Removing wax or ink blotches

May one remove wax blotches [as well as other forms of blotches] from letters of a Sefer Torah and does it invalidate the Torah?

  • First Opinion[1]: If there is wax [or other blotch] on a letter and the letter is not recognizable due to this then the sefer is invalid and another Sefer Torah must be taken out. [2] However if the wax is dry enough that folding the parchment between the wax will cause the wax to flick off, then this may be done, and one may continue reading from it.[3] One may not remove the wax with his hands due to the Mimacheik/smoothening prohibition.[4]
  • Second Opinion[5]:

One should not remove the wax in any case and should rather read that letter orally and continue with the reading.


May one remove glue from one’s skin on Shabbos?[6]

Yes.[7] However there are those which are stringent in this just as they are in regards to removing ink blotches.


[1] Shvus Yaakov 2/4; Ketzos Hashulchan 144 footnote 1; Sharreiy Efrayim; Kitzur Shulchan Aruch.

[2] So rules Ketzos Hashulchan ibid in name of Shaareiy Efrayim and Rav Akiva Eiger.

[3] As this proves that the wax never really covered the letter, as explains Shvus Yaakov in his Teshuvah there.

[4] Shvus Yaakov ibid and Ketzos Hashulchan ibid. However Rav Akivah Eiger writes that the reason is because of Tikkun Keli. See Ketzos Hashulchan ibid which argues that in this case there is no problem of Tikkun Keli.

[5] M”B 10

[6] Piskeiy Teshuvos 140/3

[7] Doing so does not contain the Mimacheik prohibition, as it does not apply to one’s skin.

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