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Geniza of the fringes of a sefer torah


During the chagim the fringes on the paroket from an older Torah started falling on the floor. One person said that they needed to be collected and buried so people picked them up to do so. Another person thought it was silly and that there’s no inherent holiness in the fringes from the cloth covering of a torah and therefore no need to bury them. Can you tell me what’s correct and why?




Items that serve to beautify the sefer torah and actually touch the sefer torah are all considered “tashmishei kedusha” and therefore need to be buried. Therefore the fringes of the cover of the sefer torah are made nice for the beauty of the sefer torah, besides that they are a part (although only a “fringe” part) of the cover, therefore they have to be put into shaimos. In the event that something would be a “tashmish d’tashimsh”, then it would not have to be put into shaimos. An example of this would be the paroches of the aron hakodesh, which services the aron hakodesh which services the sefer torah, or the nails that hold up the mezuzah.

There is however another issue, the pieces that fell to the floor and broke off the sefer torah are muktza on shabbos or yom tov, since it is no longer a useable item. There is controversy among the poskim if shaimos that is not usable anymore if it may be picked up off the floor on shabbos, in order to prevent the shaimos from lying in an unrespectable manner, or do we say that it doesn’t override the halachos of muktza. There is an option given by some poskim, that it may be picked up “tiltul min hatzad” (indirectly), such as to pick it up with a napkin etc. Another heter would be if the fringes are lying in the middle of where people have to walk, or dance on simchas torah, then it would be tiltul min hatzad l’tzorech davar hamutar and permitted.



Y:D 182-16, O:CH 154-3, M:B ibid 7,8,10,11. Piskei Teshuvos 154-3, Ginzei Hakodesh 5-7. Shalmei Yehudah 1 ftnt. 20, Meohr Hashabbos 2- letters from R’ S. Z. Auerbach zt”l 32, Orchos Rabeinu 1 pg. 142. Although there are poskim who permit picking up a piece of a sefer that is on the floor, our case is worse, since it isn’t kedusha, but only tashmishei kedusha. Piskei Teshuvos 308 ftnt. 198 regarding tiltul min hatzad. O:CH 311-8.

As a side point; there are different minhagim regarding putting seforim, such as a siddur on to the bimah, the place that the sefer torah is placed. In many communities the minhag is to put seforim on to the bimah, however in some places, (I have only seen it is in Eretz Yisroel) they are makpid on this, and therefore they put a special cloth on the bimah when they read from the sefer torah. This difference in custom would have a halachic ramification in a case similar to ours. What would be the halacha if a piece of the regular covering of the bimah will fall off? It would depend on the shuls minhag. if the sefer torah is placed directly on that cover then it would need geneiza, however if there is always a different cover on it when the sefer torah is there, then it would only have a din of tashmish d’tashmish, and it wouldn’t need geneiza. So it would come out that the chumrah would come out being a kula, and the kula would have a stringent ramification as a result.   R’ Y. Cahen shlit”a

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