Difference between revisions of "Respecting a Sefer Torah"

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Everyone is obligated to honor a Sefer Torah. One should be in a state of seriousness and awe in front of the Sefer Torah as it serves as a testament to the world of Judaism. <Ref>Shulchan Aruch YD 282:1</ref> Regarding Sefarim see the [[Respecting Holy Books]] page.
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Everyone is obligated to honor a Sefer Torah. One should be in a state of seriousness and awe in front of the Sefer Torah as it serves as a testament to the world of Judaism. <Ref>Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:1</ref> Regarding Sefarim see the [[Respecting Holy Books]] page.
  
 
==Placement and Storage==
 
==Placement and Storage==
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===Building an Aron===
 
===Building an Aron===
 
# An Aron Kodesh should be built with something new or designated for that purpose. Something that was once used for any personal use shouldn't be used for an Aron Kodesh.<ref>Shulchan Aruch O.C. 153:21 writes that something that was once used for a personal or mundane use may not be used for a kodesh use. Baruch Shnatan Torah p. 376 gives that Aron Kodesh or Bimah as an example. Halacha Brurah 153:66 codifies the ruling of Shulchan Aruch for all tashmishei kedusha.</ref>
 
# An Aron Kodesh should be built with something new or designated for that purpose. Something that was once used for any personal use shouldn't be used for an Aron Kodesh.<ref>Shulchan Aruch O.C. 153:21 writes that something that was once used for a personal or mundane use may not be used for a kodesh use. Baruch Shnatan Torah p. 376 gives that Aron Kodesh or Bimah as an example. Halacha Brurah 153:66 codifies the ruling of Shulchan Aruch for all tashmishei kedusha.</ref>
# After the fact if something that was once used for another purpose was used as the Aron Kodesh it can continue to be used.<ref>Taz YD 282:13, Eliya Rabba 147:4, Mishna Brurah 147:12, Halacha Brurah 153:68</ref> It can't be downgraded in its kedusha<ref>Mishna Brurah 147:12, Halacha Brurah 153:68</ref> and would require gezina if it isn't used.<ref>Shulchan Aruch O.C. 154:6. See [[Burying_Religious_Articles#Aron_Kodesh]] for more sources.</ref>
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# After the fact if something that was once used for another purpose was used as the Aron Kodesh it can continue to be used.<ref>Taz Y.D. 282:13, Eliya Rabba 147:4, Mishna Brurah 147:12, Halacha Brurah 153:68</ref> It can't be downgraded in its kedusha<ref>Mishna Brurah 147:12, Halacha Brurah 153:68</ref> and would require gezina if it isn't used.<ref>Shulchan Aruch O.C. 154:6. See [[Burying_Religious_Articles#Aron_Kodesh]] for more sources.</ref>
 
# If one changed the form of the materials then it is permitted to use them for an Aron.<ref>Olat Tamid 153:44, Eliya Rabba 147:4, Magen Avraham 147:5, Mishna Brurah 147:13, Yabia Omer OC 3:13, Halacha Brurah 153:67</ref>
 
# If one changed the form of the materials then it is permitted to use them for an Aron.<ref>Olat Tamid 153:44, Eliya Rabba 147:4, Magen Avraham 147:5, Mishna Brurah 147:13, Yabia Omer OC 3:13, Halacha Brurah 153:67</ref>
 
# It was just designated for a personal use and was never actually used it can be used for an Aron.<ref>Mishna Brurah 147:14, Halacha Brurah 153:67</ref>
 
# It was just designated for a personal use and was never actually used it can be used for an Aron.<ref>Mishna Brurah 147:14, Halacha Brurah 153:67</ref>
 
===Hanging a Parochet===
 
===Hanging a Parochet===
# It is permitted to use something that was once used for a personal or mundane use for a parochet.<ref>Taz YD 282:13, Halacha Brurah 153:66, Yabia Omer OC 3:13. Magen Avraham 147:5 questions the Taz. </ref>
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# It is permitted to use something that was once used for a personal or mundane use for a parochet.<ref>Taz Y.D. 282:13, Halacha Brurah 153:66, Yabia Omer OC 3:13. Magen Avraham 147:5 questions the Taz. </ref>
 
# If was once worn by a woman and people in the community know or remember her and theoretically it could lead to [[hirhur]] a parochet should not be made from her garments.<ref>Yabia Omer OC 3:13, Halacha Brurah 153:69</ref>
 
# If was once worn by a woman and people in the community know or remember her and theoretically it could lead to [[hirhur]] a parochet should not be made from her garments.<ref>Yabia Omer OC 3:13, Halacha Brurah 153:69</ref>
 
===Gartel===
 
===Gartel===
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===Sefer Torah Leaning or Standing Straight Up===
 
===Sefer Torah Leaning or Standing Straight Up===
# When the Sefer Torah is placed in the aron and also when it is on the Bimah, according to Ashkenazim, it should be placed in a leaning position and not standing or lying flat.<ref>[http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=948&pgnum=32 Kenaf Rananah OC 6], Minchat Yitzchak 2:117 based on Rama YD 289:6 and Shach 289:9 regarding having a mezuzah leaning. The topic is based on a dispute between Rashi Menachot 33a s.v. pesula and Tosfot s.v. Ha.</ref> However, according to Sephardim the Sefer Torah both when it is in the Aron and when it is read on the Bimah should be standing straight up. This is the minhag of Sephardim and how the Sephardic Sefer Torah is constructed.<ref> Shulchan Aruch YD 289:6 rules that a mezuzah should be placed standing straight up. Yalkut Yosef YD 285:70 writes that this the minhag of Sephardim and the same is true for leaving a Sefer Torah in the Aron that it should be standing. Also, Yalkut Yosef 141:3 writes that when the Sefer Torah is read on the Bimah it should also be standing.</ref>
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# When the Sefer Torah is placed in the aron and also when it is on the Bimah, according to Ashkenazim, it should be placed in a leaning position and not standing or lying flat.<ref>[http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=948&pgnum=32 Kenaf Rananah OC 6], Minchat Yitzchak 2:117 based on Rama Y.D. 289:6 and Shach 289:9 regarding having a mezuzah leaning. The topic is based on a dispute between Rashi Menachot 33a s.v. pesula and Tosfot s.v. Ha.</ref> However, according to Sephardim the Sefer Torah both when it is in the Aron and when it is read on the Bimah should be standing straight up. This is the minhag of Sephardim and how the Sephardic Sefer Torah is constructed.<ref> Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 289:6 rules that a mezuzah should be placed standing straight up. Yalkut Yosef Y.D. 285:70 writes that this the minhag of Sephardim and the same is true for leaving a Sefer Torah in the Aron that it should be standing. Also, Yalkut Yosef 141:3 writes that when the Sefer Torah is read on the Bimah it should also be standing.</ref>
 
# When there are multiple sifrei Torah taken out for a Kriyat Hatorah, there is what to rely on to leave the Sefer Torah leaning in a Sefer Torah holder (wooden chair-like structure) secured properly.<ref>Minchat Yitzchak 2:117</ref>
 
# When there are multiple sifrei Torah taken out for a Kriyat Hatorah, there is what to rely on to leave the Sefer Torah leaning in a Sefer Torah holder (wooden chair-like structure) secured properly.<ref>Minchat Yitzchak 2:117</ref>
 
===Turning the Klaf Over===
 
===Turning the Klaf Over===
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===Resting Elbows Upon Sefer Torah===
 
===Resting Elbows Upon Sefer Torah===
# A person shouldn't put a Sefer Torah on his lap and rest his elbows on it.<Ref>Rama YD 282:7</ref>
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# A person shouldn't put a Sefer Torah on his lap and rest his elbows on it.<Ref>Rama Y.D. 282:7</ref>
 
===Sefarim on a Sefer Torah===
 
===Sefarim on a Sefer Torah===
# It is forbidden to place a Neviim or Ketuvim on top of a Sefer Torah. Moreover a chumash may not be placed on top of a Sefer Torah<ref>Shulchan Aruch YD 282:19</ref>. However, Neviim can be placed on top of Ketuvim or vice versa.<Ref>Rama YD 282:19</ref>
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# It is forbidden to place a Neviim or Ketuvim on top of a Sefer Torah. Moreover a chumash may not be placed on top of a Sefer Torah<ref>Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:19</ref>. However, Neviim can be placed on top of Ketuvim or vice versa.<Ref>Rama Y.D. 282:19</ref>
  
 
==Inappropriate Behavior in Front of Sefer Torah==
 
==Inappropriate Behavior in Front of Sefer Torah==
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# Some poskim hold that if one is wrapping one sefer torah it is permitted to turn his back on the other sefer torah which is on the bimah since one is involved in the respect of one sefer torah it isn't disrespectful to another sefer torah.<ref>Emek Bracha (Kavod Sefer Torah p. 43)</ref>
 
# Some poskim hold that if one is wrapping one sefer torah it is permitted to turn his back on the other sefer torah which is on the bimah since one is involved in the respect of one sefer torah it isn't disrespectful to another sefer torah.<ref>Emek Bracha (Kavod Sefer Torah p. 43)</ref>
 
===Spitting===
 
===Spitting===
# It is forbidden to spit in front of a Sefer Torah.<Ref>Shulchan Aruch YD 282:1</ref>
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# It is forbidden to spit in front of a Sefer Torah.<Ref>Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:1</ref>
 
===Undressing or Tashmish===
 
===Undressing or Tashmish===
# It is forbidden to undress in front of a Sefer torah.<Ref>Shulchan Aruch YD 282:1</ref>  
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# It is forbidden to undress in front of a Sefer torah.<Ref>Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:1</ref>  
 
# Similarly, tashmish is forbidden in the room where there is a Sefer Torah.<ref>Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:8</ref>
 
# Similarly, tashmish is forbidden in the room where there is a Sefer Torah.<ref>Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:8</ref>
 
===Sticking One's Feet Out===
 
===Sticking One's Feet Out===
# It is forbidden to extend one's legs in front of a sefer Torah.<ref>Shulchan Aruch YD 282:1</ref> Therefore during kriyat hatorah unless the Sefer Torah is in another domain one should sit with one's legs close to one's body and not extended in a relaxed position.<ref>Rav Yisrael Pesach Feinhandler (Ohel Yakov Kavod Ukedushat Sefarim p. 10)</ref>
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# It is forbidden to extend one's legs in front of a sefer Torah.<ref>Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:1</ref> Therefore during kriyat hatorah unless the Sefer Torah is in another domain one should sit with one's legs close to one's body and not extended in a relaxed position.<ref>Rav Yisrael Pesach Feinhandler (Ohel Yakov Kavod Ukedushat Sefarim p. 10)</ref>
  
 
==Transporting a Sefer Torah==
 
==Transporting a Sefer Torah==
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# Some have the minhag only to bring a Sefer Torah to a new place if they're going to read from it three times and not just to read it once.<ref>Aruch Hashulchan 135:32. Piskei Teshuvot 135:25 adds that even though this practice has no source one should observe it.</ref>
 
# Some have the minhag only to bring a Sefer Torah to a new place if they're going to read from it three times and not just to read it once.<ref>Aruch Hashulchan 135:32. Piskei Teshuvot 135:25 adds that even though this practice has no source one should observe it.</ref>
 
===How to Transport a Sefer Torah===
 
===How to Transport a Sefer Torah===
# If one needs to transport a Sefer Torah, it should be wrapped<ref>Piskei Teshuvot 135:25</ref> and placed in his lap and not put it in a bag. Also it should not  be placed on the seat one is sitting on or behind oneself.<ref> The Rosh Brachot 3:7 understands from the Rif 11a that it is forbidden to carry a sefer torah behind oneself or on the same donkey that one is riding unless there is a fear of bandits. The Bach 282:3 and Shach 282:5 accept the opinion of the Rif. The Rambam (Sefer Torah 10:11) writes that when transporting a Sefer Torah one should hold it in one's lap. Shulchan Aruch YD 282:3 accepts the Rambam. Chut Shani (Nosim Shonim p. 262) quotes the Chazon Ish as having instructed Rav Nissim Karelitz to hold the Sefer Torah when they went on a 4 hour trip from Bnei Brak to Tzefat.</ref>  
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# If one needs to transport a Sefer Torah, it should be wrapped<ref>Piskei Teshuvot 135:25</ref> and placed in his lap and not put it in a bag. Also it should not  be placed on the seat one is sitting on or behind oneself.<ref> The Rosh Brachot 3:7 understands from the Rif 11a that it is forbidden to carry a sefer torah behind oneself or on the same donkey that one is riding unless there is a fear of bandits. The Bach 282:3 and Shach 282:5 accept the opinion of the Rif. The Rambam (Sefer Torah 10:11) writes that when transporting a Sefer Torah one should hold it in one's lap. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:3 accepts the Rambam. Chut Shani (Nosim Shonim p. 262) quotes the Chazon Ish as having instructed Rav Nissim Karelitz to hold the Sefer Torah when they went on a 4 hour trip from Bnei Brak to Tzefat.</ref>  
 
# When transporting a sefer torah in a car it is permitted to place it in the trunk.<ref>Chut Shani (Nosim Shonim p. 262) writes that since the trunk of a car is a separate area there is no prohibition to place the sefer torah there. Torat Haderech 3:10 p. 34 writes that if it is too difficult to hold the sefer torah the whole trip it is permitted to place it in a suitcase within a suitcase and preferably it should be standing upright. Rav Yisrael Pesach Feinhandler (Ohel Yakov Kavod Ukedushat Sefarim p. 10) writes that it is permitted to place a Sefer Torah in a trunk of the car since it is in another domain and not considered behind one's back.</ref>
 
# When transporting a sefer torah in a car it is permitted to place it in the trunk.<ref>Chut Shani (Nosim Shonim p. 262) writes that since the trunk of a car is a separate area there is no prohibition to place the sefer torah there. Torat Haderech 3:10 p. 34 writes that if it is too difficult to hold the sefer torah the whole trip it is permitted to place it in a suitcase within a suitcase and preferably it should be standing upright. Rav Yisrael Pesach Feinhandler (Ohel Yakov Kavod Ukedushat Sefarim p. 10) writes that it is permitted to place a Sefer Torah in a trunk of the car since it is in another domain and not considered behind one's back.</ref>
 
# If the Sefer Torah is going to be brought out in the public ideally it should be transported and escorted by a minyan of Jews. It is even better bring it privately with a car brought door to door.<Ref>Piskei Teshuvot 135:25 to be concerned for the Zohar</ref>
 
# If the Sefer Torah is going to be brought out in the public ideally it should be transported and escorted by a minyan of Jews. It is even better bring it privately with a car brought door to door.<Ref>Piskei Teshuvot 135:25 to be concerned for the Zohar</ref>
# It is forbidden to carry a Sefer Torah on one's head as though it was a burden or behind one's back unless it is raised 10 tefachim.<Ref>Shulchan Aruch YD 282:1</ref>  
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# It is forbidden to carry a Sefer Torah on one's head as though it was a burden or behind one's back unless it is raised 10 tefachim.<Ref>Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:1</ref>  
# It is forbidden to throw a Sefer Torah.<Ref>Shulchan Aruch YD 282:5</ref>
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# It is forbidden to throw a Sefer Torah.<Ref>Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:5</ref>
# It is forbidden to bring a Sefer Torah into a bathroom, bathhouse, or cemetery even if it is in its case.<Ref>Shulchan Aruch YD 282:4</ref>
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# It is forbidden to bring a Sefer Torah into a bathroom, bathhouse, or cemetery even if it is in its case.<Ref>Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:4</ref>
  
 
==Touching the Klaf==
 
==Touching the Klaf==
# It is forbidden to hold the klaf of a Sefer Torah without a cloth or Tallit intervening.<Ref>Shulchan Aruch YD 282:4</ref>  
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# It is forbidden to hold the klaf of a Sefer Torah without a cloth or Tallit intervening.<Ref>Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:4</ref>  
  
 
==Standing for the Sefer Torah==
 
==Standing for the Sefer Torah==
# One must stand for a sefer torah when it is being carried around out of respect for it. <ref>Rambam Tefillin Mezuza and Sefer Torah 10:9, Sh"t Rashba 3:281, Shulchan Aruch YD 282:2, Gemara Kiddushin 33b says that just as one must stand for a talmid chacham, one certainly must stand for a sefer torah. </ref>
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# One must stand for a sefer torah when it is being carried around out of respect for it. <ref>Rambam Tefillin Mezuza and Sefer Torah 10:9, Sh"t Rashba 3:281, Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:2, Gemara Kiddushin 33b says that just as one must stand for a talmid chacham, one certainly must stand for a sefer torah. </ref>
# If the aron kodesh is open and the sefer torah inside is at rest, some poskim say that one must still stand up. <ref>Sh"t Chatam Sofer CM 73 </ref> Others are lenient. <ref> Iggerot Moshe 5:38:4. Taz YD 242:13 writes that if the torah is in the aron kodesh or on the bimah, it is in a different reshut and one doesn't need to stand  </ref>  
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# If the aron kodesh is open and the sefer torah inside is at rest, some poskim say that one must still stand up. <ref>Sh"t Chatam Sofer CM 73 </ref> Others are lenient. <ref> Iggerot Moshe 5:38:4. Taz Y.D. 242:13 writes that if the torah is in the aron kodesh or on the bimah, it is in a different reshut and one doesn't need to stand  </ref>  
# There is a discussion in the poskim if one must stand for a pasul sefer torah. <ref> While Aruch Hashulchan YD 282:4 is lenient, Noda Biyehuda YD 71 (quoted in Piskei Teshuvot 146) is strict. Rav Chaim Kanievsky (Dirshu Mishna Brura 146:note 19) says that there is no obligation to stand but the minhag is to stand. </ref>
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# There is a discussion in the poskim if one must stand for a pasul sefer torah. <ref> While Aruch Hashulchan Y.D. 282:4 is lenient, Noda Biyehuda Y.D. 71 (quoted in Piskei Teshuvot 146) is strict. Rav Chaim Kanievsky (Dirshu Mishna Brura 146:note 19) says that there is no obligation to stand but the minhag is to stand. </ref>
  
 
==Disposing of a Sefer Torah==
 
==Disposing of a Sefer Torah==
# A worn out Sefer Torah must be placed in an earthenware container and buried near a Talmid Chacham.<Ref>Shulchan Aruch YD 282:10</ref>
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# A worn out Sefer Torah must be placed in an earthenware container and buried near a Talmid Chacham.<Ref>Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:10</ref>
 
# It is forbidden to burn a Sefer Torah or any holy Sefer even if it is worn out.<ref>Pitchei Teshuva 282:6</ref>
 
# It is forbidden to burn a Sefer Torah or any holy Sefer even if it is worn out.<ref>Pitchei Teshuva 282:6</ref>
# The crowns on a Sefer Torah are considered items that service kedusha (Tashmishei Kedusha) and may not be sold for mundane use but can sold to purchase a Sefer Torah.<ref>Shulchan Aruch YD 282:16</ref>
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# The crowns on a Sefer Torah are considered items that service kedusha (Tashmishei Kedusha) and may not be sold for mundane use but can sold to purchase a Sefer Torah.<ref>Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:16</ref>
# It is forbidden to benefit from a bag that is used to hold a [[Sefer Torah]]. So too, the wrappings and aron for a [[sefer Torah]] are restricted from being used for one's personal use.  <ref> Shulchan Aruch YD 282:12 </ref>
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# It is forbidden to benefit from a bag that is used to hold a [[Sefer Torah]]. So too, the wrappings and aron for a [[sefer Torah]] are restricted from being used for one's personal use.  <ref> Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:12 </ref>
  
 
==Selling Holy Books==
 
==Selling Holy Books==

Revision as of 20:11, 16 July 2020

Everyone is obligated to honor a Sefer Torah. One should be in a state of seriousness and awe in front of the Sefer Torah as it serves as a testament to the world of Judaism. [1] Regarding Sefarim see the Respecting Holy Books page.

Placement and Storage

Designating a Place

  1. There is a mitzvah to designate a place for the Sefer Torah.[2]

Building an Aron

  1. An Aron Kodesh should be built with something new or designated for that purpose. Something that was once used for any personal use shouldn't be used for an Aron Kodesh.[3]
  2. After the fact if something that was once used for another purpose was used as the Aron Kodesh it can continue to be used.[4] It can't be downgraded in its kedusha[5] and would require gezina if it isn't used.[6]
  3. If one changed the form of the materials then it is permitted to use them for an Aron.[7]
  4. It was just designated for a personal use and was never actually used it can be used for an Aron.[8]

Hanging a Parochet

  1. It is permitted to use something that was once used for a personal or mundane use for a parochet.[9]
  2. If was once worn by a woman and people in the community know or remember her and theoretically it could lead to hirhur a parochet should not be made from her garments.[10]

Gartel

  1. There is a minhag by some communities to take the gartel from the Sefer Torah for a pregnant woman as a segulah that she not have a miscarriage. Some defend this minhag and others question it.[11]

Protective Covering on Sefer Torah

  1. One shouldn't use a garment that was used for a personal use for the protective covering on a Sefer Torah. It is permitted to use a kittel for Yom Kippur davening for wrapping a sefer torah.[12]

Sefer Torah Leaning or Standing Straight Up

  1. When the Sefer Torah is placed in the aron and also when it is on the Bimah, according to Ashkenazim, it should be placed in a leaning position and not standing or lying flat.[13] However, according to Sephardim the Sefer Torah both when it is in the Aron and when it is read on the Bimah should be standing straight up. This is the minhag of Sephardim and how the Sephardic Sefer Torah is constructed.[14]
  2. When there are multiple sifrei Torah taken out for a Kriyat Hatorah, there is what to rely on to leave the Sefer Torah leaning in a Sefer Torah holder (wooden chair-like structure) secured properly.[15]

Turning the Klaf Over

  1. It is forbidden to turn over the klaf on the Sefer Torah so that it is should face down. If it is found overturned, it should be turned face up.[16]

Placing It On the Ground

  1. It is forbidden to place a Sefer Torah on the ground.[17]

Sitting Next to the Sefer Torah

  1. It is forbidden to sit on the same area where a Sefer Torah is placed.[18] If the Sefer Torah is raised a tefach according to the basic halacha it is permitted to sit on that same area. However, a pious practice would require the Sefer Torah to be raised 3 or 10 tefachim.[19]

Resting Elbows Upon Sefer Torah

  1. A person shouldn't put a Sefer Torah on his lap and rest his elbows on it.[20]

Sefarim on a Sefer Torah

  1. It is forbidden to place a Neviim or Ketuvim on top of a Sefer Torah. Moreover a chumash may not be placed on top of a Sefer Torah[21]. However, Neviim can be placed on top of Ketuvim or vice versa.[22]

Inappropriate Behavior in Front of Sefer Torah

Turning One's Back on the Sefer Torah

  1. It is forbidden to turn one's back to a Sefer Torah, however, if the Sefer Torah is above Ten Tefachim it is permitted according to many poskim.[23]
  2. It is permitted for a rabbi to give a drasha in front of the Aron with a Sefer Torah inside even though his back is to the Sefer Torah.[24]
  3. Some poskim hold that if one is wrapping one sefer torah it is permitted to turn his back on the other sefer torah which is on the bimah since one is involved in the respect of one sefer torah it isn't disrespectful to another sefer torah.[25]

Spitting

  1. It is forbidden to spit in front of a Sefer Torah.[26]

Undressing or Tashmish

  1. It is forbidden to undress in front of a Sefer torah.[27]
  2. Similarly, tashmish is forbidden in the room where there is a Sefer Torah.[28]

Sticking One's Feet Out

  1. It is forbidden to extend one's legs in front of a sefer Torah.[29] Therefore during kriyat hatorah unless the Sefer Torah is in another domain one should sit with one's legs close to one's body and not extended in a relaxed position.[30]

Transporting a Sefer Torah

When is it Permitted to Transport a Sefer Torah

  1. Generally, a Sefer Torah should not be transported for people who can't come to shul since it is considered disrespectful to bring a Sefer Torah to people when the opposite should take place. Therefore, many poskim hold that even if Jews are stuck in jail it is forbidden to bring them a sefer Torah.[31] Some are lenient if the Jews are unable to come to shul since it isn't a disrepect to the Sefer Torah in that case. For a Biblical Kriyat Hatorah such as Parshat Zachor we would be lenient.[32] Additionally, if there is a minyan of Jews stuck who can't come to the shul it is permissible to bring them a Sefer Torah and it is only prohibited to bring the Sefer Torah for an individual who is stuck.[33]
  2. Nonetheless, the practice is to be lenient as long as one transports the Sefer Torah a day or two in advance of the Kriyat Hatorah.[34] It is also acceptable to bring the Sefer Torah if one makes it a place where it can be properly stored for one or two days after bringing it for a Kriyat Hatorah.[35] Meaning, it shouldn't be brought for a temporary use and returned; it should be brought and placed in a respectful storage, used, held for a few days, and returned.[36]
  3. Some have the minhag only to bring a Sefer Torah to a new place if they're going to read from it three times and not just to read it once.[37]

How to Transport a Sefer Torah

  1. If one needs to transport a Sefer Torah, it should be wrapped[38] and placed in his lap and not put it in a bag. Also it should not be placed on the seat one is sitting on or behind oneself.[39]
  2. When transporting a sefer torah in a car it is permitted to place it in the trunk.[40]
  3. If the Sefer Torah is going to be brought out in the public ideally it should be transported and escorted by a minyan of Jews. It is even better bring it privately with a car brought door to door.[41]
  4. It is forbidden to carry a Sefer Torah on one's head as though it was a burden or behind one's back unless it is raised 10 tefachim.[42]
  5. It is forbidden to throw a Sefer Torah.[43]
  6. It is forbidden to bring a Sefer Torah into a bathroom, bathhouse, or cemetery even if it is in its case.[44]

Touching the Klaf

  1. It is forbidden to hold the klaf of a Sefer Torah without a cloth or Tallit intervening.[45]

Standing for the Sefer Torah

  1. One must stand for a sefer torah when it is being carried around out of respect for it. [46]
  2. If the aron kodesh is open and the sefer torah inside is at rest, some poskim say that one must still stand up. [47] Others are lenient. [48]
  3. There is a discussion in the poskim if one must stand for a pasul sefer torah. [49]

Disposing of a Sefer Torah

  1. A worn out Sefer Torah must be placed in an earthenware container and buried near a Talmid Chacham.[50]
  2. It is forbidden to burn a Sefer Torah or any holy Sefer even if it is worn out.[51]
  3. The crowns on a Sefer Torah are considered items that service kedusha (Tashmishei Kedusha) and may not be sold for mundane use but can sold to purchase a Sefer Torah.[52]
  4. It is forbidden to benefit from a bag that is used to hold a Sefer Torah. So too, the wrappings and aron for a sefer Torah are restricted from being used for one's personal use. [53]

Selling Holy Books

  1. It is prohibited to sell a Sefer Torah unless it is in order to learn Torah or get married. [54]

Sources

  1. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:1
  2. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:1
  3. Shulchan Aruch O.C. 153:21 writes that something that was once used for a personal or mundane use may not be used for a kodesh use. Baruch Shnatan Torah p. 376 gives that Aron Kodesh or Bimah as an example. Halacha Brurah 153:66 codifies the ruling of Shulchan Aruch for all tashmishei kedusha.
  4. Taz Y.D. 282:13, Eliya Rabba 147:4, Mishna Brurah 147:12, Halacha Brurah 153:68
  5. Mishna Brurah 147:12, Halacha Brurah 153:68
  6. Shulchan Aruch O.C. 154:6. See Burying_Religious_Articles#Aron_Kodesh for more sources.
  7. Olat Tamid 153:44, Eliya Rabba 147:4, Magen Avraham 147:5, Mishna Brurah 147:13, Yabia Omer OC 3:13, Halacha Brurah 153:67
  8. Mishna Brurah 147:14, Halacha Brurah 153:67
  9. Taz Y.D. 282:13, Halacha Brurah 153:66, Yabia Omer OC 3:13. Magen Avraham 147:5 questions the Taz.
  10. Yabia Omer OC 3:13, Halacha Brurah 153:69
  11. Meir Oz v. 5 p. 799
  12. Shaar Hatziyun 147:22
  13. Kenaf Rananah OC 6, Minchat Yitzchak 2:117 based on Rama Y.D. 289:6 and Shach 289:9 regarding having a mezuzah leaning. The topic is based on a dispute between Rashi Menachot 33a s.v. pesula and Tosfot s.v. Ha.
  14. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 289:6 rules that a mezuzah should be placed standing straight up. Yalkut Yosef Y.D. 285:70 writes that this the minhag of Sephardim and the same is true for leaving a Sefer Torah in the Aron that it should be standing. Also, Yalkut Yosef 141:3 writes that when the Sefer Torah is read on the Bimah it should also be standing.
  15. Minchat Yitzchak 2:117
  16. Rama 282:5
  17. Rama 282:7
  18. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:7
  19. Shach 282:8
  20. Rama Y.D. 282:7
  21. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:19
  22. Rama Y.D. 282:19
  23. Shulchan Aruch 282:1 writes that it is forbidden to turn one's back on a Sefer Torah unless it is above ten tefachim. The Pitchei Teshuva 282:2 quotes the Chavot Yair 184 who limits this only to if the Torah is ten tefachmi above one's head. However, the Nishmat Adam 3:3 argues that ten tefachim off the ground is sufficient. Rabbi Eliezer Melamed proves from the responsa of Rambam that the Nishmat Adam is correct.
  24. Taz 282:1 explains that it is permitted for a rabbi to give a drasha with his back to the Sefer Torah since it is in another domain. The Avodat Shlomo 282:1 quotes the Bnei Yonah who says that this leniency only applies to a drasha but not a mundane purpose.
  25. Emek Bracha (Kavod Sefer Torah p. 43)
  26. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:1
  27. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:1
  28. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:8
  29. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:1
  30. Rav Yisrael Pesach Feinhandler (Ohel Yakov Kavod Ukedushat Sefarim p. 10)
  31. Shulchan Aruch O.C. 135:14, Mishna Brurah 135:47
  32. Mishna Brurah 135:46
  33. Mishna Brurah 135:47
  34. Rama 135:14
  35. Mishna Brurah 135:49
  36. Piskei Teshuvot 135:25
  37. Aruch Hashulchan 135:32. Piskei Teshuvot 135:25 adds that even though this practice has no source one should observe it.
  38. Piskei Teshuvot 135:25
  39. The Rosh Brachot 3:7 understands from the Rif 11a that it is forbidden to carry a sefer torah behind oneself or on the same donkey that one is riding unless there is a fear of bandits. The Bach 282:3 and Shach 282:5 accept the opinion of the Rif. The Rambam (Sefer Torah 10:11) writes that when transporting a Sefer Torah one should hold it in one's lap. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:3 accepts the Rambam. Chut Shani (Nosim Shonim p. 262) quotes the Chazon Ish as having instructed Rav Nissim Karelitz to hold the Sefer Torah when they went on a 4 hour trip from Bnei Brak to Tzefat.
  40. Chut Shani (Nosim Shonim p. 262) writes that since the trunk of a car is a separate area there is no prohibition to place the sefer torah there. Torat Haderech 3:10 p. 34 writes that if it is too difficult to hold the sefer torah the whole trip it is permitted to place it in a suitcase within a suitcase and preferably it should be standing upright. Rav Yisrael Pesach Feinhandler (Ohel Yakov Kavod Ukedushat Sefarim p. 10) writes that it is permitted to place a Sefer Torah in a trunk of the car since it is in another domain and not considered behind one's back.
  41. Piskei Teshuvot 135:25 to be concerned for the Zohar
  42. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:1
  43. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:5
  44. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:4
  45. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:4
  46. Rambam Tefillin Mezuza and Sefer Torah 10:9, Sh"t Rashba 3:281, Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:2, Gemara Kiddushin 33b says that just as one must stand for a talmid chacham, one certainly must stand for a sefer torah.
  47. Sh"t Chatam Sofer CM 73
  48. Iggerot Moshe 5:38:4. Taz Y.D. 242:13 writes that if the torah is in the aron kodesh or on the bimah, it is in a different reshut and one doesn't need to stand
  49. While Aruch Hashulchan Y.D. 282:4 is lenient, Noda Biyehuda Y.D. 71 (quoted in Piskei Teshuvot 146) is strict. Rav Chaim Kanievsky (Dirshu Mishna Brura 146:note 19) says that there is no obligation to stand but the minhag is to stand.
  50. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:10
  51. Pitchei Teshuva 282:6
  52. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:16
  53. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 282:12
  54. Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Sefer Torah, 10:2; S”A 270:1