My husband and I are in the final stages of purchasing a Torah scroll which we intend on giving as a gift to our rabbi. Could you please advise us how to reverently handle the Torah and the protocol/laws involved as we give this precious gift?


What a thoughtful and precious gift! I'm sure your rabbi will be thrilled.

The following are some basic guidelines for the proper handling of a Torah scroll, and appropriate behavior in its presence:

  • A special place should be designated for storing the Torah while it is in your home. One must always be fully dressed and respectfully behaved while in the room where the Torah is being stored, so the designated room should be chosen accordingly—not the bedroom or game-room...
  • One may not sit or stand on a chair, table or bed which the Torah is lying upon.
  • The Torah should always be held upright, resting against the right shoulder.
  • When the Torah is being carried from one place to another, those nearby must rise and remain standing until the Torah reaches its destination, or is out of sight.
  • When the Torah is being transported, ideally it should be held by a person, instead of being placed on a car seat or in the trunk.
  • A Torah scroll may never be placed on the ground.
  • No other item should be placed on top of a Torah.
  • A Torah should always be placed upright; never upside down or on its face.1

Best wishes,

Rabbi Baruch S. Davidson