Received this question by email

(Below is a cut and paste from an email I received)

Yasher koach - wonderful blog! I'm getting started in stam, not yet ready to join you as a member (plus I see that you're maxed at 100 authors anyway). I do, however, have a question that I hope you'll consider posting yourself, as it's a common and critical one that I don't see dealt with yet by your chevra...

When a near-negiah is discovered in a sefer Torah during kriah, and it takes young people with good eyesight getting their noses right down next to the klaf to see that yes, there seems to be a chut hasairah of white space between - do we call that a negiah?

Near negios are judged l'fi "ayin regilah," according to Rav Wosner's zt"l teshuva ch' 1 siman 7 s"k 8, cited by the Mishnas HaSofer. I went to the teshuvah, and though he makes clear that you can't save such a situation with a magnifying glass, he doesn't explain precisely what r'us tivi (normal vision) means. It seems to me that we're talking about what the oisios look like from 18-24" away or so. But...

A magiah I know told me that his understanding is that ayin regilah is even when your eyelashes have to scrape the klaf in order to see that white space between oisios.

This is a fairly common shailah in sifrei Torah, it seems to me. Hoping you and the chevra can shed some light; I'm sure we'd all benefit from a post on it...

Yaakov Yosef Burgess
Cleveland, OH, USA


  1. I once wrote a long article on this subject, based on the Dovev Meisharim Chelek 1 Siman 1. I will try and locate it and post it...

    1. @ R' Eli,

      Will we get to see the article?

      Many Thanks!

    2. I only found a rough draft of it. I'm still looking for a final version. I'm waiting to hear back from the kovetz that published it. I will post it as soon as I can

  2. I think it is worthwhile to remember that when a Negiah is found during Krias Ha'torah: if the Negiah is "le'matah" i.e. it took place once there was a Shiur Os you continue to read according to all opinions. This includes if the Negiah took place "kodem she'silek yadav" and obviously if it took place afterwards. Even a negiah le'maalah is not a reason to stop reading according to Elya Rabba and Pri Megadim... and Bishas Ha'dchak that is the din even according to those who othewise are not meikil like the E"R and PM"G.

    So, now your talking about a negiah that is not even an actuall negiah... I would have a hard time conceiving that the din would be to stop reading...

    Maybe I am missing something though...

  3. regarding negiot, there are two issues to be considered: mukaf Gvil and Shinuy Tsurah.
    As far as mukaf gvil is considered, it's okay because the metzius is that there is no negiya (wer'e not talking about "keneged hashemesh", a term although used regarding hefsek, but generally meaning "observable to the naked eye")

    therefore, we only have to deal with the issue of shinuy tsura- which has different rules. in the question of whether there is shinuy tsura- there need not be any negia! (think of changes in size such as a wide head on a vav, or a lamed invading the space of a chaf...)
    here, the only thing that matters is what it seems like to a TINOK
    therefore, if there is no shinuy tsura (which seems to be the case as not having been mentioned) then the sefer is kosher. however, since the case has caused tircha detzibura, is good policy to widen the gap after Shabbos, to avoid distruptions next year.

  4. I have a 40 year old, very Sefardi style kesav Sefer Torah, in shul by me the whole Torah is full of these negios I was told by some old Sefardi Rabbonim that this is an old Minhag and that we have always done it like that and its not a problem


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