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.

The prepositions אֵת vs. אֶת

The pronunciation of these two words is the bane of many a Ba’al Koreh. You sense everyone waiting to pounce on the wrong pronunciation (which itself its wrong, because it should come from the Rav or his designated “corrector” on the Bima. Some Parshiyos are a breeze, and others are a nightmare. This is compounded by some Ashkenazit pronunciation where one can barely discern the difference between a Tzeyrey and a Segol.

I was very interested to read, in the newly published Mesoras Moshe, where a particular Ba’al Koreh was layning with R’ Moshe Feinstein in attendance. He had made a few errors between the two words, and yet R’ Moshe declined to correct him.

Afterwards, he approached R’ Moshe and asked for the reason behind the lack of correction. Reb Moshe answered that the difference between the two words in the context of layning, is that one has a musical trope (cantillation) while the other does not. Reb Moshe then viewed the error as being one of trope! As such, according to many opinions, trope errors need not be corrected, let alone re-read.

It was fascinating. Your mileage may vary. Certainly wherever I’ve been, the “vultures” have always been ready to pounce. Reb Moshe’s greatness and individuality shone forth, and I enjoyed his observation!

R’ Moshe (from Eichler’s website)
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