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Torah is Heavy, Man

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Topic: Sefer Torah, Weight

Name@Withheld wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

How much does the Torah weigh? My father has to carry it for my cousin's bar mitzvah and he is worried that it may be too heavy.

Dear Name@Withheld,

First of all, Mazal Tov on your cousin's Bar Mitzvah! The average Torah Scroll weighs abound 20 to 25 pounds. The heaviest is about 50 pounds. There are some "minis" that weigh about five pounds. These small Torahs were usually written for Chassidic Rabbis. Older Torahs are usually larger and heavier.

Your father might try getting to the synagogue early and taking the Torah out for a "test drive." No one ever died from getting to synagogue early!

Mitch Silk from Hong Kong wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

I'm looking for details about Rabbi Ya'akov of Marvege, who authored a halachic work in which he cites insights he received while dreaming. With many thanks in advance.

Dear Mitch Silk,

Rabbi Yaakov of Marvege, a Levi, was a thirteenth century Tosafist born in Marvege, France. His halachic work "Sha'alot U'teshuvot Min Hashamayim" is comprised of replies he received from Heaven in dreams in answer to some of his halachic questions. For example, once he wanted to find out whether the halacha followed the view of Rabbi Yitzchak Alfazi or that of the Geonim regarding a certain aspect of the laws of tefillin. He inquired of Heaven in a dream and received a reply saying "My covenant will I establish with Yitzchak." This is a verse in Genesis (I7:21), but in this context he saw it as an indication that the law follows the view of "Yitzchak," Rabbi Yitzchak Alfazi.

Sha'alot U'teshuvot Min Hashamayim is cited by halachists, such as Shibbolei Haleket and Radvaz, as being authoritative.

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