וְאִם בָּא לַחְתּוֹךְ חוֹתֵךְ מַאי קָאָמַר הָכִי קָאָמַר שֶׁאִם בָּא לַחְתּוֹךְ חוֹתֵךְ And if he wishes to cut the scroll, he may cut it. The Gemara is surprised at this: What is the tanna saying? Why is mention made here of cutting the scroll? The Gemara answers: This is what the tanna is saying: He arranges the text so that if he finishes a book at the bottom of one column, he begins the next book at the top of the next column without leaving any empty space, so that if he wishes to cut the scroll, he may cut it. If he does not begin the next book at the top of the next column, he will not be able to cut the scroll, because it is not fitting for a scroll to begin with an empty space.
וּרְמִינְהִי תְּחִלַּת סֵפֶר וְסוֹפוֹ כְּדֵי לָגוֹל כְּדֵי לָגוֹל מַאי אִי כְּדֵי לָגוֹל עַמּוּד קַשְׁיָא הֶקֵּף אִי כְּדֵי לָגוֹל הֶקֵּף קַשְׁיָא עַמּוּד The Gemara raises a contradiction between this baraita and another baraita that teaches: Enough parchment should be left at the beginning of the scroll and at its end for winding. The Gemara clarifies: For winding around what? If it means for winding around the pole to which the beginning of the scroll is fastened, this is difficult in light of what is taught in the first baraita, that at the end of the scroll enough parchment should be left for winding around the entire circumference of the scroll. And if it means for winding around the entire circumference, this is difficult in light of what is taught in the first baraita that at the beginning of the scroll enough parchment should be left for winding around the pole.
אָמַר רַב נַחְמָן בַּר יִצְחָק לִצְדָדִין קָתָנֵי Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: The tanna teaches the halakha disjunctively, referring to two separate cases. He issues a general statement requiring that enough parchment be left for winding as needed: At the beginning of the pole, enough to wind around the pole, and at the end of the scroll, enough to wind around the circumference.
רַב אָשֵׁי אָמַר כִּי תַּנְיָא הָהִיא בְּסֵפֶר תּוֹרָה כִּדְתַנְיָא כׇּל הַסְּפָרִים נִגְלָלִים מִתְּחִלָּתָן לְסוֹפָן וְסֵפֶר תּוֹרָה נִגְלָל לְאֶמְצָעִיתוֹ וְעוֹשֶׂה לוֹ עַמּוּד אֵילָךְ וְאֵילָךְ אֲמַר רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר בְּרַבִּי צָדוֹק כָּךְ הָיוּ כּוֹתְבֵי סְפָרִים שֶׁבִּירוּשָׁלַיִם עוֹשִׂין סִפְרֵיהֶם Rav Ashi said: When that second baraita is taught, indicating that the same measure of parchment is left at both the beginning and the end of the scroll, it was referring to a Torah scroll, as it is taught in a baraita: All other scrolls are wound from the beginning to the end around a single pole, but a Torah scroll is wound from both ends to the middle around two poles, one of which he attaches at this end of the scroll and the other at the other end. Rabbi Eliezer, son of Rabbi Tzadok, said: This is how the scribes in Jerusalem made their scrolls, i.e., with poles at either end so that it could be rolled to the middle.
תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן אֵין עוֹשִׂין סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה לֹא אׇרְכּוֹ יוֹתֵר עַל הֶקֵּיפוֹ וְלֹא הֶקֵּיפוֹ יוֹתֵר עַל אׇרְכּוֹ שָׁאֲלוּ אֶת רַבִּי שִׁיעוּר סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה בְּכַמָּה אָמַר לָהֶן בִּגְוִיל שִׁשָּׁה בִּקְלָף בְּכַמָּה אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ § The Sages taught: A Torah scroll should not be made in such a manner that its length, i.e., its height, is greater than its circumference when it is rolled up; nor should its circumference be greater than its length. They asked Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi: What should the size of a Torah scroll be? Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to them: If it was written on a hide that was treated with gallnuts [gevil ] it should be six handbreadths long. They asked him further: How much should it be if it was written on ordinary parchment [kelaf ]? Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to them: I do not know.
רַב הוּנָא כְּתַב שִׁבְעִין סִפְרֵי דְּאוֹרָיְיתָא וְלָא אִיתְרְמִי לֵיהּ אֶלָּא חַד רַב אַחָא בַּר יַעֲקֹב כְּתַב חַד אַמַּשְׁכֵּיהּ דְּעִיגְלֵי וְאִיתְרְמִי לֵיהּ יְהַבוּ בֵּיהּ רַבָּנַן עֵינַיְיהוּ וְנָח נַפְשֵׁיהּ It is related that Rav Huna wrote seventy Torah scrolls himself, and it happened for him only once that the length and the circumference were equal. Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov wrote one Torah scroll on calf hide and it happened to have the same length and circumference. The Sages looked at him and his achievement with jealousy, and he died from their envious gaze.
אֲמַרוּ לֵיהּ רַבָּנַן לְרַב הַמְנוּנָא כְּתַב רַבִּי אַמֵּי אַרְבַּע מְאָה סִפְרֵי תּוֹרָה אָמַר לְהוּ דִילְמָא תּוֹרָה צִוָּה לָנוּ מֹשֶׁה כְּתַב אֲמַר לֵיהּ רָבָא לְרַבִּי זֵירָא נְטַע רַבִּי יַנַּאי אַרְבַּע מְאָה כַּרְמֵי אֲמַר לֵיהּ דִּילְמָא שְׁתַּיִם כְּנֶגֶד שְׁתַּיִם וְאַחַת יוֹצֵא זָנָב The Sages said to Rav Hamnuna: Rabbi Ami wrote four hundred Torah scrolls. Rav Hamnuna said to them: Perhaps he wrote the verse: “Moses commanded us the Torah” (Deuteronomy 33:4) four hundred times, rather than four hundred complete Torah scrolls, as it is difficult to say that he could have written so many, even over a lifetime. Similarly, Rava said to Rabbi Zeira: Rabbi Yannai planted four hundred vineyards. Rava said to him: Perhaps he did not plant large vineyards, but only the smallest possible vineyards recognized by halakha, which are composed of two vines facing another two vines, with a fifth one protruding like a tail, extending out beyond the square.
מֵיתִיבִי אָרוֹן שֶׁעָשָׂה מֹשֶׁה אַמָּתַיִם וָחֵצִי אׇרְכּוֹ וְאַמָּה וָחֵצִי רׇחְבּוֹ וְאַמָּה וָחֵצִי קוֹמָתוֹ בְּאַמָּה בַּת שִׁשָּׁה טְפָחִים The Gemara raises an objection to what is taught with regard to the length of a Torah scroll from a baraita: With regard to the Ark of the Covenant that Moses fashioned, its length was two and one-half cubits, its width was one and one-half cubits, and its height was one and one-half cubits (see Exodus 25:10), the cubit used for these measurements being six handbreadths. Therefore, the Ark was fifteen handbreadths long, nine handbreadths wide, and nine handbreadths high.
וְהַלּוּחוֹת אׇרְכָּן שִׁשָּׁה וְרׇחְבָּן שִׁשָּׁה וְעׇבְיָין שְׁלֹשָׁה מוּנָּחוֹת כְּנֶגֶד אׇרְכּוֹ שֶׁל אָרוֹן כַּמָּה לוּחוֹת אוֹכְלוֹת בָּאָרוֹן שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר טְפָחִים נִשְׁתַּיְּירוּ שָׁם שְׁלֹשָׁה טְפָחִים צֵא מֵהֶן טֶפַח חֶצְיוֹ לְכוֹתֶל זֶה וְחֶצְיוֹ לְכוֹתֶל זֶה נִשְׁתַּיְּירוּ שָׁם שְׁנֵי טְפָחִים שֶׁבָּהֶן סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה מוּנָּח The baraita continues: And as for the tablets, their length was six handbreadths, their width was six handbreadths, and their thickness was three handbreadths. The tablets were placed along the length of the Ark, one next to the other. If so, how much space did the tablets occupy along the length of the Ark? Twelve handbreadths, as each tablet was six handbreadths long. Three handbreadths were left there along the length of the Ark, for a total of fifteen handbreadths. Deduct a handbreadth from them: One-half a handbreadth for this wall, namely, the thickness of the wooden Ark itself, and one-half a handbreadth for the other wall. Accordingly, two handbreadths were left there, in which the Torah scroll written by Moses lay.
שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר אֵין בָּאָרוֹן רַק שְׁנֵי לֻחוֹת הָאֲבָנִים אֲשֶׁר הִנִּחַ שָׁם מֹשֶׁה [וְגוֹ׳] מַאי אֵין בָּאָרוֹן רַק מִיעוּט אַחַר מִיעוּט וְאֵין מִיעוּט אַחַר מִיעוּט אֶלָּא לְרַבּוֹת סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה שֶׁמּוּנָּח בָּאָרוֹן What biblical source indicates that a Torah scroll was placed there? As it is stated: “There was nothing in the Ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there” (I Kings 8:9). What does “there was nothing in the Ark except” mean? This is an example of a restriction following a restriction, as both terms, “nothing” and “except,” indicate that the Ark was empty. And there is a hermeneutical principle that a restriction following a restriction serves only to amplify and include other matters. In this case, it serves to include a Torah scroll that lies in the Ark.
פִּירְנַסְתָּ אָרוֹן לְאׇרְכּוֹ צֵא וּפַרְנֵס אָרוֹן לְרׇחְבּוֹ כַּמָּה לוּחוֹת אוֹכְלוֹת בָּאָרוֹן שִׁשָּׁה טְפָחִים נִשְׁתַּיְּירוּ שָׁם שְׁלֹשָׁה טְפָחִים צֵא מֵהֶן טֶפַח חֶצְיוֹ לְכוֹתֶל זֶה וְחֶצְיוֹ לְכוֹתֶל זֶה נִשְׁתַּיְּירוּ שָׁם שְׁנֵי טְפָחִים שֶׁלֹּא יְהֵא סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה נִכְנָס וְיוֹצֵא כְּשֶׁהוּא דָּחוּק דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי מֵאִיר The baraita continues: With this explanation you have accounted for the entire length of the Ark; go now and account for the width of the Ark, which was nine handbreadths. How much space did the tablets occupy of the width of the Ark, which was nine handbreadths wide? Six handbreadths; therefore, three handbreadths were left there along the width of the Ark. Deduct a handbreadth from them: One-half a handbreadth for the thickness of this wall and one-half a handbreadth for the thickness of the other wall. Accordingly, two handbreadths were left there. What was their purpose? These were necessary so that the Torah scroll would be able to go in and out without being pressed; this is the statement of Rabbi Meir.
רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר בְּאַמָּה בַּת חֲמִשָּׁה טְפָחִים וְהַלּוּחוֹת אׇרְכָּן שִׁשָּׁה וְרׇחְבָּן שִׁשָּׁה וְעׇבְיָין שְׁלֹשָׁה מוּנָּחוֹת בְּאוֹרְכּוֹ שֶׁל אָרוֹן כַּמָּה לוּחוֹת אוֹכְלוֹת בָּאָרוֹן שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר טְפָחִים נִשְׁתַּיֵּיר שָׁם חֲצִי טֶפַח אֶצְבַּע לְכוֹתֶל זֶה וְאֶצְבַּע לְכוֹתֶל זֶה Rabbi Yehuda disagrees and says: The cubit used for all the measurements of the Ark was five handbreadths long. There-fore, the Ark was twelve and one-half handbreadths long, seven and one-half handbreadths wide, and seven and one-half handbreadths high. And as for the tablets, their length was six handbreadths, their width was six handbreadths, and their thickness was three handbreadths, and they were placed along the length of the Ark, one next to the other. If so, how much space did the tablets occupy along the length of the Ark? Twelve handbreadths, so that one-half a handbreadth was left there, which is two fingerbreadths. One fingerbreadth of those two was for the thickness of this wall and one fingerbreadth of those two was for the thickness of the other wall.
פִּירְנַסְתָּ אָרוֹן לְאׇרְכּוֹ צֵא וּפַרְנֵס אָרוֹן לְרׇחְבּוֹ כַּמָּה לוּחוֹת אוֹגְדוֹת בָּאָרוֹן שִׁשָּׁה טְפָחִים נִשְׁתַּיֵּיר שָׁם טֶפַח וּמֶחֱצָה צֵא מֵהֶן חֲצִי טֶפַח אֶצְבַּע וּמֶחֱצָה לְכוֹתֶל זֶה וְאֶצְבַּע וּמֶחֱצָה לְכוֹתֶל זֶה נִשְׁתַּיֵּיר שָׁם טֶפַח שֶׁבּוֹ עַמּוּדִין עוֹמְדִין שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר אַפִּרְיוֹן עָשָׂה לוֹ הַמֶּלֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹה מֵעֲצֵי הַלְּבָנוֹן עַמּוּדָיו עָשָׂה כֶסֶף רְפִידָתוֹ זָהָב מֶרְכָּבוֹ אַרְגָּמָן וְגוֹ׳ With this explanation, you have accounted for the entire length of the Ark; go now and account for the width of the Ark, which was seven and one-half handbreadths. How much space did the tablets occupy in the Ark? Six handbreadths, meaning that one and one-half handbreadths were left there along the width of the Ark. Deduct one-half a handbreadth, one and one-half fingerbreadths for the thickness of this wall, and one and one-half fingerbreadths for the thickness of the other wall. Accordingly, one handbreadth was left there in which the silver columns were placed on either side of the tablets, as it is stated: “King Solomon made himself a palanquin of the timbers of Lebanon; he made its columns of silver, its back of gold, its seat of purple” (Song of Songs 3:9–10). This is understood as an allusion to the Ark of the Covenant.
וְאַרְגַּז שֶׁשִּׁיגְּרוּ בּוֹ פְּלִשְׁתִּים דּוֹרוֹן לֵאלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מוּנָּח מִצִּדּוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְאֵת כְּלֵי הַזָּהָב אֲשֶׁר הֲשֵׁבֹתֶם לוֹ אָשָׁם תָּשִׂימוּ בָאַרְגַּז מִצִּדּוֹ וְשִׁלַּחְתֶּם אוֹתוֹ וְהָלָךְ וְעָלָיו סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה מוּנָּח שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר לָקֹחַ אֵת סֵפֶר הַתּוֹרָה הַזֶּה וְשַׂמְתֶּם אֹתוֹ מִצַּד אֲרוֹן בְּרִית ה׳ מִצַּד הוּא מוּנָּח וְלֹא בְּתוֹכוֹ And the chest in which the Philistines sent the gift to the God of Israel was placed alongside the Ark, as it is stated: “And put the golden devices which you are restoring to Him for a guilt-offering in a chest by the side of it, and send it away that it may go” (I Samuel 6:8). And upon this chest lay the Torah scroll, as it is stated: “Take this Torah scroll and put it at the side of the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 31:26). This means that it was placed at the side of the Ark, and not inside it.
וּמָה אֲנִי מְקַיֵּים אֵין בָּאָרוֹן רַק לְרַבּוֹת And accordingly, how do I realize the meaning of that which is stated: “There was nothing in the Ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there,” which, according to the opinion of Rabbi Meir, teaches that something else was in the Ark besides the tablets themselves? It serves to include