When it comes to shmiras hamitzvos, Torah-observant Jews have lots to be proud of. Many of us don’t even notice how all-encompassing some of these mitzvos are. From Shabbos to kashrus to brachos, we B’H have the zechus to constantly be engaged in Torah and mitzvos. The Torah community understands that we were not given 613 suggestions; we were given 613 commandments. Yet despite our best efforts, one Mitzvah seems to be elusive to many. The reality is that the Mitzvah of writing a Sefer Torah (Mitzvah 613 in the Sefer Hachinuch), the Mitzvah of writing the very words that Hashem gave us at Har Sinai, is often only able to be observed by a handful. More often than not, finances are an obstacle. But for those of who never imagined having the capacity to write a Sefer Torah, this Mitzvah may appear to be out of reach.
Not being able to fulfil this Mitzvah can be disconcerting, especially in light of its many benefits. While the main reason to write a Sefer Torah is because Hashem told us to, and the main personal benefits will be in Olam Haba, here are just a few examples of some of the practical merits, in this world, of writing a Sefer Torah:
- Great parnassah (Michtav Sofer)
- Arichas Yamim (Chidushei Harim)
- Protection from Ayin Harah (Talmud Eruvin)
- His children will become chachamim (Sefer Hachinuch)
- Considered as if he received the Torah directly from Har Sinai (Talmud Menachos)
- Segulah for having children and raising them well (Sha’ar Bat Rabim, Parshas Noach and Chakrei Lev)
And while some maintain that one can fulfill this Mitzvah through writing any sefer, the Chofetz Chaim, in Sefer Ha-Mitzvos HaKatzar, rules that even if someone writes a sefer, he should still write, or pay someone else to write, a Sefer Torah. Plus, not everyone is ready to publish their own sefer. When writing the Mishna Brura, the Chofetz Chaim dedicated over a year just to delve though the halachos of the letters of the Sefer Torah!
So how can someone fulfill the mitzvah of writing a Sefer Torah despite the apparent financial obstacles? Thanks to improvements in training and efficiency, and thanks to living in Israel, the cost of writing/purchasing your own Sefer Torah may actually be within your reach! And even if the surprisingly low prices are still too much for you, you can always partner with others, reducing the cost proportionately to the number of partners. While not everyone agrees that one fulfils the Mitzvah when partnering with others, many opinions hold that you do, so it’s a good backup plan.
Ultimately, you can never really know if writing a Sefer Torah is within in your reach until you call to find out. And once you do make the call, you may be surprised to learn that you will able to obtain your very own Sefer Torah, and do your part in elevating the mitzvah of writing a Sefer Torah to its proper place alongside the other Taryag Mitzvos.
Rabbi Avraham Greenwald is the founder and owner of Oraisah, a consulting firm which specializes in professional advice on purchasing Sifrei Torah, tefillin and mezuzos. They walk you through the entire process from initial inquiry to actual purchase. You are provided with detailed pictures of each item, and real samples are available upon request so that you are fully equipped to make an educated decision. And aside from excellent and objective service, you’re spared the expense and hassle of having to schlep from vendor to vendor. With over 30 years of experience, Rabbi Greenwald may shock you with his amazing service and even more amazing prices! To obtain an honest an reliable quote contact him at: 052-598-4568.