TOUCHING AND ROLLING KISVEI HA'KODESH [Kisvei ha'Kodesh: rolling and touching]
(Mishnah): A Sefer [Torah, Nevi'im or Kesuvim] is Posel Terumah. Stam hands are Posel Terumah.
(Beraisa): Even hands that touched a Sefer are Posel Terumah, due to R. Parnach's teaching:
(R. Parnach): One who holds a Sefer Torah bare will be buried bare.
Objection: This is unreasonable!
Correction: Rather, he will be buried bare of that Mitzvah.
Megilah 32a (R. Shefatyah): The greatest person is Golel (rolls) the Sefer Torah.
This is like R. Yehoshua ben Levi said, that when 10 read the Torah, the one who rolls gets the reward of all of them.
Objection: This cannot be!
Correction: Rather, he gets as much reward as all of them.
Sanhedrin 100a (Levi bar Shmuel and Rav Huna bar Chiya): Megilas Esther does not require a cover.
Rav Yehudah: This is like Apikorsus!
Rambam (Hilchos She'ar Avos ha'Tum'ah 9:7): The Targum (Arame'ic) in Sefer Ezra and Daniel is included in Kisvei ha'Kodesh. However, Targum [what is Targum in the Navi] written in Hebrew or vice-versa, or Hebrew written in Ivri characters are not Metamei the hands. It must be written Ashuris (like the way we write the letters in a Sefer Torah), on hide, in ink.
Tosfos (14a DH ha'Ochez): It seems that one may not touch any Kisvei ha'Kodesh bare, for all of them are Metamei the hands (Yadayim 3:5).
Tosfos (32a DH b'Lo): Some say that he will be buried bare of that Mitzvah of holding it. What is the Chidush? Obviously he is not rewarded for the Mitzvah, since he did not do it properly! Therefore, the Riva explains that he will be buried bare of the Mitzvah he did at the time. If he read in it, he has no reward for reading. The same applies if he held it to roll it or proofread it. If one holds it through the cloth "length of days are on its right, and wealth and honor on its left."
Mordechai (Megilah 834): It seems that one may not hold a Sefer Torah bare with Stam hands, but if he washed his hands and was not Mesi'ach ha'Da'as (cease guarding them), we are not concerned.
Shiltei ha'Giborim (Megilah 11b:2): Gelilah is before they read from the Sefer. He rolls it to where they will read. Therefore, he has a great reward. Some say that he rolls it and covers it after they read.
Kaf ha'Chayim (10): The Bach says that the Tur and Poskim hold like the latter Perush.
Shulchan Aruch (OC 147:1): One may not hold a Sefer Torah bare, without a cloth.
Rema: Some say that the same applies to other Kisvei ha'Kodesh. This is not the custom. It is good to be stringent if he did not wash his hands. One may not touch a Sefer Torah even in such a case.
Darchei Moshe (2): I never saw anyone concerned for Kisvei ha'Kodesh.
Beis Yosef (DH v'Chasav): The Agudah (Shabbos 19) forbids even right after washing. He says that the same applies to other Kisvei ha'Kodesh. One may touch them only through a cloth.
Tosfos (Chagigah 24b DH d'Tanan): The Gemara said that a Sheni makes a Sheni regarding Terumah, like we find regarding Kisvei ha'Kodesh. (They make hands a Sheni.) What is the proof? They are Metamei the hands due to R. Parnach's law! The Ri says that they are Metamei the hands even when R. Parnach's law does not apply, e.g. Tefilin straps with the Tefilin.
Magen Avraham (1): Tosfos proved this from the fact that all Kisvei ha'Kodesh are Metamei the hands. If so, the same applies to Tefilin straps, and all the more so to Tefilin themselves, for they are Metamei the hands! However, Tosfos in Chagigah said that R. Parnach's law does not apply to Tefilin straps with the Tefilin. Also R. Shimshon (Yadayim 3:2) says so. This implies that one may touch them bare. The Isur to touch Kisvei ha'Kodesh bare is only when they are written Ashuris, on hide, in ink. The Mishnah (4:5) and Rambam say so. This is why the Rema said that no one is concerned for our Seforim, which are not written this way. 'It is good to be careful' is an extra matter. (It is a mere stringency. It is not due to concern for Isur.) However, if a Megilah is written k'Halachah, one must be careful, since the Rambam wrote Stam. We do not hold like Shmuel, who says that Megilas Esther is not Metamei the hands.
Radvaz (2:771): If one may not touch Seforim when the person is bare, this includes all Kisvei ha'Kodesh. However, the opinion that forbids touching Seforim when the Sefer is bare holds that this is only for a Sefer Torah. This is the custom. We never saw anyone stringent about [directly touching] other Kisvei ha'Kodesh. The Ra'avad connotes that others Kisvei ha'Kodesh are forbidden. It seems that he forbids when the person is bare.
Eliyahu Rabah (1): The Rema says that the custom is to be lenient [other than for a Sefer Torah]. He refers to Megilas Esther, for the rest of our Kisvei ha'Kodesh are always permitted (they are not written k'Halachah).
Kaf ha'Chayim (5): Several say that one may not directly touch Megilas Esther. However, the Radvaz says that this is like the opinion that forbids when the person is bare. Several hold like this. People have whom to rely on.
Gra (DH v'Tov): The Rema decided on his own [that it is forbidden for a Sefer Torah, and permitted for other Seforim].
Bi'ur Halachah (DH v'Tov): Also the Rashba connotes that one may be lenient if he washed his hands and guarded them. Tosfos and the Agudah are stringent. The Ritva is stringent even for Kisvei ha'Kodesh. Tosfos was not so sure about Kisvei ha'Kodesh. Therefore, the Rema says that one may rely on the Mordechai for this.
Mishnah Berurah (3): One must be stringent only if they are written in Ashuris, on parchment in ink. One may be lenient about our Seforim for Stam hands. If he knows that he touched filth, he should be stringent.
Kaf ha'Chayim (6): Eliyahu Rabah says that we should not touch our Kisvei ha'Kodesh when one's hands are filthy. The same applies to Oral Torah.
Kaf ha'Chayim (7): There is no proof from Sanhedrin that one may touch Megilas Esther. One can explain it differently. (Rashi says that Rav Yehudah agreed that it does not need a cover, but criticized them for ruling in front of him. The Ramah explains that Rav Yehudah criticized them for speaking this way about Megilas Esther.) Since there is an argument, it is good to hold it through a garment or the pole, or at least not to be Mesi'ach ha'Da'as from when he washed, like the Rema.
Teshuvos v'Hanhagos (3:227): One who will touch a Megilah on Purim should intend for this when washing his hands before the Tefilah. One should be dressed honorably (with a jacket or Talis) when touching any Kisvei ha'Kodesh.
Shulchan Aruch (ibid.): The greatest of those who read, he does Gelilah. The custom is to buy it for a large sum.
Beis Yosef (DH Amar): The Ran (Megilah 11a DH Asarah) says that the greatest of the 10 amidst which the Torah was read does Gelilah. The second Perush of the Tur in the name of Ba'al ha'Itur says that the greatest among those who read, he does Gelilah.
Gra (DH Gadol): According to the latter Perush, 'the 10 who read' refers to the seven who received Aliyos, the translator, the Shali'ach Tzibur (Ba'al Korei) and Maftir.
Magen Avraham (3): Since the greatest should read, why does one buy it? We must say that in any case one who offers the most money has precedence over the greatest, in order to endear the Mitzvah.
Kaf ha'Chayim (11): Ma'amar Mordechai says that there is no contradiction. Where there is no custom to buy Mitzvos, it is given to the greatest.
Gra (DH u'Ragilim): Sukah 41b says [that R. Gamliel bought an Esrog] for 1000 Zuz [to show how much he endeared the Mitzvah].
Mishnah Berurah (5): What the Gemara calls Golel is what we call Hagbahah. It is proper that the greatest be honored with the Mitzvah in order to receive the reward.
Mishnah Berurah (6); The Magen Avraham and Gra do not require one of the ones who read in the Torah. This is the custom.
Kaf ha'Chayim (9): The Shulchan Aruch connotes that one of the ones who read does Gelilah.
Mishnah Berurah (7 and 134:8): Nowadays the custom is to honor even intermediate people with this, due to the ways of Shalom. If two have Yartzite on the same day, one reads from the Torah and the other receives Hagbahah. Even though Gelilah is a great Mitzvah, the custom is to honor even minors who understand Kodesh matters, in order to train them in Mitzvos. The Gabai may not give Hagbahah to one whose hands shake or to an old or weak person who will surely lift it with intent to sit immediately, for he cannot hold it for a while for people to look in it. Such a person may not accept Hagbah.
Mishnah Berurah (8): If no one bought Hagbahah, it is proper for the Gaba'im to give it to the greatest of the Tzibur.