We generally consider T're Asar as one book (as is evident from Bava Basra 14:2). Are there any ways in which we officially treat it as twelve?

(Possible ways I can think of that we might are: having breaks between the twelve sections of the sort that are normally between s'farim, when in a k'laf (scroll); a rule that applies only to complete s'farim applying also to a scroll containing only one of the twelve (tum'a on hands perhaps??); a rule that applies to studying a complete sefer applying also to studying only one of the twelve (siyum b'choros perhaps??).)

  • Toward the weekly topic challenge.
    – msh210
    Mar 29, 2012 at 22:13
  • There is (or at least was) a prohibition on writing non-whole-books of Tanakh (YD 283:2). Do you think asking if that prohibition applies/d to sub-books of Trei Asar would be a duplicate of this post?
    – Double AA
    Nov 26, 2017 at 16:53
  • @DoubleAA, negative answers there would answer this but positive would not, so IMO no.
    – msh210
    Nov 26, 2017 at 18:04
  • @DoubleAA forum.otzar.org/viewtopic.php?t=38728
    – Double AA
    Nov 27, 2019 at 21:46

2 Answers 2


When a scribe writes a full Tanach on a scroll, he leaves 4 blank lines between books of the Torah and 3 blank lines between books on Nevi'im including between books of Trei Asar. (Rambam Sefer Torah 7:15, Shulchan Aruch YD 283:1, and I have seen this done when laining a haftorah from a Trei Asar scroll.)

The Mishna Berurah 144 sk 9 quotes an opinion that prohibits skipping backward to a different book of Nevi'im while reading the Haftorah, even if it is on topic. If I understand him correctly, he extends this ruling to each individual book of Trei Asar.

  • 2
    BTW regarding your thought about tum'at yadayim, any piece of Tanach with at least 85 letters imparts tum'at yadayim per Yadayim 3:5 For comparison, Sefer Ovadiah has about 1100 letters.
    – Double AA
    Nov 13, 2012 at 6:25

Per the Tshuvos V'Hanhogos 1 Chapter 300 you can make a Siyum on Yona for example if necessary. This proves that each one of the Trei Asar is a seperate entity.

אבל בשעת הדחק שאינו מוצא סעודת מצוה בסיום מסכתא יש להקל שילמוד אז עם רש"י ספר נביא כגון : יונה , או מגילת שיר השירים, או מגילת אסתר , וכדומה עם רש"י ומספיק

  • 1
    +1: the quoted text implies Yona is considered a separate entity. But your paraphrase of it doesn't imply that: arguably, one can make a siyum on parts of books too.
    – msh210
    Nov 13, 2012 at 18:30
  • @msh210 כגון judaism.stackexchange.com/q/17970/759
    – Double AA
    Nov 13, 2012 at 18:37

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