Does the amount of Kedusha that a sefer has add up, or is it capped?

Is Tanach equal to Torah plus Nach, or is it limited to just Torah?

My intention when I first posted this was for which one should be put higher on a stack (if we assume that there are different levels of Kedusha for printed books), but now I see that there may be other Nafkot Mina!

Thanks so much in advance!

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    A handwritten Tanakh has less holiness than a handwritten Torah scroll since by attaching other stuff to it you have invalidated it as a Torah scroll, but I have no idea how to determine a printed object's 'holiness level'. – Double AA Aug 25 '20 at 19:36
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    I believe as far as halacha lema'aseh (I would need to check the source - hence the comment) that if a person does not lein the haftarah from a klaf that he should lein specifically out of tanach as opposed to the back of chumash. – Dov Aug 25 '20 at 20:51
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    @Dov That's a common misconception. The preference is to read out of a complete book, so if the haftara is from Joshua you can use any complete Book of Joshua. It so happens most places that rely on that position just buy a single Tanakh for convenience since it's cheap enough and readily available, but there's no advantage to a Tanakh over a Joshua for the purpose of reading a haftara from Joshua. Whether the books of Torah or Ketuvim are included is completely irrelevant to the whole discussion. (Related link) – Double AA Aug 25 '20 at 21:38
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    This answer says that the Aruch Hashulchan, referencing the Rema, holds that all sefarim (Chumash and Navi mentioned specifically, but then he broadens it to include even Oral Torah, so it presumably also includes Ketuvim and other books with the Name written) are considered equal for the purpose of stacking. – Mike Aug 26 '20 at 2:53
  • @DoubleAA thank you for clearing that up. I've seen places insist on using a Tanach for Shir HaShirim, for example, when by definition any book you use will have the complete Sefer. (How do we come out with Trei Asar? Is any Yonah or Ovadiah good enough on its own?) – Shalom Sep 25 '20 at 9:24

I don't know if we regard the following as having more 'kedusha' per se, but from a practical halacha perspective there is an instance where we value a printed tanach above that of a printed Chumash.

Building on my comment, as far as leining a haftarah, the Magen Avraham 284:1 and the Taz 284:2 write that it is preferable to use a sefer tanach over a chumash that has the haftarah of that week's portion at the back.

The Mishnah Berurah 284:1 gives a good summary here. The main thrust is that the Taz and Magen Avraham permit reading the Haftorah from something printed and the Magen Avraham and Eliyahu Rabah require a full Navi. Haftoros in a printed Chumash should be ideally avoided. However, (thank you @DoubleAA for clarification), if there is no full Navi, one can be meikel (lenient), and not miss out the Haftarah.

  • I don't understand this answer. There's also an instance where we value an Esther scroll over a Torah scroll, namely Purim night. So what? Different objects have different uses. So too sometimes a Lulav is more valuable than a Shofar. A Torah is used for Torah readings and a Navi is used for Haftara readings and an Esther is used for Purim readings and... – Double AA Aug 25 '20 at 23:26
  • The OP asked if a printed Tanach has more kedusha than a printed Torah - whilst I noted that it may not be a 'kedusha' reason, there are sources that expressly point to an instance where a printed tanach takes precedence over a Chumash. – Dov Aug 26 '20 at 7:31
  • I don't understand how that addresses my comment. And it's not even really true. You've misunderstood the sources. The chumash part has nothing to do with the question of haftara. The question of haftara is just is the entire Navi there. It doesn't matter at all if the 5 chumashim are printed as well. – Double AA Aug 26 '20 at 12:30

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