There is an issue with taking out a sefer Torah and not learning/reading from it, as it is disrespectful to the sefer.

Does such a concern exist by other sefarim?

I ask because I know that for some halachos, sefarim are compared to a sefer Torah, like the opinion of the Rosh that purchasing sefarim can be a fulfillment of the mitzvah to write a sefer Torah.

  • I don't know (which is why I'm not posting this as an answer). But I have heard that some have the custom of using a sefer kodesh that fell on the floor in order to respect it.
    – msh210
    Aug 19, 2014 at 6:37

2 Answers 2


There are cases where you can use a sefer for not learning for example you can use another sefer (of equal or less kedusha) to raise the height of the sefer one is learning from. However I couldn't find anything that said specifically that you can't take out a sefer and not learn from it.

In general we should be sure to show great honor and reverence to sefarim, similar to that accorded to Tefillin. [Sefer Chassidim 917 / Beit Yosef O.C. 240:6]

So your litmus test needs to be "Am I treating the Sefer in a respectful manner even though I am not learning from it ?" If yes, e.g cleaning it from dust before Pesach then you don't need to learn from it.

For a list of things that shouldn't be done with seforim you can read this article by Rabbi Ari Elkin He also helps to understand the relationship between a sefer torah and seforim.

Here is a Maaseh Rav from Reb Ahron of Belz ZT"L

The previous Belzer Rebbe - Reb Ahron ZT"L had many personal chumros including how he would act with Sefrom. If he asked his gabbai to bring a certain gemorah (or any sefer) to him and by accident another gemorah was brought then he had the gabbai learn a few lines from the gemorah before putting it back and getting the correct one.


I didnt see anyone who say that taking a book out is a disrespectful behavior. BUT in Shabat it maybe a Borer Problem- if you use it then there is no problem at all. But when you just take it out- I saw some Achronim that says it a Borer.

Rav Neuwirth in Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchatah says its a problem only if thay stands one up on another but if they stands one near the other there is no problem at all.

Hope it helps :)

  • I think the borer problem is irrespective of whether or not you learn from it. Aug 25, 2014 at 14:32
  • I agree, but it reminded me that Shabat Rule and I thought he might want to consider it as well... Aug 25, 2014 at 14:41

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