Questions tagged [sefer-torah]

A scroll of parchment on which is written the Five Books of Moses. Portions from it are read aloud in synagogue at least 4 times a week.

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Were scrolls ever written on both sides?

Every Hebrew scroll I've ever seen has been written on only one side. This makes sense both due to the physical properties of velum (the outer side is smooth and easy to write on; the inner side is ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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May we illuminate scrolls?

Since the Middle Ages, it has become more common to find illuminated megillot Esther: kosher scrolls of Esther with pictures around the text. Here is one example: link. I have seen such a megillat ...
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Where was the Torah that Moshe wrote kept?

Did Moshe have a written copy of the Torah? If so, where was it kept when Moshe was alive? In the Mishkan (Tabernacle)? In the Kodesh haKodashim (Holy of Holies)?
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2 votes
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Do Sifrei Torah use kashida justification? [duplicate]

During aliyah, I noticed that the certain letters in the Sefer Torah what appeared to me to be kashida justification. From Wikipedia: Kashida or Kasheeda (Persian: کشیده; "extended", "...
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3 votes
1 answer
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The length of a line in Torah scroll

Looking at different fragments of ancient and contemporary scrolls, I wondered What are the considerations of determining the length of a line in Torah scroll/Chumash? Dead Sea Scrolls the Damascus ...
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1 vote
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What is this Ktav?

My son sent me this picture of an old voweled text, probably around 10-12 centuries CE. What stands out, is that the letter He is connected and Chet is flat on the left side. Is this a fragment of a ...
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3 votes
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First archaeological evidence of Crowns on Letters in a written scroll

What is the first archaeological evidence of Crowns on Letters in a written scroll of Torah? I took a look at the oldest Torah scrolls and didn't see the crowns until the 12th century.
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1 vote
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The procedure of checking new scrolls against the Torah scroll in the Ark

I remember an interpretation of the purpose of the Torah scroll in the Ark (or maybe another scroll in the Temple), to check other scrolls against it. Rabbis constantly claim the veracity and ...
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Parshat Miketz in one bloc

I am looking for any significance about why parshat Miketz is written in one solid bloc, with no break at all, except the fact that the Parsha begins at the beginning of a line. Unlike parshat ...
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Writing Torah Scroll: Writing a sefer [duplicate]

The Rambam explains "It is an affirmative precept binding upon every individual Israelite to write a scroll of the Law for his own use, as it is said, "Now therefore write ye this Song for ...
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Is a second kaddish recited on Yom Tob when there is only 1 Sefer Torah in the shul?

In a shul that has only 1 sefer Torah, is a second Kaddish recited on Yom Tob when finishing reading the second Torah portion for the day?
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2 votes
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What is a Masora?

What is a Masora and how does it relate to or differ from the Sefer Torah? I've heard the Masora are notes in the margins of the biblical text, though I haven't been able to find any meaningful ...
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Can a paper crease be a sirtut?

When writing books of Tanakh, we need a sirtut, a horizontal line that helps align the text. Indeed, it is forbidden to write any three words of a verse in k'tav Ashurit without a sirtut. See, for ...
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4 votes
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If Torah's exactness is crucial, why doesn't the Mishnah contain Halachot of writting a Kosher Torah scroll?

In my research of Torah inerrancy, and following my other question "why-there's-no-deoraytah-prohibition-of-altering-torah-scroll", I notice that the Mishnah does not mention any Halachot of ...
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-3 votes
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Origin and development of the tradition that Torah scrolls are exact to the letter from Moses

The claim that our Torah scrolls are copied exactly to the letter from Sinai or "for thousands of years" is very common and is used frequently by Rabbis and Kiruv organizations to prove ...
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2 votes
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Pseudo-Rashi on the third scroll in the Temple

Slightly related. Pseudo-Rashi on Divrei Hayamim 1:8:29 writes: "...This is what is explained at the end of Megillath Yerushalmi. Ezra found scrolls: the scroll of מְעוֹנִים (Me'onim), the ...
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The possible history of Sefer Za'atutei?

I noticed that one of the changes made by the sages that authored Targum Hashiv'im (the LXX) for King Talmai was: "וַיִּשְׁלַח אֶת זַאֲטוּטֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֶל זַאֲטוּטֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Seeking details on "teliyah", dangling missing words in a Sefer Torah

Can one add in missing words above the line in a Torah scroll? discusses an example of adding in a missing word in a Sefer Torah. The answer gave a reference Shulchan Aruch YD 276:1, but it is very ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Why does the Torah end before fulfilling the promise of entering the Promised land?

Most mundane facts are the most fascinating to question. The Torah ends with Moses dying in the wilderness and the Israelites still camping on the other bank of the Jordan River. This plot sounds ...
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I need to conduct an interview with a sofer (scribe)

I am a Bible teacher at a Christian school and I am wanting to research and possibly write more about the process of scribes creating a sefer Torah scroll. I would really enjoy and be honored to ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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How can I practice doing hagba?

Do to its weight, lifting a sefer torah can be challenging without proper technique. Practicing on an actual sefer torah isn't an option for most people due to lack of access. (Most synagogues would ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Flexibility in writing Torah scrolls? [duplicate]

In writing a Torah scroll, does halacha prescribe the exact location of each word? I mean, can one scribe put a word at the end of a line, and another scribe put that same word at the beginning of ...
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3 votes
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Covid 19. Who says גַּדְּלוּ לה' אִתִּי and יְהַלְלוּ אֶת שֵׁם ה?

During the Covid 19 situation, in our shul the Baal Koreh takes out the Sefer Torah out and the person who does Hagbah takes it back. (The idea is to minimise the number of times the sefer is handled.)...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Why is וַיְהִי בִּנְסעַ the minimum Sefer Torah size?

The gemara in shabbos with regards to saving scrolls says that the scrolls has to 85 letters, the gemara says it has to be the same as וַיְהִי בִּנְסעַ if it has 85 letter you can save it. Why ...
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The wrapping of a Torah scroll only "defiles the hands" so long as it is pure? Why? What does pure mean in this case?

Tosefta Yadayim 2:5 (quoted by Rashba on Mishnah Yadayim) says: תיק הספרים ומטפחות ותיבה של ספר בזמן שהן טהורות מטמאות את הידים What does "pure" mean here? What could happen to the wrappings or the ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Is it acceptable in a Sefer Torah or Tikkun to stretch all letters uniformly to justify the text?

Given that you aren't allowed to stretch spaces in Hebrew (would be interested to know where the primary source for this is), is it acceptable to simply stretch all characters in a line by some ratio ...
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What is the exact formatting of the Chumash [duplicate]

I am looking for the rules for the exact formatting (the visual look) of the Chumash. I thought I was interested in the Torah Scroll, but it turns out that I'm actually looking for info on the Book ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Inconsistent sifrei Torah for the required number of aliyos

Different groups (Ashkenazim, Sefaradim, Teimonim) have different traditions for spellings of different words in the Torah. Practically, while each group writes according to their own mesorah, we ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Is there a maximum seam breakage in a Torah before it becomes pasul?

I gather that when writing the Torah, there is a maximum allowable space between columns. Hence, my question, which may be based on the above assumption... If the stitched seam between two parchment ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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How does one write a Kosher Sefer Torah in Greek? [duplicate]

Following question of "why-is-a-greek-torah-scroll-kosher", the Mishna in Meggila 1.8 reads: אֵין בֵּין סְפָרִים לִתְפִלִּין וּמְזוּזוֹת אֶלָּא שֶׁהַסְּפָרִים נִכְתָּבִין בְּכָל לָשׁוֹן... ...
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0 votes
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How can we recognize Moses' original scroll?

Let's imagine we excavate the Temple Mount area and find an Ark with a 3500-year-old scroll in good condition. How would we know if it is the original scroll Moses wrote (besides being accompanied by ...
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0 votes
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Was Moses' original scroll used as a blueprint for all following scrolls?

In Parashat Vayelech, Moses writes/completes a Torah scroll and hands it over to Kohanim to keep it in the Holy Ark. Does anybody mention that its purpose was to serve as a blueprint for other Torah ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Does one need to fast if a pasul Torah is dropped?

There is a minhag to fast when a Sefer Torah is dropped. Does this apply if the dropped Torah was pasul (not "kosher")? My thinking - a pasul Torah is not a "true" Torah in the sense that it can be ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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What is the difference in meaning between a Pesucha and a Setuma?

Paragraphs in a Torah scroll are separated in two ways: "open" breaks (a “Pesucha," generally a gap to the end of the line) and "closed" breaks (a “Setumah,” generally a gap in the middle of the line)....
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4 votes
2 answers
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When the Torah scroll was available at first for Dor Hamidbar?

What are the different Rabbinical approaches to when exactly were (at least the first 4 books of) the Torah scrolls available to the Jews in the wilderness? I'm asking specifically about the scrolls ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Tetragrammaton in paleo-Hebrew within Hebrew text of Tehilim

Many scrolls were found (in Qumran?) depicting a regular Hebrew scripture text with the Holy name written in paleo-Hebrew (כתב עברי), like this one: What Talmudic explanation fits these findings, if ...
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4 votes
1 answer
216 views

Writing/buying Seforim rather than Sefer Torah

I've heard someone say that the mitzvah to write/buy a Sefer Torah in these days is actually to write/buy seforim that we use to learn Torah from. Do you know who the source of this opinion is?
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-2 votes
1 answer
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Why there's no Deoraytah prohibition of altering Torah scroll?

Following my other question "no-anti-altering-failsafe-measures". Please correct me if I'm wrong, one who alters one letter of a Torah scroll invalidates it in whole (שו"ע יו"ד רעד). But I don't ...
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4 votes
2 answers
717 views

Count a Torah scroll as the tenth in a minyan?

There is a widespread perception in non-traditional congregations that the Torah scroll can count as a tenth to make a minyan. However, the Code of Jewish Law does not mention that. It only says ...
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3 votes
1 answer
126 views

Should you touch the scroll with the yad?

Is the Torah reader (baal koreh) allowed to touch the scroll with the yad or not? (Possible reasons: Allow to create a physical contact with the words of Torah; disallow to avoid premature damaging ...
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0 votes
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What can the proceeds from the sale of a pasul Sefer Torah be used for?

What are the restrictions, if any, on what the proceeds on the sale of a pasul Sefer Torah can be used for? Can the proceeds be used for capital improvements to the Shul?
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5 votes
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What are the rules regarding resewing Torah "sheets"?

During my Yom Tov Torah reading, I noticed that two Sifrei Torah had seams that seemed (OK, a bit of a pun intended, here ;-) a bit loose. So, I have a few questions regarding some of the requirements ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Is there ever a rule not to place certain words on separate lines in a Sefer Torah?

The Gemara in Chulin 64b - 65 discusses the Bas Hayaana bird, and explains that although that is indeed the name of the bird, the fact that it is two separate words allows us to also interpret them ...
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Are any communities using Sifrei Torah without "rollers"?

I think there was some mention in Mas. Megillah that discussed the method of doing hagbah and the usage of a mitpachat ("kerchief / cloth") for handling and covering the Torah. From this idea, it ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Why is the מ in מוֹקְדָ֨ה small?

In Parshat צו, Chapter 6, verse 2 the מ in מוֹקְדָ֨ה is small according to Minchas Shai. Why is the מ in מוֹקְדָ֨ה small?
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1 vote
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Additional differences of Rashi's Torah scroll

Rashi on Shmot 25,20 interprets the Vav we don't have in our Torah scrolls: "ואת כל אשר אצוה אותך אל בני ישראל. הרי וי"ו זו יתירה וטפלה, וכמוהו הרבה במקרא" Siftey Chachamim explains: "אע"פ שאין ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Can I see a list of the 18 Tikunei Sofrim (emendations of the scribes), with each described?

Can I see a list of the 18 Tikunei Sofrim(emendations of the scribes)? (Describing each of them) I have found various references to the 18 Tikunei Sofrim online, but no elaboration on what each one ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Why is the Torah not written in chronological order?

Many parts of the Torah skip ahead or revert back several chapters or verses thereby rendering it NOT written in chronological order. What is the reason for this?
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9 votes
4 answers
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Can a sefer Torah serve as a mezuzah?

This question is inspired by the extremely large mezuzot at Ben-Gurion airport (original image, rehost). If one attached a complete, kosher sefer Torah to a sufficiently large doorpost, would it ...
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0 votes
2 answers
363 views

Can women in niddah dance and hold a sefer Torah on Simkhat Torah?

Is there any opinion that allows women in niddah to dance holding the sefer Torah on Simkhat Torah?
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