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Showing Letter in Sefer Torah to non-Jewish Child

When there is a question in a Torah and we ask a child, can it be a girl? What about an Arab that knows alef bais but cannot yet read words?


The question refers to doubts over the shape of a letter in the Sefer Torah, where Gemara (Menachos 29b) prescribes showing the letter to a child, and relying on his reading.

There does not appear to be a requirement for a boy, or even for a Jewish child; the idea of asking a child is a technical clarification, and any child who knows Hebrew will do.

I have not, however, seen sources on this matter, but we find that for other matters asking a non-Jew is fine (for tasting and verifying if meat taste has been absorbed), and I don’t see a reason that this won’t be true here, too.

Best wishes.

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  1. Rabbi Zilberstein from Benei Berak was asked this question and if I remember correctly said that the child had to be Jewish. I don’t remeber his proof.

    1. Interesting. If you can find out more I’ll be appreciative.

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