Question:

I am the Gabbai in a shul. If say on a Monday morning, you took out the wrong Sefer Torah. Do you roll it or take out a different one. I heard that Rabbi Moshe says you can do either one. Where does he say that . What does Mishna birurah say. Bottom line, what should you do. Would the same thing apply on say Shabbos morning

Answer:

The majority of Poskim agree that you should use the Sefer Torah that was taken out because taking out a different Sefer Torah would be a pegam (meaning a cause for people to think that there is a defect) to the first Sefer Torah. Additionally, Rav Moshe himself  wrote that if the people of the minyan don’t mind using the first Sefer Torah- and he adds that most communities actually do not mind- then the first Sefer Torah should definitely not be put back. However, if using the first Sefer Torah will cause any sort of friction, for example people will be upset at the Gabai or at the person who took out the wrong Sefer Torah, than you should rely on Rav Moshe’s opinion.

 

Sources:

This question is not brought in the Mishna Berura. The source of this discussion is based on O.C. 144 seifim 3-4. Rav Yosef Chaim Zonnenfeld in his sefer Salmas Chaim, the Kaf Hachaim O.C. 144:13, and Yabia Omer (חלק ח’ או”ח סימן ט”ו) all agree that it is assur to take out another Sefer Torah. The Siddur HaYavetz (beginning of hichos Sefer Torah, end of seif 1) brings a machlokes regarding this question. Rav Moshe’s opinion is found in Igros Moshe O.C. 2 siman 37 where he says that you can do either option.

It is worth noting that the Eshel Avraham MiButshatsh siman 144 says that if the minyan is small enough for everyone present to know that the reason the Sefer Torah is being put back is not because it is pasul rather because it is not rolled to the right place, you are then allowed to put back the first Sefer Torah and take out a different Sefer Torah because there is obviously no concern that people will think that the first Sefer Torah is passul. However, the poskim brought above did not bring this leniency which seemingly indicates that they do not pasken like that.

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