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Writing a Torah Scroll in English

Rabbi Ari ShvatAdar II 25, 5771
969
Question
My biological mother is Ashkenazi Jew. I was placed for adoption at birth and was not given the opportunity to learn the language of the ways of my people. However, I have always been drawn to my roots. I believe that HaShem has impressed within me to write my own Torah Scroll and I am exciting to obey as I know this will cause me to grow and will bring about great reverence, love and worship. I was wondering if it is ok for me to write it in English so that it can be passed down to my firstborn grandson. I am studying Hebrew and teach him as I learn but I’m not sure how far he will go once he is no longer in my home. Being that I want the inheritance I leave him to be G-d, I want to make sure he can read and understand the Torah Scroll I have writen. Thank you. I am looking forward to this taks that I feel impressed to begin
Answer
Shalom Rav! I was very touched to see your return to your roots, and your desire to play an active role in the eternal chain of the Tradition of Israel by passing the Torah on to your descendants. As you go through the Torah, you will notice that the very final mitzvah (commandment) is in fact to write a Torah scroll (Deut. 31, 19). The Sefer Hachinuch writes that to fulfill the mitzvah ideally, one should write a kosher Torah, in Hebrew exactly as it was given at Mt. Sinai 3,323 years ago, according to all of the many details and customs involved, on kosher parchment, the exact letters, and crowns, etc. On the other hand, he adds that undoubtedly, it is also a mitzvah to write any Torah or even rabbinic book, in any language. In short, yes, you can write it in English, but if eventually you can learn all of the intricate laws of writing it in Hebrew, that would be even better! With Love of Israel, Rav Ari Shvat
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