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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3answers
2k views

Would a woman be permitted to write a sefer Torah?

Would a woman be permitted to write a sefer Torah? I understand that it is not done (at least in Orthodox circles), but would doing so violate any halacha? What about the general catch-all of kevod ...
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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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108 views

What qualities should one seek in Sefer Torah parchment and ink?

As a "seasoned" Torah reader, I've become interested in some aspects of Safrut. Our shul has existed for many decades, and we have accumulated many Sifrei Torah. We recently had a sofer evaluate ...
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Why should a Sefer Torah be obligated in Shaatnez?

Says the Mishnah, Kilayim 9:3: מִטְפְּחוֹת הַיָּדַיִם, מִטְפְּחוֹת הַסְּפָרִים, מִטְפְּחוֹת הַסַּפָּג, אֵין בָּהֶם מִשּׁוּם כִּלְאָיִם. רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר אוֹסֵר. Hand towels, covers for Sifrei ...
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1answer
92 views

closing ark before gadlu, weekday Torah service

I was taught that in the weekday Torah service, the ark is closed as soon as the Sefer Torah is removed, so that when we bow for gadlu lashem iti, it is clear we are bowing to Hashem and not to the ...
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1answer
48 views

format in the Torah of the sukkot korbanot at the end of pinchas

At the end of parshat Pinchas, the korbanot for sukkot are mentioned, and since there is a slight difference between each day, they are repeated eight times. My issue is that if you look at the way it ...
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1answer
171 views

Are all Vavei Ha'amudim Sifre Torah created today, identical?

There is a standardized format of writing Torah scrolls called Vavei Ha'amudim. The concept is that the majority of columns in the Torah (except for 6 places) should start with the letter vav. This ...
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1answer
91 views

Tips for sitting holding a Sefer Torah without hurting your shoulder?

I'm occasionally asked in shul to take out the second Sefer Torah, which also involves holding it until it's needed. I usually sit holding it with one eitz chayim resting on the chair between my legs,...
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What is the spiritual significance that the Sefer Torah is in a Scroll format?

I have read the Q&A at: Why does the Torah have to be in a scroll format But what I am looking for in this question is something that goes beyond the purely legal and technical (halachic) reasons ...
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1answer
71 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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62 views

Kissing a doubtful scroll

There is a common custom to kiss a mezuzah, or at least place one's hand on it. Likewise, there is a custom to kiss Tefillin during davening and to kiss the Torah Should one kiss these objects if he ...
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2answers
492 views

May one write with a pencil or marker in the margins of a sefer Torah?

As a Ba'al Kri'ah (Torah reader), I sometimes find it difficult to locate the start of an aliyah (reading) on Shabbat, esp. in parshiot Vayetze and Miketz where both of these are one contiguous parsha ...
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77 views

Pictures in the Torah

Why are there no pictures in the Torah? It spends so much time talking about the many different events that occurred, but a picture would (possibly) provide a better (or at least other) insight into ...
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1answer
186 views

Must the spacing between words in a written Torah be consistent?

I'm asking this question with some emphasis on the beginning of parshat Vayechi. Most chumashim that I have seen have a notation that unlike the end of every other weekly Torah reading that has a ...
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1answer
108 views

Can a stolen sefer Torah be used?

If a shul buys a sefer Torah that turns out to be stolen, what happens? May they continue using it? Are they yotzei on the readings they've performed in the past?
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2answers
172 views

Is there any particular standard recension/variation of the masoretic tradition that scribes use for torah scrolls in shul?

I don't know if i'm entirely correct in this, but I understand that there have in the past been variations in malai and chaser, throughout both the ashkenazi and sephardi world.. And then there was ...
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1answer
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When and how did Chet get its STaM easy-to-differentiate-from-Hay form?

I have been looking at photos of old (pre-1300'sCE) Torah scroll fragments, most notably the Song of The Sea pictures of the 700-800CE Ashkar-Gilson fragment and the 1150-1225CE Bologna complete ...
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1answer
553 views

Why do Torah scrolls not have vowels or Trope?

Why do Torah scrolls not have vowels or Trope, thus forcing the reader to memorize both? Is there a historical or Halachic reason for this?
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1answer
95 views

May one read from a Torah that has uneven parchment?

This morning, while I was reading from the Torah, someone in my shul noticed that the parchment was not cut evenly (in a straight line). I.e., the bottom piece of parchment seemed to have torn away. ...
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1answer
299 views

Writing in Traditional Ksav Ashuris (Sofer Script)

I was wondering if there is any instructional video or guide online showing how to form all the letters of the Hebrew alphabet in the traditional Ksav Ashuris script. Please note that my motives for ...
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101 views

Wishing a long life to someone holding a Torah scroll

For Kol Nidre, Torah scrolls are removed from their cabinet and held at the reading table. I have heard people bless the people holding the scrolls with lange yaren, long years, i.e. a long life. ...
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When does a Sefer Torah become a Sefer Torah?

According to this site, there is practice to accord to a Sefer Torah certain separateness and to refrain from touching it. On this page, there is a picture of a scribe who is writing the text and it ...
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2answers
84 views

Why Use Of Torah Crown Only By Shabbos/Yom Tov Shachris?

Many Shules place the Torah's crown on the Sefer Torah only by Shabbos/Yom Tov Shachris, why is that so? Edit: I added Yom Tov as I agree with msh210's observation that it is also true on Yom Tov.
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Why does the Torah have to be in a scroll format

Why does the Torah have to be in a scroll format? How do we know that's what God wants?
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2answers
136 views

Is the mitzva to write a Torah scroll for oneself derived from Deuteronomy 31:19?

This site cites (under Torah - 16) Deuteronomy 31:19 for the reason that there is a mitzva to write your own Torah scroll. That every person shall write a scroll of the Torah for himself. Is that ...
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1answer
1k views

I would like to buy a Torah scroll in order to host Shabbat services in my home. What should I know and how much should I expect to spend?

It's something that's not immediate because I don't have the space nor the money but I'd like to one day. What would the process be like and how much should I expect to spend?
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1answer
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Consequences for dropping a Torah scroll [duplicate]

Just before my Bar Mitzvah, I asked my Hebrew teacher what would happen if I dropped the scroll while holding it. She solemnly told me that I, along with everyone present, would have to fast for some ...
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1answer
215 views

Difference between touching a naked Torah vs. a naked Megillah

Megillah 32a: Megillah 32a:38-44: כל האוחז ספר תורה ערום נקבר ערום ערום סלקא דעתך אלא אימא נקבר ערום בלא מצות בלא מצות סלקא דעתך אלא אמר אביי נקבר ערום בלא אותה מצוה Whoever takes hold of a ...
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2answers
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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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0answers
247 views

Could a Torah Scroll Be Writtin in Ktav Ivri (Paleo Hebrew)?

The Talmud (ibid) brings different opinions about the origin of the two in regards to how was the Torah initially written. It is agreed by all that the language has remained the same, Hebrew – ...
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105 views

Why Is A Yemenite Torah Scroll Kosher? [duplicate]

How come a yemenite Torah scroll is kosher to read from, even though it is different from all other Torah scrolls?
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3answers
199 views

Why is beautification essential for a sefer torah?

The gemara in Gitin 54b declares worthless a Torah scroll that had all the Tetragrammatons rewritten because it ends up looking menumar (spotted), apparently because this would be a violation of "ze ...
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1answer
120 views

Figuring out where Torah scrolls come from

Lets say a synagogue has inherited a lot of Torah scrolls, but doesn't know where many of them come from. How would they go about determining from which countries these scrolls hail from? Are there ...
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1answer
249 views

Displaying Torah Fragments on a Wall [duplicate]

Assume the following: A Torah scroll has gone into such disrepair that it could not be made Kasher again. Rather than burying the remaining leaves that are still usable, they are sold off as art ...
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1answer
187 views

What factors might allow a shul not to repair a passul Sefer Torah?

Our shul has numerous Torah scrolls that are passul (unusable). I'm assuming that they contain missing or rubbed-out letters, and other errors that would invalidate using the Torah. Our shul ...
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2answers
253 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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1answer
156 views

Is one allowed to create a “mixed” Vavei Ha'amudim and non Vavei Ha'mudim Torah?

Related to this M.Y. question: The answers and comments seem to state that one cannot create a Torah that has two different writing styles. During Simchat Torah, I noticed that the main Torah I read ...
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3answers
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Is there an online resource that gives an “overview” of safrut?

Between Mincha and Ma'ariv on Shmini Atzeret, I'd like to give a short shiur on some interesting facts about how a Torah is written. I'm looking for some fairly easy to understand online resources on ...
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1answer
382 views

How are Sifrei Torah typically checked today?

Our shul has about 10 Sifrei Torah (no exaggeration) that are all passul. I am curious how complicated it would be to discover where the problems are. Someone told me that today, many sofrim (scribes)...
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1answer
203 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 ...
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0answers
108 views

Spanish-Portuguese Torah Vestments

The first Shabbat I was in Yerushalayim (Parshat Shoftim) my father and I davened at the Italian Synagogue. While the nusach there follows the older Roman nusach, the Sifrei Torah are caparisoned in ...
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1answer
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Are there any halachot regarding the “atzei chayim” (wooden poles) placed on a Torah scroll?

Are there any halachot regarding the poles used on the sides of a Torah scroll? For example: All the poles that I have seen are made from wood. Must they be made from wood or can any materials ...
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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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what is the single letter difference between ashkenazi and sephardi torah scrolls

According to http://onthemainline.blogspot.co.uk/2005/12/textual-criticism-of-torah-response-to.html The only letter difference between Ashkenazim and Sephardim is whether a particular word ends ...
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0answers
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Does the Rambam's definition of cofer Torah no longer hold? [duplicate]

In hilchot teshuvah, perek 3, halacha 8, the Rambam writes that someone "who denies the Torah" is "one who says the Torah, or one verse, or one word is not from God". Taking into consideration the ...
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3answers
574 views

Torah - as a source of ritual impurity

During the Second Temple period, Torah scroll was considered to be a source of ritual impurity? Today this is not the case. When did this halakha change?
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Can Torah scrolls be stored in drawers laying horizontally?

All arks that I have seen have the Torah scrolls stored standing vertically in the ark. Is this an absolute halachic requirement that the Torah must be stored vertically? What if an ark contained a ...
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1answer
397 views

Why do most Ashkenazim read the Torah flatly on a table while many Sefardim read it standing vertically?

(In case you didn't know,) I am Ashkenazic. Most Ashkenazic congregations perform Torah reading by laying the Torah flatly on a table and reading the Torah as it is on the table. Many Sefardic ...
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1answer
193 views

Rabbi Akiva and Ketarim

In Menachos the Gemara relates the Moshe asked Hashem about the meaning of the "crowns" on many Hebrew letters as written in the Torah. Hashem then gives the following response: אמר לו, אדם אחד יש ...
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2answers
459 views

Following both Rashi and Rabbeinu Tam (mezuzah, sefer torah and tefillin)

I have heard it said that the reason as to why Ashkenazim place their mezuzot at an angle is to harmonise the opinion of Rashi, who held that it should be vertical (Menachot 33a, s.v. איסתוירא), with ...