Pisqa’ 160

Pisqa’ 1601


“Now, when he occupies the throne of his kingdom” (Dt.17:18).

That is:

If he behaves according to all the stipulations in this matter,

then he will be privileged to occupy the throne of his kingdom.2


“Then, he shall inscribe for himself” (Dt.17:17)—

for his personal use,

lest he benefit from the copies made by his ancestors.3

“A copy4 (Dt.17:17)—

do I infer from this that he must copy

only the Restatement of the Torah (mishneh hatorah)?5

On what basis do I know that

[he copies] the rest of the words of the Torah?6

The Teaching states:

“To preserve all the words of this Torah, and these statutes, and to perform them ” (Dt.17:19).

If so, why is it stated:

“A copy of this Torah” (Dt.17:17)?

[This refers to a copy in the original script,] 7

for the script was eventually replaced.8

Others say:

on the Day of Assembly (Dt.31:10-13),9

they recite only from

[a copy of] the Restatement of the Torah.


Inscribed “on a document”10 (Dt.17:18)—

but not on a tablet;


“On a document” (Dt.17:18)—

but not on papyrus.


Rather, it must be inscribed on a scroll,

for it is said:

“On a document” (Dt.17:18).11


“Before the levitical Priests” (Dt.17:18)—

the text should be corrected under

[the supervision of] the levitical Priests].12

“On a document” (Dt.17:18)—

on the skin of a clean animal.

And they correct it against Ezra’s scroll,

supervised by the Court of Seventy One

[which met in the Chamber of Carved Stone].13


“Before the levitical Priests” (Dt.17:18)—

on this basis, R. Elazar b. Arakh expounded:

[But for their intervention,] the Torah would have been forgotten!14

  1. H: 193- 194; JN2:29-30.
  2. Cf. Pisqa’ot 156.1, 162.1, 170.1, 174.1, 297.1, etc..
  3. //T. San. 4:7
  4. Heb:mishneh.
  5. I.e., the Book of Deuteronomy.
  6. I. e.,Genesis-Numbers.
  7. =T.San.4:7. The Toseftan text continues: “Why was it called ‘Assyrian?” Because it ascended with them after the Assyrian conquest. Rabbi says: The Torah was given to them at the outset in the Assyrian script. But when they sinned, it was exchanged for Samaritan script (ro`atz). And when they were deserving in the days of Ezra, it was changed back to Assyrian . . . “
  8. Heb: lehishtanot; literally, “changed. The assonance with mishneh, both words sharing an identical root (sh-n-h), supports the verbal play.
  9. See Pisqa’ 157.4.
  10. Heb: `al sefer, literally, “in a book.”
  11. //Sifre Num, 16, s.v., basefer umakhah. See Pisqa’ 269 and161.4 Official proclamations were written on scrolls. So, too, the Torah—as befitting its status—should be written on a scroll.
  12. Cf. T. San.4:7.
  13. Cf. T. San.4:7.
  14. Cf. T. Edu.1:1 and Pisqa’ 157.4.