What happens if you take out an extra Sefer Torah by accident

It can happen. Someone gets confused and thinks it’s a special Shabbos. Or, there is to be an extra layning in an adjoining room because of chiyuvim. So, out come the Sifrei Torah, everyone gathers and kisses them and they go to the Bimah. Before layning, it dawns on the Gabbay, that they have taken out an extra Sefer Torah.

Option 1: Take the Sefer Torah back to the Aron HaKodesh.
Problem: One is shaming the second Sefer Torah

Option 2: Use the second Sefer to read the Maftir, so that it is at least used
Problem: It will need an extra Hagba and Gelila and that is a Tircha D’Tzibura

The above scenario occurred in the Shule I daven at. At the time, they followed option 1, but I was uncomfortable with it because I knew in the recesses of my mind that you don’t return a Sefer Torah like that.

I asked Mori V’Rabbi Rav Schachter what he would have done. His answer was

a) Do not return the second sefer torah
b) Leave it on the Bimah during layning
c) Announce to all, that the second sefer torah was taken out by accident

He didn’t like my Option 2, because it may look like the first sefer torah was Pasul.

Author: pitputim

I've enjoyed being a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia, as well as band leader/singer for the Schnapps Band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel and later in life at Machon L'Hora'ah, Yeshivas Halichos Olam.

9 thoughts on “What happens if you take out an extra Sefer Torah by accident”

  1. At least the embarrassment isn’t there.
    On a side note, would you consider writing about the Mendel Epstein trial taking place this week in the states.


    1. There is no embarassment of the Sefer Torah if it is announced it was taken out by accident. In regards to Mendel Epstein, It’s not on my mind at the minute. I knew what he was accused of, a while back, and if it’s proven true, I may or may not pitput. I generally write what’s going on in my mind, and my next pitput, has already occupied my neurones. There are many horrible happenings around the world, and if he’s guilty, he’ll get his due punishment.


  2. You’ll notice that Rav Schachter’s approach is somewhat “out of the box” – your general assumption is “either use the Sefer or put it away”, while he finds a way to do neither, without “shaming” the extra Sefer.
    And halevai we were so careful about not shaming others (and expecially talmidei chachamim) as we are about not shaming a Sefer Torah.


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