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This question already has an answer here:

Assume the following: A Torah scroll has gone into such disrepair that it could not be made Kasher again. Rather than burying the remaining leaves that are still usable, they are sold off as art pieces. If someone were to display one of these leaves from an old retired Torah scroll, what things would need to be considered? Assume that the divine name is on the leaf or leaves.

There is another question similar to mine which asks what happens when a Torah's life ends, and that it is forbidden to use a Torah as art. However, that doesn't answer the question of it the Torah fragment is already being used as art, what precautions should one take?

marked as duplicate by sabbahillel, Danny Schoemann, Daniel, rosends, Scimonster Jan 27 '16 at 12:52

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • The relevant section of the answer pointed to by @DoubleAA would seem to forbid putting it up on the wall as "art" (which seems to me to be treated it disrespectfully). If it cannot be fixed, the scroll is to be buried within 30 days, as above. It should be buried inside a earthenware vessel and alongside a Torah scholar (OC 154:5). (See Igrot Moshe OC 4:38 regarding maintaining an unfixable Torah scroll in an honorary place in a synagogue instead of burying it.) – sabbahillel Jan 25 '16 at 23:37
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    Please edit to indicate why you suspect that the proper precaution to take with said art is anything other than to bury it. – Isaac Moses Jan 26 '16 at 5:26
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    I don't understand your second paragraph. How is your question different than (e.g.) "What precautions should someone take if they are going to eat non-kosher food?" – Daniel Jan 26 '16 at 15:35
  • @Daniel it might not be any different. Except there are varying degrees to it. If one was going to eat non kosher food, it would be preferable that they eat beef rather than shrimp, or am i wrong in that assumption? – Aaron Jan 26 '16 at 17:48
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I just received an email about a similar question from Yagdil Torah

Place: Lausanne, Switzerland. Date: 1963

The Swiss government once decided to put together an exhibition including various artifacts and items of interest which would be displayed before the public. One of the items they wanted to display was a sefer Torah, and they asked Rabbi Schwartz, a Rabbi in one of the local communities, for permission to borrow a sefer Torah from the shul. Was it permitted to hand over a sefer Torah to be displayed as an exhibit?

Rabbi Schwartz posed this question to R. Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg, from the nearby city of Montreaux. R. Weinberg confirmed Rabbi Schwartz's reservations about transporting a sefer Torah to another location where it will not be used for kriah purposes (see Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 135:14 and commentaries ad loc.). In fact, there are two more halachic considerations as well: one may not give a sefer Torah to a non-Jew, and one may not leave a sefer Torah open, as would be done if it would be displayed as an exhibit (see Shach, Yoreh Dei'ah 277:1).

However, in this case, the government would take it as an insult if their request would be denied. Furthermore, this exhibit would create a kiddush Hashem, as it would give hundreds of non-Jews the chance to view and appreciate the sefer Torah. On these grounds, R. Weinberg ruled that it would be permitted to allow them to borrow a sefer Torah. He added that there are two reasons why there is room for leniency:

  1. It was once an accepted practice to take out a sefer Torah to honor a king (see Pischei Teshuvah, Yoreh Dei'ah 282:1). Nowadays, the government has the same status as the kings of old, and one may remove a sefer Torah from shul to heed their bidding.

  2. One may remove a sefer Torah from shul to show its beauty to others (see Shu"t Gur Aryeh Yehudah, Yoreh Dei'ah §24).

However, R. Weinberg adds a number of stipulations that should be kept. First of all, they should choose a sefer Torah that is possul to be displayed, and preferably one with a pessul that cannot be corrected. Second, Jews from Lausanne should visit the exhibit on a daily basis and read from the open portion of the sefer Torah without a berachah.

Shu"t Seridei Eish 2:79 (old print: 3:98)


Rabbi Schwartz posed this question to R. Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg, from the nearby city of Montreaux. R. Weinberg confirmed Rabbi Schwartz's reservations about transporting a sefer Torah to another location where it will not be used for kriah purposes (see Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 135:14 and commentaries ad loc.). In fact, there are two more halachic considerations as well: one may not give a sefer Torah to a non-Jew, and one may not leave a sefer Torah open, as would be done if it would be displayed as an exhibit (see Shach, Yoreh Dei'ah 277:1).

  • 1 and 3 still apply in this case, but 2 (giving the Torah to a non-Jew) may not

However, in this case, the government would take it as an insult if their request would be denied.

  • In this case, the government isn't offended as it's not involved

Furthermore, this exhibit would create a kiddush Hashem, as it would give hundreds of non-Jews the chance to view and appreciate the sefer Torah.

*depends on who visits your house :)

On these grounds, R. Weinberg ruled that it would be permitted to allow them to borrow a sefer Torah. He added that there are two reasons why there is room for leniency:

It was once an accepted practice to take out a sefer Torah to honor a king (see Pischei Teshuvah, Yoreh Dei'ah 282:1). Nowadays, the government has the same status as the kings of old, and one may remove a sefer Torah from shul to heed their bidding.

  • No king involved

One may remove a sefer Torah from shul to show its beauty to others (see Shu"t Gur Aryeh Yehudah, Yoreh Dei'ah §24).

  • May still be true

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