The sad state of Torah scrolls wherein mistakes were found
You can save Torah scrolls from disgrace and save your family's money.
In many synagogues it is customary that when a Torah scroll is found to be disqualified, it is marked and put away in the Ark. Often these Torah scrolls are left there for many years without being repaired. It is estimated that in synagogues throughout the world there are tens of thousands of Torah scrolls in this state of not being repaired – even though they can be repaired and thereafter they can be read from.
This custom is not right for several reasons and it is a slight to the respect of the Torah scroll sitting in the corner of the
Many times during the course of time the place of disqualification is forgotten. Finding the faulty place takes tremendous effort of an experienced proofreader for many hours. Therefore, in many cases when the disqualifying place has been forgotten and much effort would be needed to find it and repair it, the Torah scroll is put aside until someone is willing to search for that fault from the beginning of the scroll until it is found – and it remains lying amongst the other disqualified scrolls.
Today with the operation of a computerized project to locate missing and extra letters, there has been a breakthrough in finding these errors that had been lost. Other types of faults in the shapes of the letters, etc . cannot be located by the computer.
These Torah scrolls are lying closed up for a long period of time. A Torah scroll that lies for many years without being opened up and aired out accumulates many flaws from ink "jumping" and other problems. In the course of time it is possible that even if people want to repair a Torah scroll it may not be possible because of its terrible state. By repairing the disqualified scrolls before it is too late, the Torah's honor is raised and the sextons of synagogues should be aroused to pioneer for this important mitzvah.
- There are many synagogues where all the Torah scrolls are faulty because of breaks, erasures, faded ink, etc. The cost of a new Torah scroll is very high and many people are deterred from writing a new one for a synagogue.
It is crucially important that in every synagogue at least one Torah scroll is kosher.
First of all – to the families of the donors: Your dear relative spent a great amount of his money in order to merit this great mitzvah of writing a Torah scroll and now his efforts are in vain – besides the disgrace that the Torah scroll itself endures. Therefore, for the sake of the Torah scroll's honor and the family's honor the family should come together to give in the scroll for repair. The relative cost is not great and thereby the family is again performing the mitzvah of writing a Torah scroll. According to the rulings of the Rabbis, a ceremony for bringing in a new Torah scroll to a synagogue and a festive meal should be held when a scroll returns to being one of the kosher scrolls qualified to be read.
Our second offer: There are many good people who yearn to merit the mitzvah of having a Torah scroll written but because of the great cost they cannot. We appeal to them: Know that the repair of a Torah scroll that has been sitting in the corner of the Ark is truly like the writing of a new one, according to the rulings of all the Rabbis and with a relatively small amount you merit to perform the mitzvah of writing a Torah scroll – and all the merits promised therein. You will also be given the equal merit of commemoration together with the original owners.
The third offer – to synagogues to join together to perform this great mitzvah. Many synagogues that were hesitant at first because of the great expenses have succeeded by dividing up the cost amongst all the worshippers through monthly Direct Debit of a modest sum, thereby achieving a kosher Torah scroll within a short period of time. Therefore, an exact calculation of the expenses can promote the performance of this great mitzvah. An initiative in this area is one of the foundations of the synagogue's existence and the synagogue's sextons should give it first preference. Linking to his great mitzvah will bring all the worshippers of the synagogue to merit reading from a kosher Torah scroll and the blessings of the Torah will be ushered upon them.
Blessed is he who upholds the words of this Torah
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