HALACHOS OF THE TORAH READING
(Beraisa - R. Meir): One who will read the Torah opens it, finds the place where he will read, closes it, blesses, opens it and reads;
R. Yehudah says, he does not close it in the middle.
R. Meir holds like Ula, who says that one who reads the Torah may not aid the translator, lest people say that the translation is written in the Torah. Here too, we are concerned lest people say that the Berachos are written in the Torah.
R. Yehudah (agrees with Ula's law. He) is concerned lest people think that the translation is written in the Torah, but they would not say that the Berachos are written in it.
(R. Zeira): The Halachah is that one does not close it in the middle.
Question: Why didn't he simply say that the Halachah follows R. Yehudah!
Answer: Some switch the opinions of R. Meir and R. Yehudah.
(R. Zeira): Luchos and Bimos (Rashi - Seforim covers and platforms on which the king sits during Hakhel; R. Chananel - margins between, underneath and above the columns of Seforim) do not have Kedushah.
RESPECT FOR TORAH AND FOR A SEFER TORAH
(R. Shefatyah): One who rolls the Sefer (closed) must put the seam in the middle (Rashi - to enable tightening it well; Rif - in case the Sefer will tear, the parchments will not rip; rather, they will come apart from one another.)
(R. Shefatyah): One who rolls a Sefer Torah (resting on his knees, to read elsewhere) rolls the outer roller (making the parchment come towards himself), and tightens it from the inner roller.
(R. Shefatyah): The greatest person should be the one to roll the Sefer Torah (and lift it to show to the Tzibur).
This is as 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.
(R. Shefatyah): "Your ears will hear something from behind you saying... " teaches that we may rely on a voice from Heaven.
This applies only if a man's voice is heard in the city, or a woman's voice in the wilderness (since these are uncommon, they probably were from Heaven).
Also, the voice must say yes twice or no twice.
(R. Shefatyah): "I (Hash-m) gave them bad statutes... " - this applies to one who reads Torah or learns Mishnah without a melody.
Objection (Abaye): If people do not know how to chant, do they learn "Laws in which they will not live"!?
(Abaye): Rather, the verse teaches like Rav Mesharshiya taught:
(Rav Mesharshiya): The verse applies to two Chachamim who live in the same city and do not learn together. (Maharsha - one must learn Torah with others to reach the correct Halachah.)
(R. Parnach): Anyone who holds an uncovered Sefer Torah will be buried unclothed.
Objection: This is unreasonable!
Answer #1: Rather, he will be buried bare, without Mitzvos.
Objection: [Also] this is unreasonable!
Answer #2 (Abaye): Rather, he is buried without credit for that Mitzvah (e.g. what he learned while holding the uncovered Sefer Torah).
(R. Yanai): One should wrap the cover around the Sefer Torah, and not the Sefer Torah in the cover.
(Mishnah): "Moshe told Mo'adei Hash-m to Benei Yisrael" - they should read about each Mo'ed in its time.
(Beraisa): Moshe enacted that we should ask about and expound the Halachos of each festival on that festival.