STAM 101: Kisvei Kodesh

The books of Tanach have varying levels of inherent holiness. A Sefer Torah – a handwritten parchment scroll containing the five books of the Torah – has the highest level of holiness. All other collections of the books of Tanach – including a collection of all 24 books written together, as well as each individual book written by itself – are called “kisvei kodesh” and have a lower level of holiness. According to all opinions, the holiness of kisvei kodesh applies to scrolls and codices (bound books) that are handwritten on parchment. Some authorities say that printed books of Tanach (including printed chumashim) also have the status of kisvei kodesh.

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