Borrowing/Loaning a Sefer Torah

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  • This topic contains 16 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Avi K 1 month ago.
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  • #1639356

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    We have two sifrei torah at the CTL compound that were from a bungalow colony owned by my grandparents after WWII.
    We use them for services held here on yuntif and snowy Shabbosim in the winter.
    This afternoon, I got a call from a frum man in an adjoining town. He is at his in-laws’ home and the FIL is wheelchair bound and they planned a minyan for this Shabbos. It dawned on him the Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Chanukah we use three sifrei Torah and he wanted to borrow our two to add to the one his shul lent him.

    I refused, saying that we don’t let the sirei torah out of the house unless one of us plans to be at the place where they are being used.

    I don’t know this man, and have met his FIL a few times but we are not friends.

    Was I wrong? they could roll the torah they borrowed from their shul.

    Would you loan a sefer torah to people you don’t really know well?
    Would you ask an individual to borrow a sefer torah?

    #1639562

    Joseph
    Participant

    I assume you submitted this question prior to Shabbos, when you could have still changed your answer to him.

    #1639570

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I don’t think it was so unreasonable to refuse since they had a sefer Torah and it was only a matter of rolling it.

    #1639662

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @joseph
    Your assumption is correct. Posts are often delayed before they show up in the CR.
    I had tried calling my shul Rav, but he was at the local hospital visiting a congregant and could not be reached before I posted.
    I did ask my shul Rav yesterday morning and he agreed with my reasoning. He told me the shul only lets a sefer torah out for shivah minyan if it is taken by the gabbai or Rav who is attending the minyan and returned immediately after the minyan. Never having to have borrowed a sefer torah, I never have asked the rules.

    #1639848

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    My shul does not lend out its seforim to unknown individuals, only neighborhood shuls or members making a simcha in an outside catering hall.

    #1639842

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    I am someone who is all for giving above and beyond, but i do think that was a lot to ask. Things happen and two sifrei torah are a lot to gamble with

    #1640440

    funnybone
    Participant

    Make sure that a sefer torah is loaned to an individual, and he is responsible to give it back to you. If you dont trust the individual dont lend. That being said, its a zechus to use your sefer torah and if you trust someone definitely loan it.

    #1640666

    laskern
    Participant

    Shakespeare should have said, Neither a loaner nor a borrower be. The correct word is lend not loan.

    #1640679

    Meno
    Participant

    I just came across this:

    https://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/256672/halachically-speaking.html

    Do they have an Aron that can hold 3 Sifrei Torah? If not, it might be problematic.

    #1640799

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @laskern
    From Merriam-Webster
    “It turns out that the verb loan had fallen out of use in England during the 18th and 19th centuries in favor of lend. (Lend is the earlier word, dating back to about the 11th century, and comes from the Old English verb lænan.) But loan as a verb survived in American English, which hadn’t kept pace with the changes to the language that were happening in British English. British English speakers noticed the verb and decried it as uncouth and provincial—it had to be if it was in the mouths of Americans.”

    It goes without saying that the the Americans and Brits are one people divided by a common language-LOL
    We are provincial in the former colonies and don’t always use Britspeak.

    #1640803

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    I posed two questions in the OP………………..
    as expected, a number of responses, but no one has answered the questions about what they would do…
    Would you ask to borrow a sefer torah from an individual (not a shul or organization)?
    Would you lend a sefer torah to people you do not know well? verb changed to make laskern happy

    #1641121

    laskern
    Participant

    CTLAWYER, it is a common practice in modern english to verbilize nouns e.g. authored, loaned, impacted

    #1641436

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Unless you know the individuals who will actually handle the sefer torah (aka who will be the baal koreh, will the hagbah/gellilah know how to lift/tie) I’d be reluctant to share a sefer with others, even if you know they are erliche yidden. I’ve seen damage to a sefer torah caused by an inexperienced baal koreh who used a yad with too much pressure directly on the parchment scraping the ink.

    #1641424

    Avi K
    Participant

    “A sefer Torah should not be taken out of the shul to be read in a separate minyan somewhere else. Exceptions are a house of mourning and for other special circumstances (and even then there should be a special place for it). There are those (Maaseh Rav 129 and Rav Sonnenfeld) who are very stringent about this” – Tefilla k’Hilchata ch. 16 Halacha 7 with footnotes)

    #1641455

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @laskern
    My children always accuse me of being achaic………………………

    #1641542

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    CTL: If I owned a sefer torah I probably would not allow someone I don’t know well to borrow it.

    #1641550

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @AviK
    Your post is interesting, BUT since the sifrei torah are my personal property, a gift from my grandparents who had them written for their business (bungalow colony) in the 1940s, it is not about taking a torah out of a shul.

    I have at least 4 or 5 friends who own a sefer torah that passed down in their family. I am the only one of the group who has 2. Others I know have placed them on ‘permanent’ loan to their shuls, so that they are kept in a place of honor, get used and are checked on a regularly scheduled basis. Mine are kept in a large fireproof safe. We have a portable aron kodesh that gets wheeled in place when we plan to hold services here and we can seat the extended family comfortably on Pesach.

    The last time the sifrei torah were out of the house was to my eldest nephew’s home for a Monday Bris for his first grandson. We also loaned him the aron kodesh. The silver rimonim, and keter remained here in the safe.

    #1642686

    Avi K
    Participant

    CTL, the Mishna Berura says (135:47) says that it is a denigration to take the sefer from its place.People should go to it not it to people. Apparently Rav Fuchs used the term “shul” because that is the usual place of a sefer Torah.Here the person already has a sefer Torah so there is no big need. In fact, the only reason for three is not to inconvenience the tzibbor by making them wait for it to be rolled to different places. However, as the rav of my community pointed out, the time taken for hagba’ah is almost as much.

    #1642732

    laskern
    Participant

    Avi K, This MB would answer the Tosfas Yom Tov’s kashye about laining on shabbos and not worrying about carrying the Sefer Torah. People go to it and not that it goes to the people.

    #1643428

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @AviK
    “The business of America is Business” President Calvin Coolidge
    For 100+ years J Levine Company in NYC has been in the Judaica business.
    For the current fee of $500 you can rent a kosher sefer torah for the weekend (Thursday -Monday)
    This is perfect for hotel based Bar Mitzvah or a Shabbaton.

    Not all sifrei torah are kept in a designated place. This rental ‘fleet’ travels regularly.
    More than 40 years ago when I was in the kosher catering business we would do hotel B’Nai Mitvah or weddings. The patrons would ask us to arrange the sefer torah, siddurim, taleisim, etc.
    Back then we could rent the sefer torah and the other items for about $200.
    Pesach hotels and resorts and kosher cruises also rent these items if the operator does not own his/her own.

    The summer camp I went to made a deal with the camp rabbi….he and his wife got a cabin, his kids attended for free and he had to bring along 2 sifrei torah from his shul for the summer.

    My grandfather told me that when he first opened his bungalow colony for the summer of 1946 he rented a sefer torah from J. Levine. After the summer, he commissioned two sifrei torah to be written in memory of cousins killed fighting in WWII in the US armed forces. Those are the sifrei torah I own today.

    #1643848

    Avi K
    Participant

    CTL, who says that J. Levine Co. is acting properly? There was also a company that printed siddurim on Shabbat.

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