While reading parshat Naso last week, it was easy to notice that near the end of the reading, there is a large section discussing the donations made by the 12 tribes for the dedication of the Tabernacle.

For the most part, the words in each of the 12 paragraphs (actually, 10 of the twelve) are identical except for the day of the donation and the name of the tribe leader.

Let's say a Torah needed to be repaired. Let's say that the paragraph of the 3rd day needs to be repaired (there are multiple mistakes in that paragraph). I have another passul (unusable Torah) from which I want to cutout the piece of parchment containing the whole paragraph but it's from a different day. (See this M.Y. answer regarding the fact that one may patch a Torah.) Assume that in the other passul Torah, the lettering in the paragraph that matches the day I want to replace is also passul in the same area, and a sofer declares that that other Torah can't be repaired at all because it's general parchment strength is brittle.

So, in short, when one makes a patch replacement, does he need to repatch from the same area that he is replacing, or can he take identical words from somewhere else, and just erase and change a few words that he needs to? What if he doesn't need to make any corrections afterwards, but he's just cutting out from somewhere else? Does that change the rules?

  • I doubt it's allowed.
    – Scimonster
    Commented Jun 6, 2015 at 22:10
  • @Scimonster I also doubt it. 2 doubts = 1 "debt" ;-) Then, again, we could both be wrong, too. A hunch ... this may be another one of a few of my M.Y. "stumpers". I could be wrong about that, too. I'll see if I can CMLS (contact my local Sofer.)
    – DanF
    Commented Jun 7, 2015 at 3:10
  • Related, at some level - judaism.stackexchange.com/q/61912/501 Commented Aug 16, 2015 at 9:10
  • In general writing on patches as you describe is supposed to be avoided because they tend to come off. If it were a matter of replacing yeriot it would be fine.
    – Yitzchak
    Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 15:41
  • Possibly an issue of Ta'aseh v'lo min ha'asoy? Since there's a requirement to WRITE the words, pasting an already written section in place on an existing klaf doesn't "mach'shir" the underlying klaf, much like sewing a fourth corner with tzitzis already on it to your talis... Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 20:40

1 Answer 1


The קסת הסופר (written by the author of the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch) writes in 18:7 that one first has to glue on the patch and only then write on it.

More so, if a patch - with writing - fell off, one may not glue it back on.

ז: גם צריכים ליזהר מאוד לדבק תחלה את המטלית ואח"כ לדבקו. וכן אם היה כתוב עליו ונפרד לא המני לדבקו עם הכתוב עליו.‏

In the לשכת הסופר - a running commentary to the קסת הסופר - he brings sources from various earlier poskim - like the ש"ך and ט"ז and מוהרי"ק and ספר מלאכת סופר.

The reasoning he brings is that it's (possibly) a problem of תעשה ולא מן העשוי and since the entire patching is a leniency one should be stringent not to do 2 leniencies: both תעשה ולא מן העשוי and patching.

(תעשה ולא מן העשוי is a halachic concept of making things and u not using things that are made. E.g. you cannot affix a mezuzah and then create the doorway, you cannot put up the Schach and then build a Sukka around it. So too here you cannot write on a patch and then add it to the Sefer Torah.)

  • Are you sure about that? I thought R Ganzfried wrote both the קסת הסופר and the לשכת הסופר
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 12:26
  • @DoubleAA - could be - maybe I misread the title page - hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=41270&st=&pgnum=1 - fixed. Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 12:29
  • I'm not sure this answers my question. Specifically, what needs to be translated is "you cannot write on a patch and then add it to the Sefer Torah". Does this refer to a blank small piece of parchment where you write just what you need? Or does it refer also to my question where a patch is being created by cutting out part of another Torah and that's being used to put into a different Torah?
    – DanF
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 13:58
  • Does the Mishnat haSofer say anything ad loc? I'll b"n check my copy when I get home, but that won't be for a few days Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 14:12

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