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Chapter 28: 4-7
The Torah Scroll and Sacred Texts

4. Other sacred texts should also be treated with respect. It is forbidden to sit on a bench on which such texts have been placed, unless the texts are placed on another object a handbreadth high.* It is surely forbidden to place such texts on the ground.

* {The Misgeres Hashulchon (4) quotes the Shach and the Chayei Odom, who do not require that the intervening object be a handbreadth high.}

A person should not put a sacred text on his lap and rest his arms upon it. When necessary, a person may sit on a chest containing other sacred texts, but not on one containing a Torah scroll.

(Chumashim may be placed on books of the Prophets and Sacred Writings. Books of the Sacred Writings may be placed on books of the Prophets or vise versa. However, neither books of the Prophets nor of the Sacred Writings may be placed on Chumashim.)

5. A Torah scroll that has become worn should be placed in genizah. The same applies to other sacred texts, writings, and ritual articles.* It is forbidden to burn them.

* {They should be placed in an earthenware container and buried in the grave of a Torah Sage (Shulchon Oruch, Orach Chayim 154:5).}

6. It is forbidden to throw sacred texts, even works of halacha or aggodoh. Similarly, it is forbidden to turn them upside down. If one finds one upside down, he should turn it right side up.

7. One should not urinate in the presence of holy texts. In an emergency, one should at the very least, see that they are raised ten handbreadths from the ground. *

* {Even in an emergency, a person who must defecate must cover the texts (Misgeres Hashulchon 6).}

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Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 1999 Project Genesis, Inc.

 

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