- Question: [Monday, 13th Teves 5781]
It is not customary in Chabad synagogues to use the silver Yad during the reading of the Torah. May I use it for following along in the Chumash, or is it considered designated for a Sefer Torah therefore prohibited in any other use?
Indeed, since the silver Yad is designated for the Sefer Torah, it therefore may not be used for other purposes, including to use it to look along at a Chumash.
The explanation: The Yad of the Sefer Torah is today mainly designated as an ornament for the Sefer Torah, and it therefore contains holiness of Tashmishei Kedusha, of which we rule that it cannot be used for a mundane matter, and likewise may not be used for even a Mitzvah matter of lower status. Thus, one may not use it to look along the Chumash or any other book.
Sources: See regarding the holiness of the Yad and that it has a status of Tashmishei Kedusha: Rama 154:6 as explained in M”A 154:14 and P”M 154 A”A 14; Shevet Halevi 6:63; Ginzei Hakodesh 5:7; See regarding the prohibition to use the ornaments of a Sefer Torah for lower Kedusha: Michaber O.C.C 154:6 [prohibits making the Parchoes curtain a cover for the Chumash] Y.D. 282:16 [however there he permits selling to buy Chumash]; See regarding the general Chabad custom of the silver Yad: Hiskashrus 784; Chikrei Haminhagim 1:171-175