Keeping An Error

Few days ago the Daf Yomi in Kesubos covered the Halacha that a person shouldn't keep in his house a Sefer that contains errors (Sh'eino Muga), be it missing words or misspellings, because somebody might interpret this sefer erroneously.

I'm writing my Sefer Torah and some bigger tikkunim I'm leaving for later, because I'm looking for better equipment for erasing (ie machine).

Is the problem of Sefer Sh'eino Muga applicable, and perhaps I (and all of us) should take care of any errors immediately rather than pushing it off?




  1. I think it's always best to take care of errors sooner rather than later so that they're not forgotten.

    However - See Da'at Cohen Siman 174 (written by Rav AY Kook) who refers to the minhag of leaving sefarim with mistakes in the Aron Kodesh longer than 30 days. He says that as long as it's clearly marked out (as we do, putting the gartel around the outside) then it's ok for a number of reasons, including that it's marked out, we don't normally use sefarim for our ikar learning and therefore there's less of a chashash that it will be used and even if it's used there are rishonim who are matir leining from a pasul sefer. He brings a source from Maharil that the minhag to keep pasul sefarim in the Aron Kodesh is an old one.

    In your case, I would think that you'd have to see if Rav Kook's reasoning applies. If you've clearly marked out areas where tikkunim are required I think it would be less of a problem. But even if not, your sefer is not intended to be used until completed, and it will undergo a complete hagaha before it's ready. So I think that that's an extra tzad lehakel. As long as there's not fear that you may use parts of your sefer to cross-check or correct another sefer, I would think it's ok.


  2. While I agree with Ari that there are plenty of sources allowing possul seforim to stay in the Aron long term (despite the Rambam and other Rishonim saying to repair or bury them within 30 days) I have always found it interesting that in Chabad this practice is also common despite at least three published letters in the Igros Kodesh where this practice is noted with "concern" and "wonder".

    1. R' Eli, can you please indicate exact sources?

    2. Chelek yud daled omud ayin
      Chelel tes vov omud reish pay
      Chelek yud daled omud reish pay daled

  3. I was thinking the same.

    However, I will a add a twist. If I remember correctly, a megillat Esther that is mostly kosher is suitable for a bracha, unlike a sefer torah or tefillin. Such megilla might be mistaken to be a fully kosher megilla and people might come to learn wrong things from it. In my understanding, the problem we are discussing will be applicable to such a megilla and it must be fixed immediatedly, even though it's good enough for purim reading. Agree?

  4. I will throw in another twist:
    A Sefer Torah which has no overt mistakes, yet is Passul because a letter was written with Chok Toches, does that violate "al tishkon"?
    On the one hand, no mistake can be made from learning in it. On the other it might be used and it's really passul!
    Pri Megadim & R' Akiva Eiger clearly held there is no problem of "al tishkon" in these cases.
    R' Tebeli (the Shoel in Shu"t R' Akiva Eiger, tinyana, #36) held it was even worse than a Sefer Torah with an overt mistake.

    Can anyone else chime in? I am looking for more sources on the issue...

  5. Hum very good question. I think it's a great topic, I will research and I hope to write about it in the near future.
    I'm guessing that your case is what prompted the earlier generations to bury the pasul sefer instead of leaving it in the aron kodesh.

  6. Check out Shu"t Chasam Sofer, Orach Chaim 178.

    He writes exactly the thought I was looking for. He maintains that it is a Machlokes Rishonim. According to Rash"i - so long as there is no overt mistake you have vindicated the Sefer even though it still may be passul due to Chok Tochos. According to Rashb"a, however, one still violates Al Tishkon so long as its passul even if the issue is merely that of Chok Tochos.


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