For my son's Bar Mitzvah he received a portion of an old Torah scroll as a gift. The scroll, made of sheep skin, seems to be authentic but I'm concerned that it is wrong to possess such a holy object for the mundane purpose of being a collectable. My feeling is that my son should have it buried in accordance with Jewish custom. What should we do?


Mazal Tov on the occasion of your son's Bar Mitzvah!

You are right to be concerned with according the piece of the Torah scroll the proper respect it deserves. But your son may keep it; provided that he can provide it with a proper "home."

The reason we bury tattered Torahs and the like is due to the prohibition against destroying such items that are imbued with sanctity. They are respectfully buried to ensure that they are not discarded or defaced.

If your son will take proper care of them, however, and they will be protected from ruin and indignity, it is indeed a great merit to own such a special item.

There are several guidelines, however, for giving a Torah scroll its proper respect. Click here to read them.

May you have lots of nachas from your son and your entire family,

Rabbi Baruch S. Davidson