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Is a statement against or about the peril of adding or subtracting a letter from the Torah made by Rashi ?

I recall hearing that Rashi said that if one letter were erased from the Torah, the entire world would be destroyed.

I tried to find the quote but couldn't find it. The nearest I found, was in this article here, though from the Talmud, not from Rashi

https://www.torah-code.org/controversy/THE_ACCURACY_OF_OUR_WRITTEN_TORAH.pdf

"be careful with your task, for it is sacred work; if you add or subtract even a single letter, [it is as if] you have destroyed the entire world!" (Eruvin 13a).

(the editor of that article has clearly interpreted that it's saying "it is as if".

Sefaria have it as saying, of Rabbi Akiva saying some warning to a scribe that if he were to "omit a single letter or add a single letter (out of place), and you will end up destroying the whole world in its entirety.

" When I studied with Rabbi Akiva as his disciple, I used to put iron sulfate into the ink, and he did not say anything to me. But when I came to study with Rabbi Yishmael, he said to me: My son, what is your vocation? I replied: I am a scribe [lavlar] (who writes Torah scrolls.) 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]. ) "

I'm wondering whether Rashi ever stated this if so, where?

And if Rashi did say it, then I'm wondering whether Rashi says if a letter is removed or added / wrong, then the entire world is destroyed, or if Rashi only said that it's "only" as if the entire world was destroyed.

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  • Rashi comments right there on the gemara you cite מחסר אות אחת. וה' אלהים אמת אם תחסר אל"ף הרי אתה מחריב וידבר ה' אם תוסיף אות אחת ותכתוב וידברו נמצאת מחריב: and also similarly in the parallel gemara in sota 20a אם תחסר אות אחת. כגון א' וה' אלהים אמת או תייתר אות אחת כגון בראשית בראו אלהים:
    – Double AA
    Feb 21, 2023 at 16:19

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The idea that changing a letter will destroy the world is from the first perek in Medrash Tanchuma. Exerpt from Sefaria

https://www.sefaria.org/Midrash_Tanchuma%2C_Bereshit.1.1?lang=bi

For example, it is written in the Torah: Profane not My Holy Name (Lev. 22:2); but if you should change the het in the word yehallelu (“profane”) into a heh, the word would read “praise,” and you would thereby destroy the world. Conversely, where it is written Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord (Ps. 150:6), if you should alter the heh in the word tehallel (“praise”) into a het, the word would read “profane,” and you would thereby destroy the world.

It sounds to me like it isnt meant that a misspelling will actually destroy the world, but Im not sure exactly how to explain it.

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  • The source in the question (R' Yishmael on Eruvin 13a) is seemingly older than the Tanchuma
    – Double AA
    Feb 21, 2023 at 16:31
  • This source seems to discuss the the importance of the small details of the letters (such as the connection between the leg and the roof of ח) not adding or subtracting letters as in the OP.
    – Double AA
    Feb 21, 2023 at 16:33

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