Took Out The Wrong Sefer Torah

Updated: Dec 30, 2021

The Daily Halacha Moment - Wrong Sefer Torah 📜


״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן ‎העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)


“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Question:

The wrong Sefer Torah was taken out of the Aron what should be done?


Answer:

If a synagogue has numerous sifrei Torah, and by accident, the person took out the wrong sefer Torah from the hechal, he may not put the sefer Torah back in the hechal in order to take the intended sefer Torah. Rather, the congregation must use the Torah that has been taken out, and must roll it to the proper place even though it will take time to roll it. [1]

However, if one accidentally opened the wrong Torah on a Shabbat where two sifrei Torah are read, such as on Rosh Chodesh, then one may close the Torah, and use the proper one instead. [2]


Similarly, when taking out the sefer Torah, one should take it out beginning with one’s right hand. When holding it one should hold it on one’s right side and give it to the person who will be performing hagbah to his right side as well. [3]


Likewise, many communities have the custom to take out the sefer Torah while it is open, so that people can see the writing in the sefer Torah.[4] However, some communities do not have this custom, and take out the sefer Torah while it is closed.[5]


Sources:

[1]. Yabia Omer, vol. 8, O.C. 15:4; see also in Igrot Moshe, O.C. 2:37; Halachah Berurah, vol. 7, p. 253.

[2]. See Biur Halachah §684, “Ve’im ta’ah”; Halachah Berurah, vol. 7, p. 253.

[3]. Rama 134:2; LeDavid Emet 3:2; Mishnah Berurah 134:14; Torah Lishmah §22; Kaf HaChaim 134:23.

Halachah Berurah, vol. 7, p. 79, points out that one may use both hands if one cannot carry it in one hand.

[4]. LeDavid Emet 3:3; Halichot Olam, vol. 3, p. 113. According to this custom, even on a day where two sifrei Torah are being read, such as on Rosh Chodesh that falls out on Shabbat, it is customary to open up both sifrei Torah.

[5]. Ben Ish Chai, Toldot, 2:16; Kaf HaChaim 134:10.


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