The top answer to this question states that l’chatchila one should not write in a sefer torah. What about a Gemara? Would one be allowed to use a pencil in it? What if it’s directly on the words like underlining, and you may come to write on the Words themselves?

  • Hi and welcome to MY! Wouldn't it be a stronger question whether one was allowed to write in a chumash? Commented Jul 8, 2021 at 16:03
  • Note that Rashi and Tosfos are notes in the margins of the gemarah. Commented Jul 8, 2021 at 20:46

1 Answer 1


There is no problem writing in a printed sefer. The issue for a Torah scroll is because scrolls have very particular laws as to how they must be written down to the script, parchment and ink.

  • Thank you for your thoughtful answer. The logic makes sense; I would love a source that permits it.
    – user
    Commented Jul 8, 2021 at 15:58
  • 1
    I don't think a source is necessary as 1. The sources quoted are only discussing a sefer torah. We clearly have no problem including cantilation marks in manuscrips or printings of torah that are not ritual scrolls siferi torah. 2. פוק חזי מאי עמא דבר Go out and see what everyone does (Eiruvin 14b sefaria.org/Eruvin.14b.19?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en). Commented Jul 8, 2021 at 16:05
  • I will add that the ensuing discussion eg Aruch Hashulchan YD 274:15 or Beis Hillel 274:1 only even discuss other ritual objects-- Megilos, Tefillin, and mezuzos-- which already have laws governing how they must be written. The Shulchan Aruch also only states that a sefer with additional writing is פסול-- unfit, but not that it is problematic to write. I think this is clearly an issue of an object being fit for a particular use Commented Jul 8, 2021 at 16:15

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