Not saying "leshaim" by a siyum sefer torah

I had a situation a few years ago where someone wrote some letters at a siyum sefer torah without saying leshaim. I was out of the room at the time and the guy just sort of did it on his own without asking anyone. We later could not remember which letters he did so we didn't have the option of erasing and rewriting.

I subsequently called a number of Rabbonim to clarify what to do. Teshuvios ranged from those who said to erase and rewrite the entire final omud except the shaimos (we left the whole omud for this siyum ,it was a big one) to those who said it was OK since the outline was already there and that was written lishmah.

In the end the morah deasrah of the shule followed the majority opinion that it was OK since the outline was there and there is no shiur of the uvai haos so therefore the letter was kosher even before.

However this incident still nags at me and I still remain a little uneasy about it. I would appreciate anyone's imput or similar experiences / teshuvos.


  1. Eli without getting into the details regarding this incident - please inform all sofrim:
    Please mevatel the minhag of leaving oisiyos chalulos at the end for the siyum - it is known to cause serious problems !!!

    I asked a nice person how much did you pay for the sefer: he bragged that he payed 50,000$ and had the best sofer yre shamayim etc. [which was indeed correct!] write it.
    I told him: I doubt if your sefer is even kosher bdieved after the siyum, maybe it is kosher bdieved?! maybe?!

    I call again and again - mitzva lefarsem!!
    When the sofer tells the baal hasefer clearly "Nobody (not even the rabbis!!) are going to write, they will all make me a shaliach" it works - unless the rabbis [chas v'shalom] don't cooperate!!

  2. I already wrote about this above Jan 16 "siyum sefer tora"
    and on the hebrew forum several posts.

    The money and honor cause people [nebach] to gravely mistake!!

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  4. R' Moshe had emailed me privately about this as well however I didn't respond yet to that. Since Eli is making a post about it I will post a few comments now and what I heard from R' Shammai.

    On a few occasions I tried speaking to him about it. I say "tried" because I didn't feel so clear afterwards and to go back again now I feel a little funny (not a good excuse! I know..) Every shailo and inyun I speak about it has it's "time".

    In any case. What I gathered from the few times speaking is that he does hold that the oisios chalolos are kosher b'dieved
    However he said people are makpid to still say "L'Shem Kedushas Sefer Torah" by a siyum...In terms of not frum people I didn't write down a clear teshuva in my notes, could be cause it told me there is a discussion about it and didn't give me any clear psak on what he holds (In Eretz Yisrael of course this is less of a shailo among charedi communities.) Something interesting that he did say is that R' Eliyashuv was always makpid by a Siyum of a Sefer Torah to not write the last ois but rather the "yud" of "Yisrael" because he held that the outline of the ois yud is not considered a kosher yud therefore only through this does the sefer Torah become kosher. R' Shammai said he disagrees and holds that an outline of the yud is in fact a kosher yud like the other oisios.

  5. I am not going to argue the issue of oisiyos chalulos - although I hold my ground in this issue as well.

    The main problem is that the people don't write exactly in the challal rather overwrite on the kavim, becoming csav elyon - there is a debate in the acharonim what is the correct status of csav al gabei csav, so when the not-kosher sofrim, including very yre-shemayim qualified to write according to all measures, but forget to say lshaim kedushas - believe me it happens at every siyum, because of the so many distractions!!!
    then the sefer is kosher bdieved, to consider the csav haelyon batel legabei csav hatachton!!

    Please ask every honorable Baal-Hasefer who does the hachnoso: Does he want his sefer me'lechatchila [because you are entering a situation that is c'mat vaday going to happen] to be a bdieved sefer??????

    The rabonim are into the hallachic pipulim what is the halacha etc. I am speaking about what happens b'poial in these [many, most - although maybe maybe not everyone] siyumim.

    My call is a takana for the clal.
    See my latest post on the hebrew forum -from the Kol Sofrim a very chashuver sofer 100 years ago.

  6. Yehoshua, I definitly appreciate your input and Rabbi Shammay's and I am very interested in debating/understanding and clarifying the issue of oisiyos challulos on the hallachic prespective. Please continue!!

    Still there is a very wide margin between understanding the hallacha and paskening in a very problematic situation as Eli is writing - and believe me Eli is honest to admit it, it happens in very many siyumim - to my call to make a general takana.

    We must realize most hachnosas sefer toras around the world are not in a strict charedi community, the majority are donated by wealthy people all over the world [between 90-95% am-aratzim gmurim] and money & honor are all involved on all sides!
    If this will be an over-all takana they will accept that only the sofer who is a very specialy qualified may write thats OK for them, but the moment we have the rabbis etc. write, in no matter how -
    we have to twist in our excuses why the rich-donater cannot follow the same.
    The nisayon is very great, and belive me not every asken that organizes the hachnosas sefer tora is the biggest tzadik!!

  7. I had an experience once where I was doing a Siyum Sefer Torah and a person wanted to fill in an Ois and even told me he went to the Mikva that day.I had no idea who he was Frum or not and told him sorry You can't.I felt bad but I had no choice .At the same Siyum a Shliach was about to fill in an Ois and I explained to him that he was holding the feather upside down.On another occasion by a Hascholas Sefer Torah right after a Rav filled in a letter another person wanted to fill in an Ois and I said no.He complained that someone just filled in an Ois ;why can't he ?I simply told him that he is a Rav.He wasn't to happy about that .

  8. I was a by Siyum once in Eretz Yisrael. What they did is they called the siyum for a certain time and before the start time a few people were allowed to come and write an ois (a few Rabbonim, with a "aspiring" Sofer and those who donated the Sefer Torah who were frum.) After that the sofer sat down and was the shliach for those who wanted to write an ois (you also had to pay as well if you wanted to write an ois.) Finally the Rosh Yeshiva came at the end and was given the last ois. However this way they were able to see who was getting a kibud before all the craziness started and afterwards no one felt bad...

  9. Yehoshua,
    Indeed this is a good idea, that the rabbis & yre shamayim that are kosher for writing, shall come beforehand b'tz'ina and given their part in the mitzva - Before the crowd is invited and the whole simcha etc. starts.

  10. Thanks for sharing you experiences,after experiencing the same situations I have accepted Reb Moishes idea_I took it a step further.I preprinted a large sheet.
    "I am herby designating Rabbi Traube to write a letter in this sefer torah on my behalf.לשם קדושת ספר תורה(the person sitting down wants to feel like he is doing something)
    I then prepared a few extra kulmusim"for the picture".It worked like a charm even the ultra frum complied.I then ask the person his name and fathers name and i choose "any" letter from his name (not the first letter )and fill it in.when done a give the person a handshake(sometimes there is a tip) and a mazal tov.

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