In my research of Torah inerrancy, and following my other question "why-there's-no-deoraytah-prohibition-of-altering-torah-scroll", I notice that the Mishnah does not mention any Halachot of writing a Kosher Torah scroll. If I understand correctly, the first systematized approach to writing Torah is Masechet Sofrim, dated to Geonim time (8th century CE and on).

It seems absolutely fundamental to me that one of the primary concerns of the Jewish Halachah should be the importance of letter-exact copying of our Torah scrolls, as the Gemmorah in Eruvin 13:

בְּנִי, הֱוֵי זָהִיר בִּמְלַאכְתֶּךָ, שֶׁמְּלַאכְתְּךָ מְלֶאכֶת שָׁמַיִם הִיא, שֶׁמָּא אַתָּה מְחַסֵּר אוֹת אַחַת אוֹ מְיַיתֵּר אוֹת אַחַת — נִמְצֵאתָ מַחֲרִיב אֶת כָּל הָעוֹלָם כּוּלּוֹ.

He said to me: My son, be careful in your vocation, as your vocation is heavenly service, and care must be taken lest you omit a single letter or add a single letter out of place, and you will end up destroying the whole world in its entirety. [Addition or omission of a single letter can change the meaning from truth [emet] to death [met].

See also Maharal in Tiferet Israel.

Given the importance of the subject, why didn't Rebbi mention any Halachot of writing a Kosher Torah scroll in the Mishnah?

  • Why doesn't the mishneh mention the thousands of laws that are mentioned only in the gemara though baraisas and other things etc? If you want a complete listing of all of the actual laws of the Torah, then see Mishneh Torah, the Mishnah itself was never ever intended to be used as the final collection of ALL laws, it even says in the gemara that those who learn Mishnah without gemara "destroy the world" chos vishalom, since some mishnahs only follow a minority opinion, others are missing crucial clauses etc, it's just meant as a guide of the general idea, to go together with other teachings Apr 11, 2021 at 22:30
  • @JohnGoshen You might want to claim, that our Mishnah is just a bunch of random Halochos, not a serious body of the Oral Law. I assume the opposite, I assume that an intelligible thought was put into its redaction and that Rebbi and his fellow Rabbis already got hold of the idea of the importance of proper Torah writing and if they held it crucial they would definitely include it in the body of the codex. I agree with you, that many important Mitzvahs are missing, such as Honoring parents and Teffilin, and that only stresses the importance of solving the puzzle.
    – Al Berko
    Apr 12, 2021 at 5:24
  • 1
    Perhaps the rabbis felt it was better left transmitted scribe to scribe, much like kabbalah (מעשה מרכבה). They may have even felt like it wasn't their domain. To this day, our sifrei Torah follow the scribal tradition even when the poskim don't agree with it (this I recall hearing in a shiur). In fact, it is incorrect to demand of mishna or even gemara to record everything. Writing down תורה שבעל פה was considered non-ideal, and anything that didn't need to be written down, was not written down.
    – Derdeer
    Apr 12, 2021 at 7:26
  • @Derdeer Where do feelings belong in Halachic considerations? Is it a law or what? If the scribes don't follow Rabbis their scrolls aren't Kosher and Rabbis can't use them. In which fact it is incorrect to demand to write the most important Halachot? What's the source for your last statement? Did you see it in the Talmud?
    – Al Berko
    Apr 12, 2021 at 15:09
  • Never suggested it was random, every word is exact, but it's exact I'm a way that intentionally doesn't reveal everything, so they can still have the verbal traditions Apr 12, 2021 at 16:48

1 Answer 1


I would ask the question regarding Milah or Schitah which are not extensively discussed in the mishna either, although both are clearly more strict than safrus (milah has an isur karas and Schitah a lav).

The common factor between these mitzvos are that they are hand-ons mitzva and cannot be learnt without a mentor, and does not suffice with a mishna.

  • 1
    Thank you. For pure speculations that you provide here, please use the comment part. EVery point you mention is unsupported and questionable. I stressed the importance of having error-free Torah scrolls, and replying that there are additional Mitzvos missing does not solve the problem. Sorry, -1.
    – Al Berko
    Apr 13, 2021 at 11:10

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