Question:

If one is transporting a sefer Torah from one shul to another shul where it is needed, should one avoid making the sefer Torah wait longer than necessary? For example, while someone is waiting in the car with the sefer Torah, should the driver of the car avoid taking care of other things, as the sefer Torah is waiting – but rather go right away? Or while driving with the sefer Torah, should one avoid making other stops or going out of the way to pick up other passengers? Or when the time comes to return the sefer Torah to its original location, should one avoid making it wait? Is it correct that people need to have derech eretz for the Torah (by not making it wait), and the Torah does not c”v need to have derech eretz for people?

Answer:

Interesting point. From a technical halachic standpoint, I am not aware of any specific prohibition to stopping off and doing an errand. However in hashkafa, I understand what you are saying very well. If someone was taking the president in his car to a place that he had to go, he wouldn’t stop off on the way to do some errands. Therefore I would say that it isn’t a proper thing to do. Regarding picking up other people, along the way, I would say that that would be permitted because picking up people is chesed and this is being mekayem what it says in the torah. No less than when Avrohom was talking to H-shem and he stopped to greet his guest.  When it comes time to return the sefer torah, unless the place it is in is not respectable for whatever reason, there isn’t any problem with leaving in the place that it is already there. It is definitely true that we have to have a lot of derech eretz for the sefer torah, it is our most precious possession, “G-d gift to humanity”, and the catalyst that keeps everything alive. In fact this is the reason for the halachos mentioned in O:CH 135-11 regarding when a sefer torah may be transported from place to place, because we have to treat the sefer torah with the utmost of respect.

Tags: sefer torah

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