Between a siddur (prayer book) and Tehilim (or other book of Nach), which should go on top? also, is there a distinction between printed or handwritten?

  • To answer your question regarding handwritten versus printed, they are equal in kedusha. See Aruch Hashulchan, Hilchos Sefer Torah, 282:22 – ezra Jan 10 '18 at 20:26
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    @ezra ??? The Arukh haShulchan says all printed materials are the same, but handwritten manuscripts have difference based on content. – Double AA Jan 10 '18 at 20:49

For reasons that I never understood, R' Aharon Feldman (Rosh Yeshiva of Ner Israel in Baltimore) said that "our" siddurim (which have Tehillim in them, and also a good chunk of Chumash, as well as other parts of Nevi'im in the form of select Haftaras) goes on top of a Tehillim and possibly even on top of a Chumash.

  • on top of chumash too? thats a big chidush. please ask him next time u meet if possible for a source – ray Jan 11 '18 at 6:34

According to the Shulchan Aruch (Y.D. 282:19), the order for stacking seforim is a Sefer Torah on a Chumash; Chumash on Nach.

It seems logical that other books would go beneath these. I have heard (but never seen a source) that the writings of Chazal go after Nach, and then other seforim after that.

The Tehillim, being Nach, would presumably go on top of a siddur. The Shevet HaKehosi (2:299) writes that even siddurim which have the Tehillim in the back is treated like a siddur since that is its primary use and not like a Tehillim. (Interestingly enough, he also writes that a Mikraos Gedolos Chumash is treated like a normal sefer, since its main use is to learn the various meforshim inside.)

The Aruch HaShulchan (Y.D. 283:6) states that all printed seforim are equal in holiness when it comes to stacking them. So in this view (at least the way I understand it) it doesn't matter how you stack them, as long as any handwritten seforim (such as Sefer Torah, Megillah, etc.) is on top.

I couldn't really find a crystal clear answer on this topic, because it seems to be up to much debate and I couldn't find much help in online sources. (Because people are horrible at citing sources, you know?) With G-d's help this is something and perhaps it will aid someone else who knows more about this subject than I.

  • where does it say about siddurim at that link? thanks – ray Jan 10 '18 at 20:35
  • @ray It does not mention a siddur but it does mention Kesuvim which includes Tehillim. It's logical to say that since the Shulchan Aruch records the order being Chumash, Neviim, Kesuvim, and then other seforim that we could conclude a siddur comes after a Tehillim. – ezra Jan 10 '18 at 20:36
  • siddur has a lot of tehilim there and chumash too. wouldnt that make it somewhere in between perhaps or equal? – ray Jan 10 '18 at 20:38
  • @ray I think it depends on the book's primary usage. Most people would use it as a siddur for prayer. – DanF Jan 10 '18 at 21:00
  • I'm surprised about the opinion re Mikra'ot Gedolot. One has to locate the pasuk first, The fact that it has so many commentaries I don't think should change its status as a Chumash. It seems that they would have the same opinion re Art Scroll Stone Chumash. Most people are using it for the English translation and / or the English commentary / synopsis. – DanF Jan 10 '18 at 21:04

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