Scenario / Example:

This Shabbat is parshat Sheqalim, the first of 4 special Shabbatot before Pesach. We will take out two Sifrei Torah.

Upon returning the Torot to the ark, one would like to shift the position of one of the Torot that are in the ark, currently. The shul ark has two rows of Torot. Getting to the back row is a bit tedious, as it involves reaching over other sifrei Torah or removing the one in front of it.

The Zachor Torah is behind the now empty spot of the Sheqalim Torah. The Torah carrier wants to move the Torah that will be used for parshat Zachor into the now empty spot previously occupied by the Sheqalim Torah, and place the Sheqalim Torah in the Zachor Torah slot.

Is he allowed to do this, or would this be considered preparation for something not needed for the current Shabbat?

Another possible problem - Is this considered torach tzibbur - even if this takes a few seconds.

I've used the above as a sample, but please answer generally regarding moving any Sifrei Torah around on Shabbat, specifically at the point that the Torah is being returned to the ark. I'm assuming that one cannot make these preparations when a service is not occurring, as, to me, that appears to be preparation. However, here, maybe it isn't since you are also returning a Torah to the ark; you're just putting it in a different spot.

Also assume that the need to do this now, is that the shul is not open during the weekday, and they're trying to avoid Torach tzibbur on Shabbat Zachor.

1 Answer 1


Disclaimer! I am not a posek.

This question is dependent on several sugyos

  • Muktzeh (tiltul bshabbos)
  • Hachana
  • Tircha Dztibbura

I wanted to say that it seems like there would not be a problem of טלטול, being as such that the sefer torah is being moved לצורך מקומו (of this shabbos). If it was being moved שלא לצורך there would be a potential problem of טלטול בשבת.

The other two inyanim, I believe require real שקול הדעת of a qualified posek.

  • This answer is a bit weak. The second and third item in the list are essentially repeating what I've asked. I know what muktzeh is about, but for the benefit of others as well as me, please explain / summarize what טלטול is about. Within my question, it's arguable if the movement is really לצורך מקומו (of this shabbos). The Torah that you are returning has already been used and won't be used for Mincha. The one in the back is definitely being moved in preparation for a different Shabbat.
    – DanF
    Feb 16, 2018 at 3:16
  • 1
    I only wrote the post to start breaking down the question into its different parts, i offered my thoughts only on what i felt was within my limits. I hope somebody continues where I left off. (if you do please bring mekoros) Feb 16, 2018 at 10:21
  • Kaf zechut granted :-) Shabbat Shalom Vechodesh Tov.
    – DanF
    Feb 16, 2018 at 16:13
  • 3
    @IbberChochem In that case it should be a comment, not an answer.
    – user9643
    Feb 20, 2018 at 23:54

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