web analytics
June 30, 2015 / 13 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

The Lines Before Sefer Devarim

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

This column is dedicated to the refuah sheleimah of Shlomo Eliezer ben Chaya Sarah Elka.

This week we begin reading Sefer Devarim. The Gemara in Baba Basra 13b says that four blank lines must be scratched onto the parchment between each of the sefarim of a Sefer Torah (i.e. between Sefer Bereishis and Sefer Shemos).

The first Tosfos in Gittin discusses the reason why we are accustomed to writing a get with twelve lines. Rabbeinu Tam says it is because the gematria of the word get is twelve. Tosfos then says that the Ri heard from Rav Hai Gaon and Rabbeinu Sadya that the reason for this custom is because there are twelve lines that separate the sefarim of the Torah. There are four lines that separate Sefer Bereishis and Sefer Shemos, Sefer Shemos and Sefer Vayikra, and Sefer Vayikra and Sefer Bamidbar – totaling twelve lines. Since these lines separate the sefarim of the Torah they are also used to separate a husband and wife. Tosfos explains that the reason why we do not consider the lines that separate Sefer Bamidbar and Sefer Devarim is because Sefer Devarim is only a repetition of the Torah. Thus it is not a separate sefer, and the lines that separate it are not used in a get.

Rav Moshe Feinstein (Dibros Moshe Ha’aros Gittin 3) asks how Tosfos could say that Sefer Devarim is only a repetition of the Torah, when there are hundreds of mitzvos that are written only in Sefer Devarim. Perhaps the answer is as the Ramban says in this week’s parshah, namely that the general purpose of Sefer Devarim is to repeat the halachos before the bnei Yisrael entered Eretz Yisrael. Even though many new halachos were taught in the process, the purpose of the Sefer was to repeat the halachos.

The Chidushei Anshei Shem, in the beginning of Gittin, offers another explanation to the custom of writing a get on twelve lines. He says that of the four lines that are scratched into the Torah separating each Sefer, only three of them are there for separation purposes. The fourth line is there because there is one line scratched after every parshah in the Torah. Therefore, we in fact write a get on twelve lines because there are twelve lines separating each Sefer in the Torah. This number is reached when one counts the lines that separate Sefer Bamidbar and Sefer Devarim as well. Since only three of the lines are separation lines, we count the lines between each Sefer – totaling twelve lines.

We find a distinction between three of the lines and the fourth line. The Pischei Teshuvah in Yoreh De’ah 273:1 quotes the Tashbitz (volume 1:175), who says that if one forgot to make three of the four lines between the sefarim of a Sefer Torah, the Torah is still valid. However, if one does not make the fourth line, the Torah is invalid. This ruling fits well with the Chidushei Anshei Shem, who explained that one of the lines is not made for separation; rather it is the general halacha that one must make a line between each parshah of the Torah.

Some Acharonim suggest that the Rambam agrees with the Chidushei Anshei Shem. This is because the Rambam says, in Hilchos Sefer Torah 7:15, that when one is writing Nevi’im he must make three lines between each sefer of Navi. Since Nevi’im does not have the kedushah of a Sefer Torah, it does not require the fourth line that is written after each parshah. Thus it is sufficient to only leave three lines between each sefer of Navi.

The Rambam, in the same halacha there, writes that when one writes a sefer that has all of Tanach in it he must leave four lines between each Chumash. This does not fit with the opinion of the Chidushei Anshei Shem. When one writes a sefer that has all of Tanach in it, the sefer does not have the kedushah of a Sefer Torah. Why then is it required to have four lines between each Chumash? Since it does not have the kedushah of a Sefer Torah it should have sufficed to only have three lines of separation.

About the Author: For questions or comments, e-mail RabbiRFuchs@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Lines Before Sefer Devarim

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Fortress Rachel (Rachel's Tomb)
Netanyahu Warns World Leaders to Take A Stand on Terrorism in Israel
Latest Judaism Stories
Staum-062615

Amalek, our ultimate foe, understood that when unified, we are invincible and indestructible.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

Perhaps on a deeper level, the mitzvah of parah adumah at this junction was not just to purify the body, but the spirit as well.

Rabbi Avi Weiss

Halacha isn’t random; it’s a mechanism guiding individuals and society to a higher ethical plateau.

Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

Less clear, however, is whether the concept applies to the area of civil law such as the law of transfer of property.

The greatest of men, Moshe, had to wait for Hashem to sprinkle purifying waters on Bnei Yisrael to mark the conclusion of the period of death.

My Plate, My Food
‘My Loaf Is Forbidden To You’
(Nedarim 34b)

Of Chukkim “Satan and the nations of the world made fun.” They may appear irrational & superstitious

I realized from this story that I was sent as a messenger from above. Hashem has many helpers in this world to help do his work.

Tosafos answers that nevertheless the sprinkling is a part of his taharah process.

“What difference does that make?” replied Shraga. “What counts is the agreement that we made. I said two hundred fifty and you accepted.”

Zaidie’s legacy of smiles and loving words was all but buried with him, now the family fights over $

Israel’s complaining frustrated Moshe, making it increasingly hard for him to lead effectively

Dovid’s musical Torah teachings were designed to penetrate the soul and the emotions.

It occurred to me, as my brain rattled in my skull on a two-hundred mile ride through rural Virginia, that our souls work in much the same way.

More Articles from Rabbi Raphael Fuchs
Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Tosafos answers that nevertheless the sprinkling is a part of his taharah process.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Performing ketores outside the Beis Hamikdash, and at the wrong time is an aveirah.

Ten of the twelve spies returned with a negative report, stating that this would be impossible.

The flavor of the mon was not artificial; the mon would now consist of the actual flavors from the desired food.

Tosafos suggests several answers as to how a minor can own an item, m’d’Oraisa.

The question is: What about pidyon haben? Can one give the five sela’im required for pidyon haben to a kohen’s daughter?

The mitzvah that parents must give their son a bris milah is a mitzvah that they must perform for someone else – namely their son.

The Bach writes that he mentioned his insights to many of the leading gedolim and no one disproved him.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/the-lines-before-sefer-devarim/2013/07/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: