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11 votes
Accepted

Is it disrespectful to have a raffle where the prize is a Sefer Torah?

I got interested in the question because we did once win a sefer Torah at such a raffle during a tsedaka dinner for a school. It was organized by an organization run by a well-respected and very ...
mbloch's user avatar
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11 votes
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Writing/buying Seforim rather than Sefer Torah

This is the opinion of R. Asher b. Yehiel (Rosh) at the beginning of his Hilchot Sefer Torah: וזהו בדורות הראשונים שהיו כותבים ס"ת ולומדים בו. אבל האידנא שכותבין ס"ת ומניחין אותו בבתי כנסיות לקרות ...
Joel K's user avatar
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11 votes
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Were scrolls ever written on both sides?

The Talmud (Shabbat 79b) prescribes specific sides of the hide to be used for writing (depending which parts of the hide are being used) and the majority opinion (YD 271:3) is that writing on the ...
Double AA's user avatar
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10 votes

Would a woman be permitted to write a sefer Torah?

The Shulchan Aruch (YD 281:3) writes that a woman who writes a Torah scroll invalidates it: ‏ספר תורה שכתבו מסור, עבד, אשה, קטן, כותי, ישראל מומר פסולין. The Aruch Hashulchan (YD 281:1) writes the ...
sam's user avatar
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10 votes

The length of a line in Torah scroll

The standard ideal length of a line is about 30 letters long, enough to write למשפחותיכם thrice per line (Menachot 30a, YD 272:2). Lines that are too long are hard to follow and lines that are too ...
Double AA's user avatar
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9 votes
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Source for removing tefillin straps from your hands for hagbah

In 1967, R. Efraim Greenblatt published an extensive article on the laws of Gelilah in the journal Noam (vol 10). He writes there as follows: נוהגין בעת שגוללין מוריד הגולל את רצועות התפילין ...
הנער הזה's user avatar
8 votes

Why does the Torah have to be in a scroll format

The halachos of writing a sefer torah are הלכה למשה מסני (Halacha given to Moshe on Mount Sinai) which mean that the methodology of the writing of the torah, tefillin, and mezuzos were given as part ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
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8 votes
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What is this Ktav?

That's a screenshot from the 10th-century Damascus Pentateuch. See the full page here. The writing is fairly typical for that era.
Double AA's user avatar
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7 votes

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

In Massechet Mezuzah 1:3, we read: שנה אותיותיה או שנכתבה עברית הרי זו פסולה. If you changed [a mezuzah]'s letters or it was written in k'tav ivri, it is pasul. [my transl.] The same can be found in ...
magicker72's user avatar
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7 votes
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Are women explicitly forbidden from handling and reading the Torah?

You are asking two related but different questions. One about touching the Torah, one about reading it. Regarding touching a sefer Torah there is an explicit Rambam (Laws of Sefer Torah 10:8 based on ...
mbloch's user avatar
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7 votes
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May one place letters under one another as long as there is a space between them?

According to the general psak it is not a psul, although not mehudar, See מ'ב סימן לב ס'ק קיב אם בתחלת הכתיבה ממשיך רגל התחתון של הנו”ן והצד”י וכותב האות הסמוכה לתוכה כגון פני או ארצי כשר כיון ...
Stam's user avatar
  • 234
7 votes

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

There is a Rambam (Laws of Sefer Torah 10:8 based on Berakhot 22a) which explicitly permits niddot to touch a sefer Torah Any impure person, even [a woman in] a niddah state or a gentile, may ...
mbloch's user avatar
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6 votes

Are women explicitly forbidden from handling and reading the Torah?

I believe that the answer is NO, they are not forbidden and my reasoning follows. Thank you Eliezer for enlightening me ! The Rambam states: “All tameh people, even niddot, even a gentile, are ...
Yerachmiel's user avatar
6 votes

Why should a Sefer Torah be obligated in Shaatnez?

Bartenura explains as follows. Hand towels because at times they are used to warm the hands. Covers for Sifrei Torah are at times put on the lap to warm a person. Bath towels as at times he may see ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
6 votes
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Cleaning a Torah Scroll

I relayed your question to the sofer who maintains our scrolls. Here's what he said (my notes from a verbal conversation): The "dust" that came off of the scroll is white mold, not the parchment ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
6 votes
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Is there ever a rule not to place certain words on separate lines in a Sefer Torah?

Yes, that custom still exists. The most famous example is the toponym בית-אל. The Arukh HaShulchan (YD 275:24) lists the following examples, though surely there are some variant customs out there: ...
Double AA's user avatar
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6 votes

Count a Torah scroll as the tenth in a minyan?

R David Sperling at yeshiva.co here addresses your question and brings a number of rejected opinions - to be clear the halacha remains that a Torah scroll does not count as a tenth in a minyan In ...
mbloch's user avatar
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6 votes

Why is וַיְהִי בִּנְסעַ the minimum Sefer Torah size?

Rashi to Shabbat 115b explains that it is because these two verses are considered a complete book of the Torah on their own (quoting the gemara later on 116a).
Joel K's user avatar
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6 votes
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May we illuminate scrolls?

Good question. The subject was discussed in a few places. A list of sources was brought in the book Yavoh Yedid, by Rabbi Shlomo Za'frani, pp. 128-129. Here are some of the sources: Eliyah Rabbah ...
Harel13's user avatar
  • 25.8k
5 votes

Is it disrespectful to have a raffle where the prize is a Sefer Torah?

Harav Ratzon Arusi, Wrote as an answer to such question: "If this lottery is intended to finance things that are sacred, Torah, or Gemach, it is permissible to participate in it, because the ...
TERMIN's user avatar
  • 187
5 votes

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

This probably depends in part on the size (eitz to eitz length, I mean) and weight of the sefer torah, but here's what people in my minyan do (and what I do personally) with a medium-sized scroll. My ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Why are specifically the land of Israel and the Torah called a "Morasha"?

THe usage of מורשה as heritage differs from the usage of ירושה based on what the person inheriting the property is allowed to do with it as well as how it is handed down generation to generation. A ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 43.2k
5 votes

Were children ever given the honor of reading the Torah scroll in the first century?

According to the mishna in Megila 4:6, a child is allowed to read from the Torah, and so it's safe to assume that it was done sometimes. קָטָן קוֹרֵא בַּתּוֹרָה וּמְתַרְגֵּם, אֲבָל אֵינוֹ פּוֹרֵס עַל ...
aBochur's user avatar
  • 3,859
5 votes

Source for removing tefillin straps from your hands for hagbah

Interesting question. I don't do this and always thought those doing it were doing so for convenience. I see AskTheRav.com writes the same (they are affiliated with the Beis Din of Crown Heights and ...
mbloch's user avatar
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5 votes
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What is the origin of the division of the Torah into five books

It’s mentioned in the Gemara Gittin 60A (there may be earlier sources, this is just one I know of): שְׁלַחוּ לֵיהּ בְּנֵי גָלִיל לְרַבִּי חֶלְבּוֹ: מַהוּ לִקְרוֹת בְּחוּמָּשִׁים בְּבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת ...
Chatzkel's user avatar
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4 votes

Should we allow women to dance with a Torah on Simchas Torah?

R. Nachum Rabinovitch (Siach Nachum, no. 40) addresses this question. Assuming that the congregation and the rabbi do not object, he says there is no halakhic problem with this, as long as the sefer ...
wfb's user avatar
  • 14.5k
4 votes

Sending a Torah to the Moon

In Yoreh Deah (282) it seems that you can't simply take a sefer Torah out. There needs to be a holy, good purpose/reason for taking it out or for travelling. To take a sefer Torah to the moon when ...
Daniel Freedman's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

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?

As an example, you can buy a kosher sefer torah Buying a Sefer Torah Price categories vary from $24,000 - $55,000; the cost is determined by the consistency and beauty of the Ktav(script). All of ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 43.2k

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