Thursday, December 27, 2007

Vayechi: Minchas Eluzer's Teshuva On The Gap - pt iv

For previous segments of this teshuva, see part 1 ;part 2, and part 3.

The summation of the ruling, with the help of Blessed Hashem, is to warn to scribes not to place any gap, except as is necessary for between one word and the next, but not more, not in the middle and not at the end of the verse, nor at the end of the "parsha" for the oleh. And so too, at the beginning of parshat Vayechi, that should not make the gap and the distinction at all. And if such is found in a sefer Torah, they need to fix it, if they is found a gap of 3 letters, which is a setuma, in a place where there need not be one, based on the position of the Masechet Soferim which is before us, as mentioned.

[Except for where it is found such in old sefer Torahs written by the holy writing of righteous people and geonei olam, who practiced this based on the ruling of the Rema, for we are afraid to send forth our hand to change the holy sefer Torah written by them, where they have to themselves upon what to reply, and so we should not change at all. And see in Shach, siman 275, seif katan 6, in the name of the teshuvat Maharam Minz like this.]

And ab initio, it is proper to be careful not to place even the measure of 2 letters, which is a setuma according to the opinion of Rabbenu Tam in the name of the siddur hakadmonim, such that {note: the following in poetry} the Torah of Hashem should be complete, in terms of petucha and setuma, complete and signed, without any change at all, from the places where there is a tradition from Sinai that one needs to make the separation with sweet speech, from days of old. And after the fact {bedieved}, if this is found at the time of reading, such that it is not possible to fix, certainly, one should not take out another (even if this is a new sefer Torah) {rather that the old ones mentioned in the previous, bracketed, paragraph}. For there is in this many double-layered doubts for leniency. And so too, if as a result of this, they will need to hide away a parchment sheet, for there is close to this of Divine Names which may not be obliterated, then perhaps there is to rely upon the opinions which hold (and like the opinion of the Mordechai who learns this based on Masechet Soferim) that the measure is 9 letters. However, aside from this, the obligation is to fix every sefer Torah, as mentioned.

After this, I merited to see for myself the aforementioned sefer Torah of the Rema, z"l, (in the synagogue of the Rema in Krakow), in the old parchment pages within it, which are from the holy handwriting of the Rema, z"l. And such in found there, the separation in all the verses, between one verse and the next verse. And this is because the Rema was working according to his opinion, as mentioned. But we, who rule like the aforementioned Lechem Chamudot and the Magen Avraham, we should not make any separation in any place, except for by a setuma, as we explained above, with the aid of Heaven.

Now, at the time of printing, the She'elot uTeshuvot Admat Kodesh (to Maharam Mizrachi) reached us. And I saw in chelek 2, siman 2, of Yoreh Deah, that he wrote about a certain sofer who erred, in understanding the statement of Razal of "Why is this parsha setuma" in parshat Vayechi, {thinking} that it needed to be a setuma, and he made it a {full-length?} setuma (as I wrote {suggested} earlier), and he leaned to permit to read from it in pressing times, when there is no other sefer Torah -- for the reason that, at any rate, it is a termination of a parsha {presumably meaning the "sidra" of Vayigash}. And what appears to my humble opinion is to forbid, and the Mishna {=law} does not move from its place, from the sources

that I brought above, from the Masoretic works, and from the holy Zohar, it appears that it is not a termination {piska} at all.

And also there, in Admat Kodesh, he leans to say the opposite. That also according to the opinion of the one who permits, if he made it a setuma in a place that it is not required, here there is to be stringent even more, according to everyone, for so did Razal receive as tradition, that it should be in there clear from it itself that there is no separation of a setuma. If so, if he changed and made it a setuma, it does prevent it {from being valid}, even after the fact {bedieved}. This appears more logical, to practical halacha, and as I wrote, with the aid of Heaven.

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