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According to Halacha, if there is a sefer Torah that is ripped, do you have to spend money to get it fixed, or throw it out in Geniza, or throw it out without Geniza?

Is there no requirement to fix it when it’s broken, and if so does it lose Kedushah, and can be discarded without Geniza?

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  • As a practical matter, if the issue is just one single tear, it will almost always be cost effective to have it fixed up
    – Double AA
    Jan 28 at 21:54
  • I believe the Gemara says a person should not keep an unfit S”T for fear that someone may use it. Instead, a person should immediately repair it. Nowadays, when we have an abundance of kosher S”T, there is no fear it will be used but synagogues generally cover it in a plastic bag so it will not be used, until it can be repaired.
    – ezra
    Jan 28 at 21:54
  • @ezra that may not apply here since there isn't a textual mistake that can lead to mistaken knowledge of the text
    – Double AA
    Jan 28 at 21:55
  • @DoubleAA True, but I always also pointing out that there seems to be a great mitzva in rushing to repair a Sefer Torah rather than letting it sit unfit. I agree with your comment that it’s definitely more cost effective to have a single tear repaired rather than replacing it
    – ezra
    Jan 28 at 21:57
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    For your basic question, see the Tur and Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 280 sefaria.org/…. It describes how bad a tear can be repaired. If it's not allowed to be repaired, generally you'd need to replace that one sheet.
    – MichoelR
    Jan 29 at 0:06

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The preferred approach is to fix it as long as it is feasible (and even a badly ripped Sefer Torah can normally be fixed by replacing that part of the parchment - since a safer Torah is constructed by stitching together many smaller parts of parchment). R Moishe Dovid Lebovits mentions this here

A sefer Torah that is non-kosher and not checked should either be fixed or put into sheimos. However, we will discuss the parameters of this below. If it can’t be fixed one should bury it, but if it can be fixed then one should fix it (Asei Lecha Rav 6:65, V’ata Kisvu, Y.D. 279:6).

He goes on to describe what should be done in case the sefer Torah is too damaged (typically burying it near the grave of a almid chacham).

At least in Israel, there is always demand for sifrei Torah, whether for new synagogues or for the army that aims to have one with every group of soldiers and doesn't always succeed.

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