Do the Scriptures themselves say to write lines when making a copy of the Torah, or if this is an oral tradition?

  • 1
    How do you define Scriptures? Most details of most laws come from the Oral Law which complements the Written Law. Nov 1, 2018 at 12:08
  • I would be interested in knowing where this is said anywhere (written or oral). I asked this question though because someone told me it said this in the Torah itself, but I could not find it. But I thought maybe they meant one of the other writings instead...
    – Phillip
    Nov 2, 2018 at 13:15
  • It's important to note, that we don't "write" lines when making a copy of the Torah. The appropriate word would be to "score" lines into the parchment. [Score = a line (such as a scratch or incision) made with or as if with a sharp instrument]. Nov 6, 2018 at 11:28

2 Answers 2


You may be looking for this information in Maimonides, Hil. Sefer Torah 1:12:

הֲלָכָה לְמשֶׁה מִסִּינַי שֶׁאֵין כּוֹתְבִין סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה וְלֹא מְזוּזָה אֶלָּא בְּשִׂרְטוּט:

It is a rule dating back to Moses who received it on Sinai1 that a Torah scroll or Mezuzah may only be written on parchment that has lines.

1Law given to Moses at Sinai

  • Might be worth expanding on the defintion of הלכה למשה מסיני
    – Joel K
    Oct 31, 2018 at 15:24
  • The scriptures source would then be the Yerushalmi Talmud, as the Rambam's commentators note. Nov 6, 2018 at 14:36

This is not mentioned anywhere in the Written Law - but it's well documented in the Oral Law, in this case in the Talmud.

See, for example, Megila 16b which states:

דברי שלום ואמת אמר רבי תנחום ואמרי לה אמר רבי אסי מלמד שצריכה שרטוט כאמיתה של תורה

With regard to what is stated: “Words of peace and truth” (Esther 9:30), Rabbi Tanḥum said, and some say that Rabbi Asi said: This teaches that a Megilla scroll requires scoring, i.e., that the lines for the text must be scored onto the parchment, as the Torah itself, i.e., as is done in a Torah scroll.

  • Some interpret אמיתה של תורה as a Mezuza not a Torah scroll
    – Double AA
    Nov 6, 2018 at 10:43
  • 1
    Those Rishonim that interpret אמיתה של תורה as a Mezuza not a Torah scroll, also require scoring for a Torah scroll, albeit a more limited form of scoring. he.wikipedia.org/wiki/… Nov 6, 2018 at 11:32

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