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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18
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5answers
1k views

Was a sefer torah ever actually written in Greek?

This answer to a different question states that the only other language a sefer torah can be written in and be kosher is Greek. (Rambam, Hilchot Sefer Torah 1:19 says that this Greek no longer exists ...
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3answers
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Kissing a Sefer Torah as it passes

Some people in shul mark it as a sign of respect, as the Torah makes its way to/from the Aron Kodesh, to kiss it, and rush to get as close as possible. Others, given the cold season, think that this ...
4
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2answers
408 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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1answer
76 views

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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1answer
70 views

May one place letters under one another as long as there is a space between them?

Soferim 2:2 rules that one must put a line-width space between lines, a letter-width space between words, and a hair-width space between letters. Certain letters leave much space beneath them, and ...
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1answer
60 views

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 ...
-1
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1answer
55 views

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 ...
3
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0answers
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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 ...
3
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1answer
51 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
95 views

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... רַבָּן ...
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0answers
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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 ...
0
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1answer
42 views

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 ...
13
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2answers
361 views

Sending a Torah to the Moon

According to this article, there's an organization that wants to blast a Sefer Torah into space for safe keeping on the moon. Are there any halachik problems regarding such an endeavour (and if so, ...
3
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1answer
103 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
93 views

How are Sephardi Sifrei Torah assembled?

I rarely daven in Sephardi shuls, so I'm curious as to how Sephardi Sifrei Torah are "assembled" from the time it is written on parchment until it is put into the case. Ashkenazi Sifrei Torah are "...
6
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1answer
108 views

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)....
3
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2answers
79 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
105 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
158 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?
4
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1answer
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Layout of Shiras HaYam: Half-Brick Over Brick

Is there a reason/meaning behind the "half-brick over brick" layout of Shiras Hayam as written in a Sefer Torah? I am familiar with the gemara in Megilla (16b) that states the layout is to be that way,...
3
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2answers
2k views

Are women explicitly forbidden from handling and reading the Torah?

I am interested to know, despite the "political agendas" involved, if the "women of the wall" are in breach of halacha and if so, which one(s). As a part of that, I ask: Are women explicitly forbidden ...
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1answer
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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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2answers
252 views

Are there any mentions of Torah Scrolls before Ezra?

Ezra the Scribe famously discovered a Torah Scroll and instituted public Torah readings on Shabat, Monday, and Thursday. Are there any mentions of Torah Scrolls (specifically written) between Moshe ...
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0answers
28 views

What to do with unusable Torah scrolls? [duplicate]

Is a Torah scroll that is too old and worn out to be used buried in a genizah? I heard that just as the broken tablets of Moses' first ascension were kept with the whole tablets of Moses' second ...
3
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1answer
108 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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0answers
30 views

Protecting a Torah scroll with plastic sheet

Is there anything in halacha that prohibits applying a thin plastic sheet to the Torah scroll? (Possible reasons: Allow to avoid damaging the scroll with the yad over time, disallow so the words of ...
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0answers
39 views

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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1answer
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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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6answers
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Different Size Letters in the Torah

I've often wondered if someone has compiled anything about the "special letters" in the Torah: All the letters that are either big or small. Together, do they read as something special? One or more ...
2
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1answer
66 views

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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0answers
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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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1answer
643 views

What are the halachot when finding a Sefer Torah on the floor?

Recently, 6 Torah Scrolls that were stolen from the Tzemach Tzedek shul in Yerushalaim were found on the floor of a cave. I am curious what the halachic differences are (if any) between finding a ...
2
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1answer
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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?
7
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1answer
262 views

Fasting when Navi on Klaf falls on the floor

As is known, if a Sefer Torah falls on the floor (even if it's covered) there is a halacha that one must fast. (See this question and answer for many sources on this topic.) What about in a case when ...
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0answers
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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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1answer
113 views

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 ...
3
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2answers
217 views

Is one allowed to remove sections from a Torah to repair one or more pasul ones?

This is a scenario of possibly benefiting multiple communities. Let's say there are five different shuls all in remote communities. Each shul has just one Torah but it is pasul (non usable). They ...
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1answer
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Parshas HaGet used as a Get?

Tosfos in מסכת גיטין (Tosfos 20A "אי''... Tosfos 24A "כל הגט") keeps on repeating the concept of using a Sefer Torah for גירושין... Tosfos uses phrases such as... "ספר תורה דלא איכתוב לשם גירושין ...
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1answer
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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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4answers
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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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2answers
205 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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4answers
255 views

Why is the Torah divided into five books?

When the Torah refers to itself, it refers to itself in the singular. There are numerous verses, notably in Devarim. One notable example Devarim 31:16 (Sefaria English translation:) "לָקֹחַ אֵת ...
8
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1answer
202 views

Would a non-Israeli Jewish king need to write a sefer Torah?

In Deuteronomy/Devorim 17:14, and 17:18-20 we see that a king of Israel is required to write a copy of the Torah to read and keep with him always. Would a convert to Judaism, who is a king of another ...
3
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1answer
40 views

Is a Pasul Torah scroll considered a Muktzeh on Shabbat?

I know that there are different categories of Muktzeh. One category that is difficult for me to understand is the concept that if something has no use at all on Shabbat (or use for any purpose) it is ...
4
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2answers
149 views

Are Tefillin allowed to be put in a prison?

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 135:14) states that one should not bring a Sefer Torah into a prison.: "בני אדם החבושים בבית האסורין אין מביאי' אצלם ס"ת אפילו בר"ה ויה"כ: הגה והיינו דוקא בשעת ...
2
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1answer
101 views

Do we fast when someone trips and falls while holding a Sefer Torah?

When dropping a Sefer Torah, the custom is to fast, but what is the minhag if I trip and fall while holding a Sefer Torah?
2
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1answer
41 views

When is a Torah scroll kosher? [duplicate]

A Torah scroll that is damaged cannot be used. But if the "good" parts of several Torah scrolls are stitched together, is the resulting scroll kosher? Or does the fact that more than one scribe ...
3
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0answers
98 views

Pesicha of 3 Sifrei Torah: special time

Someone sent me a voice recording of someone mentioning an idea from the Sefer Heichalos that when there is we open 3 sifrei Torah (Torah scrolls, on shabbas – chanuka – rosh chodesh), then there is a ...
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1answer
52 views

Torah Hebrew calligraphy [closed]

I want to know what was the calligraphy used in the first Torah manuscript? I searched Google but found no answer.
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3answers
2k views

Is the winding פ in this sefer torah kosher?

Leaving aside all other issues with the text as displayed, are the pehs acceptable, or do they actually need an inverted vav on the inside (instead of these whirls)?