Menachot 30aמנחות ל׳ א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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30aל׳ א

אבל יתרות לית לן בה

But if there are extraneous letters, we have no problem with it, and one may erase them. This is the first halakha that Rav stated, which is refuted in a baraita.

אידך דאמר רב הכותב ס"ת ובא לגמור גומר ואפילו באמצע הדף מיתיבי הכותב ס"ת בא לו לגמור לא יגמור באמצע הדף כדרך שגומר בחומשין אלא מקצר והולך עד סוף הדף כי קא אמר רב בחומשין

The other is that which Rav says: One who writes a Torah scroll and comes to finish writing it may finish writing it anywhere in the column, and this is the halakha even with regard to finishing it in the middle of the column. The Gemara raises an objection from a baraita: One who writes a Torah scroll and comes to finish writing it may not finish writing it in the middle of the column in the manner that one finishes writing one of the five books of the Torah written as an independent scroll. Rather, he should progressively shorten the width of the lines until he finishes the scroll at the end of the column. The Gemara answers: When Rav says that one may finish writing even in the middle of a column, he was referring to one of the five books of the Torah.

והא ס"ת קאמר בחומשין של ס"ת איני והא"ר יהושע בר אבא אמר רב גידל אמר רב לעיני כל ישראל באמצע הדף ההיא באמצע שיטה איתמר

The Gemara asks: But doesn’t Rav say his statement with regard to a Torah scroll? The Gemara answers: He was referring to one of the five books that constitute a Torah scroll. Rav meant that when writing a Torah scroll, one may finish writing any of the first four books in the middle of a column. The Gemara asks: Is that so? But doesn’t Rabbi Yehoshua bar Abba say that Rav Giddel says that Rav says: The words: “In the sight of all Israel” (Deuteronomy 34:12), which conclude the Torah, may be written even in the middle of the column? The Gemara answers: That ruling that was stated is with regard to finishing the Torah scroll in the middle of the line, i.e., in the middle of the width of the column.

רבנן אמרי אף באמצע שיטה רב אשי אמר באמצע שיטה דווקא והלכתא באמצע שיטה דווקא

The Gemara cites another opinion: The Rabbis say that one may finish writing a Torah scroll even in the middle of the line, but one may finish writing it at the end of the line as well. Rav Ashi says that one must finish writing the Torah scroll specifically in the middle of the line. And the halakha is that it must be ended specifically in the middle of the line.

אמר רבי יהושע בר אבא אמר רב גידל אמר רב שמנה פסוקים שבתורה יחיד קורא אותן בבהכ"נ כמאן דלא כר"ש

§ Rabbi Yehoshua bar Abba says that Rav Giddel says that Rav says: With regard to the last eight verses of the Torah (Deuteronomy 32:5–12), a single individual reads them in the synagogue, as that section may not be divided between two readers. The Gemara asks: In accordance with whose opinion is this said? It is not in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon.

דתניא (דברים לד, ה) וימת שם משה עבד יי' אפשר משה חי וכתב וימת שם משה אלא עד כאן כתב משה מכאן ואילך כתב יהושע בן נון דברי רבי יהודה ואמרי לה רבי נחמיה

As it is taught in a baraita: The verse states: “And Moses the servant of the Lord died there” (Deuteronomy 34:5). Is it possible that after Moses died, he himself wrote: “And Moses died there”? Rather, Moses wrote the entire Torah until this point, and Joshua bin Nun wrote from this point forward; this is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda. And some say that Rabbi Neḥemya stated this opinion.

אמר לו ר"ש אפשר ס"ת חסר אות אחת וכתיב (דברים לא, כו) לקוח את ספר התורה הזה ושמתם אותו וגו'

Rabbi Shimon said to him: Is it possible that the Torah scroll was missing a single letter? But it is written that God instructed Moses: “Take this Torah scroll and put it by the side of the Ark of the Covenant” (Deuteronomy 31:26), indicating that the Torah was complete as is and that nothing further would be added to it.

אלא עד כאן הקב"ה אומר ומשה כותב ואומר מכאן ואילך הקב"ה אומר ומשה כותב בדמע כמה שנאמר להלן (ירמיהו לו, יח) ויאמר להם ברוך מפיו יקרא אלי את כל הדברים האלה ואני כותב על הספר בדיו

Rabbi Shimon explains: Rather, until this point, i.e., the verse describing the death of Moses, the Holy One, Blessed be He, dictated and Moses wrote the text and repeated after Him. From this point forward, with regard to Moses’ death, the Holy One, Blessed be He, dictated and Moses wrote with tears without repeating the words, due to his great sorrow. As it is stated there with regard to Jeremiah’s dictation of the prophecy of the destruction of the Temple to Baruch ben Neriah: “And Baruch said to them: He dictated all these words to me, and I wrote them with ink in the scroll” (Jeremiah 36:18), but he did not repeat the words after Jeremiah.

לימא דלא כר"ש אפי' תימא ר"ש הואיל ואישתני אישתני

The Gemara now states its inference: Shall we say that the ruling of Rav that the last verses of the Torah are read by only one reader is not in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon, since according to Rabbi Shimon these verses are similar to all other verses of the Torah, as they were all written by Moses? The Gemara answers: You may even say that Rav’s ruling was stated in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon; since they differ from the rest of the Torah in one way, as Moses wrote them without repeating the words, they differ from the rest of the Torah in this way as well, and they may not be divided between two readers.

וא"ר יהושע בר אבא אמר רב גידל אמר רב הלוקח ס"ת מן השוק כחוטף מצוה מן השוק כתבו מעלה עליו הכתוב כאילו קיבלו מהר סיני אמר רב ששת אם הגיה אפי' אות אחת מעלה עליו כאילו כתבו

And Rabbi Yehoshua bar Abba says that Rav Giddel says that Rav says: One who purchases a Torah scroll in the marketplace is akin to one who snatches a mitzva in the marketplace, as the proper manner in which to perform the mitzva of writing a Torah scroll is to write one for himself. And if he himself writes a Torah scroll, the verse ascribes him credit as though he received it at Mount Sinai. Rav Sheshet says: If he emended even a single letter of the Torah scroll, thereby completing it, the verse ascribes him credit as though he had written it in its entirety.

(סי' סגלם) ת"ר עושה אדם יריעה מבת שלש דפין ועד בת שמנה דפין פחות מיכן ויתר על כן לא יעשה

§ Before continuing its discussion of the halakhot of writing a Torah scroll, the Gemara presents a mnemonic for the upcoming halakhot: Samekh, gimmel, lamed, mem. The Sages taught: A person may prepare for a Torah scroll a sheet of parchment of any size from three columns and until eight columns, but one may not prepare a sheet of parchment that has less than three or more than eight columns.

ולא ירבה בדפין מפני שנראה אגרת ולא ימעט בדפין מפני שעיניו משוטטות אלא כגון למשפחותיכם (למשפחותיכם למשפחותיכם) ג' פעמים

And he may not increase the number of columns, e.g., by writing eight columns on a narrow sheet of parchment, since then each column has the appearance of a missive due to its narrow lines. And he may not decrease the number of columns, e.g., by writing three columns on a wide sheet of parchment, since then the lines will be so wide that the reader’s eyes will wander, as it will be difficult to find the beginning of a line. Rather, the ideal width of a line is, for example, where one can write lemishpeḥoteikhem,” “lemishpeḥoteikhem,” “lemishpeḥoteikhem,” for a total of three times.

נזדמנה לו יריעה בת תשע דפים לא יחלוק שלש לכאן ושש לכאן אלא ארבע לכאן וחמש לכאן

If one happened to acquire a sheet of parchment that has space for nine columns, exceeding the eight-column limit, he should not divide it into two sheets of parchment with three columns here and six columns there; rather, he should divide it into two sheets of parchment with four columns here and five columns there, so that the two sheets will be similar in width.

בד"א בתחלת הספר אבל בסוף הספר אפי' פסוק אחד ואפי' דף אחד פסוק אחד ס"ד אלא אימא פסוק אחד בדף אחד

In what case is this statement that the sheet must contain a minimum of three columns said? It is said with regard to sheets at the beginning and middle of the scroll. But at the end of the scroll, a sheet may consist of even one verse, and even one column. The Gemara asks: Can it enter your mind to say that a sheet may contain one verse? Rather, say that it may consist of even one verse on one column.

שיעור גליון מלמטה טפח מלמעלה ג' אצבעות ובין דף לדף כמלא ריוח רוחב שתי אצבעות ובחומשין מלמטה שלש אצבעות מלמעלה שתי אצבעות ובין דף לדף כמלא ריוח רוחב גודל

The measure of the margin of a Torah scroll is as follows: The size of the lower margin is one handbreadth [tefaḥ]. There is a requirement for a large margin there, so that a reader not inadvertently rest his arm on the writing. The size of the upper margin, which is less susceptible to that occurrence, is three fingerbreadths [etzba’ot], and the space between each column is equal to the full width of two fingerbreadths. And with regard to one of the five books of the Torah that is written as an independent scroll, the size of the lower margin is three fingerbreadths, the size of the upper margin is two fingerbreadths, and the space between each column is equal to the full width of a thumb-breadth [gudal].

ובין שיטה לשיטה כמלא שיטה ובין תיבה לתיבה כמלא אות קטנה ובין אות לאות כמלא חוט השערה

And the space between one line of a Torah scroll and the following line must be equal to the space of a full line, and the space between one word and the following word must be equal to a full small letter, and as for the space between one letter and the following letter, it is sufficient for it to be equal to a full hairbreadth.

אל ימעט אדם את הכתב לא מפני ריוח של מטה ולא מפני ריוח של מעלה ולא מפני ריוח שבין שיטה לשיטה ולא מפני ריוח שבין פרשה לפרשה

The halakhot of the margins notwithstanding, a person may not reduce the size of the writing in a manner that the size of the writing is not consistent, not in order to ensure the correct amount of space for the lower margin, nor in order to ensure the correct amount of space for the upper margin, nor in order to ensure the correct amount of space between one line and the following line, nor in order to ensure the correct amount of space between one passage and the following passage, as this is not aesthetically pleasing.

נזדמנה לו תיבה בת חמש אותיות לא יכתוב שתים בתוך הדף ושלש חוץ לדף

If one happens upon a word that comprises five letters and cannot be written in its entirety within the column, he may not write two letters within the column and three outside of the column, in the margin.