What I am going to say might sound like a joke due to my recklessness, but it's serious at the same time which is why I am writing to you.

I finally got the Artscroll English Tanach and I am very afraid that I might defiled it. When I went to get the Tanach from the Bookstore I told to order, I showed it to my friend. And accidentally a little amount of his saliva was dropped on The Book while he was talking. Back then I didn't care much about the accident. When I came back home and started to explore the Tanach. I remembered this accident and I remembered that my friend has herpes in his mouth, and since I am obsessed with cleanliness I wanted to put some medical liquid sterilizer we call it in Lebanon "Spirto" in order to kill some bacteria if there was in the first place, but I was hesitated since I didn't know if this is disrespectful to the Tanach but my obsession with cleanliness urged me to try to put a slight amount of it on the Tanach. In the first time everything was okay, I tried to put it second time and I noticed that after that it left barely noticeable slight malformation of almost an inch on the Tanach's cover, fortunately very superficial.

Though it's very hard to notice it, I am very concerned if the Tanach is defiled. I feel so stupid, the book has been only for few minutes between my hands before such thing happened.

Is it defiled ? If yes, what can I do

  • 3
    I have Tanachs whose covers are literally falling off. Just saying.
    – Scimonster
    Jul 16, 2015 at 19:47
  • 1
    The damage is only to the cover and not to any printed text? Jul 16, 2015 at 19:49
  • 1
    Hmmm - "basic" halachic question - does a Chumash really need a "cover"? If not, what was "defiled"? I assume that by your definition, you mean did you do any sin?
    – DanF
    Jul 16, 2015 at 19:59
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    I know that adding or omitting just one letter to the Tanach makes its version non Kosher. So I am really concerned if I did defiled it and made it non Kosher
    – user9690
    Jul 16, 2015 at 20:03
  • 4
    @MiledHayek "adding or omitting just one letter to the Tanach makes its version non Kosher" - By "non kosher" I assume you mean "non usable". This applies to a hand-written Torah, only, not a printed Tanac"h. There's a separate problem with erasing part of G-d's name even in a printed book.
    – DanF
    Jul 16, 2015 at 20:28

1 Answer 1


Judaism doesn't have a concept of defiling holy books in that sense. They have to be treated respectfully, but even if they weren't (and your case really isn't such an example) they don't lose their status.

  • Could the intensive efforts to clean the volume be considered more respectful than the accidental soiling was disrespectful? Jul 17, 2015 at 9:49

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