The Gemara says hands are tamei because Sifrei Torah were kept with Trumah which attracted mice. Two things:
1. If this was the case then why keep Trumah in a place of mice wouldn't the mice be metameh the Trumah gufah?
2. Also, is the idea of touching klaf and that being metameh es hayadayim that we know from Mesechta Megilah, is this a different issue? Thank you,
Anonymous, Brooklyn, NY
1. The Gemara says that Sefarim were considered Tamei in order that they should not be kept next to Terumah. Hands that touched a Sefer were made Tamei so that one should not hold the Sefer directly without a covering.
Mice (rats) are not Metamei unless they are dead.
2. The Gemara in Shabbos (bottom of 14a) and Megilah (7a) both discuss the same Tum'ah: Sefarim are Metamei Yadayim so that one should not touch them without a covering. Tosfos in Shabbos explains that this seems to apply to all Sefarim, not just Sifrei Torah. Rebbi Akiva Eiger in Gilyon Hashas cites proof to this from Rashi in Megilah 7a.
Chazal did not want us to touch the parchment of the Sefer Torah because it is not respectful. l'Halachah one should be Machmir to at least wash one's hands before touching any Sefarim that are written on parchment, such as a Megilas Esther.
We must be more stringent with a Sefer Torah. One should not touch a Sefer Torah even if he washes his hands. (Orach Chaim 147:1)
Kollel Iyun Hadaf