bells?
5
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2answers
239 views

Why does a Torah have 2 poles and a Megillah have 1?

A Torah scroll is a very long piece of parchement with two poles ("atzei chayim") at either end, while a Megillat Esther is a not-as-long piece of parchment with one pole at the end of the book. ...
6
votes
2answers
180 views

Fulfilled the Mitzvah of writing a Sefer Torah then lost the Sefer

Suppose a person had a Sefer Torah written in order to fulfill the Mitzvah (Devarim 31:19) and then the Torah got lost, has he still fulfilled his mitzvah, or is he required to write another one?