Now that we know how important it is to write a Sefer Torah, how can people who aren’t Torah scribes (that’s almost everybody!), manage to fulfill this Mitzvah?
Here are a few solutions:
Simple! Hire a qualified Sofer…
Simple… only if you have a lot of money. Remember, it could take a Sofer up to a year of hard work to write a Sefer Torah.
Get a group together to sponsor the writing of the Torah. Or join a group. The more people in the group, the less it will cost. Remember, a Shul needs more than one Sefer Torah, and the more the merrier.
Now that’s a real affordable method. Every letter in the Torah counts and even one missing letter makes it unfit. So, it’s always important to check and fix letters that may have faded or are missing. The Rambam tells us that “if someone corrects a Sefer Torah – even fixing a single letter – it is as if he wrote the entire Torah!”
Rabbi Asher ben Yechiel, a.k.a. the Rosh (1250-1328), points out that long, long ago, the Torah scroll was the only text that Jews could actually use for study. That’s because the Torah scroll is Torah SheBiksav, to be written, while everything else, the Torah SheBal Peh (the Oral Law), had to be memorized. (For more info, refer back to Parshas VaEschanan or ask your local know-it-all.)
Long ago, our Sages allowed us to write down Torah SheBal Peh, and our Torah study is exclusively from Hebrew holy books, a.k.a. Sefarim, and not from the actual Torah scroll. So, according to the Rosh… buy Sefarim to learn from and… POOF! You have fulfilled the Mitzvah!
In fact, Rabbi Avraham Mordechai Alter (1866-1948), a.k.a. the Gerer Rebbe, a.k.a. the Imrei Emes, points out that this idea is hinted to in Moshe’s very own words here in Parshas VaYeilech:
“And now, write for yourselves this song and teach it to Bnei Yisrael…”
Now (in the times of Moshe) the Mitzvah is to write a Sefer Torah. The time will come, however, when the Mitzvah will also be to write other holy books with which to teach Bnei Yisrael.