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The Mitzvah of purchasing a letter in a Sefer Torah
(Likkutei Sichos Nitzavim Vol. 24 Sicha 2)
Parshas Vayeilech is the shortest Parsha in the Torah, containing only 30 verses. Nonetheless, it includes a most important Mitzvah that is listed as part of the 613 commands which is the Mitzvah of writing a Sefer Torah. We learn from this command that every [male] Jew is obligated to write for himself a Torah scroll. This command was given on the last day of Moshe’s life, on the seventh day of Adar, and was instructed to be fulfilled by the Jewish people prior to entering the land of Israel. The Rebbe begins this talk with questioning as to how the 600,000 Jewish men in the desert fulfilled the above command, of which we find no record of its fulfillment. In an attempt to answer this question, the Rebbe introduces the words of the Midrash that on the day of Moshe’s death, he wrote 13 Torah scrolls. The Rebbe asks as to how it was possible for him to write 13 scrolls in a single day and concludes that in truth, he simply completed the 13 scrolls on this day, as they were written throughout the 40 year stay in the desert. The Rebbe tries using the above explanation to also answer how all the Jewish people wrote their own Torah scrolls, but rejects it from the record. In search for an answer, the Rebbe furthermore asks as to why also today we do not see this commandment being fulfilled by the individual, including not even by the greatly righteous and scholarly individuals of current and previous generations. The Rebbe delves into the possible reasons behind this seeming disregard of the command, and gives an alternative option of how today this command is considered to be fulfilled outside of its literal sense, simply through purchasing Torah books. While in other talks in previous years, this was indeed the approach that the Rebbe adapted in answer to the above query, in this talk the Rebbe delves deeper into the inquiry and rejects this as being a fully acceptable answer. In answer to the query, the Rebbe novelizes that in truth every individual Jew fulfills this command through the writing, purchase, editing, and receiving of an Aliyah by the community Torah scroll. In this talk, the Rebbe solves an anomaly that has puzzled great sages of many generations, and becomes a defendant of the Jewish people before G-d, telling G-d that according to His laws, His Mitzvah of writing a personal Torah scroll has not been abandoned, and is fulfilled by every single member of the community. Through this explanation, the Rebbe explains how it was possible for all the Jewish people to fulfill the command of writing a personal Torah scroll before entering Eretz Yisrael only one month later. Of the great novelties of this talk, is that through purchasing a letter in a Sefer Torah one can fulfill this biblical obligation in its most literal sense. This, amongst other reasons, served to propagate the Rebbe’s global campaign that every child and every Jew should have a letter in a Torah scroll.
Explorations of the Sicha:
1. Is every Jew commanded in writing a Torah scroll for himself?
2. How is this command fulfilled, why do we not see it being fulfilled by Torah scholars of current and previous generations?
3. Can one fulfill this obligation through purchasing Torah books?
4. Can one fulfill this obligation through purchasing a letter in a Torah scroll?
5. What unique Biblical command is fulfilled when you receive an Aliyah to the Torah?
1. The Mitzvah for every Jew to write a Torah scroll:
One of the commands that the Jewish people were given at the end of their 40-year journey in the desert, on the same day and in close approximation to Moshe’s death, is the Mitzvah to write a Torah scroll. This is learned from the verse which states, “Kisvu Lachem Es Hashira Hazos/Write for yourselves this song.” This refers to writing the entire Torah until after the song of Haazinu, which is the entire Torah. Based on this verse, the Poskim rule that every individual drew must write a personal Torah scroll for himself. Furthermore, the moment that this command was given by Moshe to the Jewish people, they were obligated to fulfill it right away and to each wrote a Torah scroll for themselves. In fact, fulfilling this Mitzvah was a prerequisite for entering into the holy land, and hence they had to fulfill the Mitzvah before entering Eretz Yisrael only one month later.
2. Did the Jewish people in the desert indeed all write a personal Sefer Torah?
Despite the fact that the Jewish people were commanded to write a Sefer Torah before entering the land of Israel, interestingly, we do not find any record that on the day of Moshe’s death, on the seventh of Adar, the Jewish people took steps towards fulfilling this command. If all 600,000 Jews who were given this command by Moshe would in a single day have made parchment and written a Torah scroll, or at least begin writing a Torah scroll, this would certainly be of historical worth to mention. Furthermore, we do not find any record that this was at all done prior to them entering the land of Israel only a month later. Throughout this month, the Jewish people were quite busy mourning the death of Moshe for 30 days, and then on the 10th of Nisan they were busy crossing the Jordan, and prior to that they were preparing for their journey to cross. Accordingly, it does not seem that they had the time to fulfill this command, and perhaps this is the reason we do not find any record of it. To also note, that for 600,000 men to write 600,000 Torah scrolls would require an immense amount of parchment, and kosher animal hide, as well as ink, and all the other accessories necessary for writing a Torah scroll. Preparing all the accessories for this amount of people would surely take a very long time, as we see today with our very own eyes the complexity and various steps involved in writing a Torah scroll, and that only a select few are skilled to do so. Most people are unable to do this on their own, especially if they desire high quality parchment, ink, and scribal writing, in which case they must hire a skilled person to do so for them. Thus, it would be quite wondrous to expect or believe that all 600,000 Jews in the desert had the accessories and skill necessary within the 30 some odd days between Moshe’s death and their entering into the holy land. To believe that a few skilled scribes managed to do so on behalf of all 600,000 of the Jewish people would be preposterous. However, in truth, the above matter can perhaps be explained based on another question which can be asked on Moshe himself.
3. Did Moshe really write 13 Torah scrolls on the day of his death?
The sages state that on the day that Moshe passed away, he wrote 13 Torah scrolls, writing one scroll per each of the 12 tribes and another additional scroll to be placed in the ark. Now, how was it physically possible for Moshe to write 13 Torah scrolls in one day, when writing even a single Torah scroll can take a full year? So, the Mefarshim on the Midrash explain that in truth Moshe did not write 13 Torah scrolls on that day, but rather that he finished writing 13 Torah scrolls on that day. Meaning, that throughout his 40 years in the desert, Moshe would record within the Torah scrolls the commands and statements given to him that day from G-d. On the last day of his life, all 13 Torah scrolls that he had been writing and updating for the past 40 years were already almost complete, and all he had to do was to write the final verses given to him on that day. Now, although many Parshiyos of the Torah were spoken by Moshe to the Jewish people on the last day of his life, perhaps they were already taught to him by G-d in the previous weeks, and written in the scrolls beforehand, before the last day. Hence, it is no longer considered improbable for Moshe to complete the 13 Torah scrolls in one day.
4. The Jewish people each wrote a personal Torah scroll throughout the 40 years in the desert:
The above understanding regarding Moshe can also be applied regarding the Jewish people vis a vis their obligation of writing a Torah scroll. The Rambam writes in his introduction to his commentary on the Mishna, that after the Jewish people were taught the laws from Moshe and Aaron, they would then write it down on scrolls, and use it to review and study. Accordingly, it ends up that majority of the Torah was already written by the Jewish people, being that they recorded it each time they were taught throughout the 40 years in the desert, and the only section that remained to be written was the last portions that were taught to them in approximation to Moshe’s death. Accordingly, it is very possible that after the command was given for every Jew to write a personal Torah scroll, that they each simply went ahead and finished the scroll that was already mostly written and thus fulfilled the Mitzvah.
5. The questions on the above answer:
There are several questions that can be raised against the above understanding.
- According to the opinion of Rashi in the Talmud, there is an opinion who holds that the Torah was only written after it was complete, in the 40th year after Moshe finished saying the last Parsha. According to this approach, the above answer is factually inaccurate.
- The above assumes that every Jew wrote notes as he was taught the Torah each day. The Rambam however never clearly states that every single Jew did so. This is aside for the fact that the vast majority of those who entered the land of Israel in the 40th year were born in the desert, and were not present by all of the Torah learning sessions.
- Although the Midrash states that Moshe wrote 13 Torah scrolls it does not mention that every Jew wrote a Torah scroll. Now, if this were to be historically accurate, then certainly the Midrash should have recorded it, as having 600,000 Torah scrolls written is certainly a greater accomplishment than the writing of 13 scrolls.
To understand the above matter, we must first introduce a general question on this Mitzvah which obligates every Jew to write a personal Torah scroll.
6. Why historically do we not find the command of writing a Torah scroll having been fulfilled?
A most perplexing question on the above command is the fact that throughout the generations we have not heard and have not seen its fulfillment. We have not witnessed G-d-fearing Jews in general and the great Torah scholars and righteous men in particular, being careful in fulfilling this command? The answer to this question is the key to resolving our mystery above regarding the whereabouts of the 600,000 Torah scrolls of the Jewish people in desert times. The following reason can be offered behind this anomaly:
7. The command is fulfilled through purchasing Torah books:
Some Poskim rule that in today’s times in which we no longer learn from a Sefer Torah, and it is even forbidden to do so, as it is belittling to the Sefer, the Mitzvah of writing a Sefer Torah can be fulfilled today through writing/buying Sefarim that one can learn from, such as Chumashim, Mishnah, Gemara and their commentaries. Some Poskim go as far as saying that in today’s times this Mitzvah can no longer be fulfilled through writing a Torah scroll. The reason for this is because the entire purpose of the Mitzvah is to learn from the Sefarim, and since these are the books that we can learn from today therefore the Mitzvah is fulfilled with them. According to this, we can say that the custom today is like this opinion, to fulfill the Mitzvah of writing a Sefer Torah specifically through purchasing Sefarim. Hence, indeed we find that the Jewish people as a whole, including children who have just reached the age of Bar Mitzvah, are very particular in purchasing Torah books in order to learn from them.
Nonetheless, it is difficult to accept the above as the answer, as if this were to be correct, then it should be obligatory for all boys as soon as they turn Bar Mitzvah to purchase all the basic and classic Sefarim, including a full set of Shulchan Aruch, and we have not witnessed this being done. Furthermore, according to many opinions, although in today’s times there is also a Mitzvah to buy Sefarim, it is not in place of the Mitzvah to write a Sefer Torah but rather in addition to it. According to this opinion, the question remains as to why we do not see people being careful to fulfil the original Mitzvah of writing a Sefer Torah. How is it possible that all the great Torah giants who were extremely careful in their fulfillment of Mitzvah’s, and were meticulous to fulfill them in their most beautified manner and according to all opinions, completely ignored this Mitzvah? Hence, we must continue our search for an answer.
8. The status of the community Torah scroll:
It is customary of every congregation in Israel for them to have their own Torah scroll, which belongs to the community. This is in addition to the fact that there are individuals who purchase a Torah scroll and donate it to the synagogue. The writing of these community Torah scrolls is undertaken using the community funds. Hence, it is found that the entire community has personally hired the Sofer to write the Torah scroll on their behalf, and hence every single Jew in the community has a portion in this Mitzvah of writing a Torah scroll. Based on this, we can answer that the Mitzvah upon each person to write a personal Torah scroll, has generationally been fulfilled through the writing of their community scroll. This answer, however, is not free of question.
First of all, there is a discussion in Poskim as to whether a community item is considered personally owned by every individual in the community, or if the community as a whole is considered a new entity and it is considered owned by this entity. Furthermore, many Poskim rule that each individual must write their own personal Torah scroll and therefore a Torah scroll that was written by two partners does not fulfill the obligation of either partner. Accordingly, the question returns as to how it is possible for one to fulfill the Mitzvah of writing a Torah scroll through the community scroll that is written.
9. Every individual personally owns the entire Torah scroll:
The answer to the above question is as follows: In truth, the Mitzvah of writing a personal Torah scroll is fulfilled by every member of the community through the community Torah scroll being written. Now, although some rule that the Torah scroll of partners does not fulfill either one of the partners obligation, this is not true of the community Torah scroll. The reason for this is because the community Torah scroll is considered entirely owned by each individual. How is this possible? As each individual temporarily gives up his ownership for the sake of each individual entirely owning it simultaneously so they can fulfill their Mitzvah. A precedence for this can be found in the Mitzvah of the four species which must be entirely owned by the individual on the first day of Sukkos. Despite this rule, we find that many communities had a communal Esrog which was used for shaking on the first day with a blessing. How was this possibly done according to Jewish law? Although the Esrog was considered owned by the entire community, each individual gave up his ownership to the individual whose turn it was to fulfill the Mitzvah, on condition that he then return it to the community after he finishes his Mitzvah. Now, even though this giving up of ownership was not explicitly expressed by the congregants, nonetheless, since it can be assumed that they desire this to be the case, being that they purchased the Esrog for the sake of each one of them fulfilling the Mitzvah, therefore it is considered as if it was already stipulated.
This same idea can be applied likewise regarding the communal Sefer Torah. Since it is not monetarily possible for every individual to undertake the writing of a Torah scroll, therefore the community would purchase a Torah scroll for the sake of fulfilling this Mitzvah on behalf of each and every individual. Even though this matter was not explicitly expressed by anyone in the community, it is considered as if every member of the community agreed to give up their ownership on behalf of each individual, so that every individual can be considered as if he owns it, so he can fulfill his Mitzvah.
Now, when does this total ownership of each individual take place, and how can it be considered that every individual owns the entire Torah scroll, if at the same time we are saying that every single individual gives it up to the other. So, the answer is that at the time that each individual gets an Aliyah to the Torah, every community member acquires to him his portion of the Torah scroll and hence it is considered completely owned by him during the time of the Aliyah. Now, just as regarding the Esrog, the community gives it to each individual as a present on condition to return, and does not release ownership from it forever, so too it is with the communal Torah scroll, that the portion of the community is given over to the individual Olah on condition that he return it to the community when he completes his Aliyah, and thus allow every individual to continue fulfilling their obligation with it when they get their Aliyah.
Now, although the Poskim rule that it does not suffice to purchase a Torah scroll and one must actually write it, or hire someone to write it in his place, the community Sefer Torah is considered written on behalf and on the auspices of each individual in the community.
10. What is the law with those who were born after the community Torah scroll was written?
The one issue that the above answer still faces, is regarding the status of all those in the community who were born, or reached the age of Mitzvos, after the writing of the Torah scroll. Seemingly, there is no way for them to fulfill their Mitzvah with the community Torah scroll, as even if the community intends to acquire it to them when they eventually get their Aliyah to the Torah, this does not help, being that it must be considered theirs at the time of the writing. However, in truth one can argue and say that even those were born or reached Bar Mitzvah later, fulfill their obligation of the community Torah scroll. How? As Torah scrolls are periodically edited for invalidating errors, and the ruling is that one who purchases an invalid Sefer Torah and edits to make it valid, fulfills his obligation of writing a Torah scroll. Accordingly, when the Torah scroll is edited in the lifetime of the newborns, after they reached the age of mitzvot, it is considered completely acquired to them, just as we explained regarding when the scroll was originally written. Accordingly, the moment that the Torah scroll is edited all the newcomers fulfill their biblical obligation. Furthermore, based on this logic, even if the community did not hire a scribe to write the Torah scroll, and simply bought a ready-made Torah scroll from a merchant, the moment that it gets edited, everyone in the community fulfills their obligation.
11. When is the Torah scroll obligated to to be fully owned by the individual?
Another question that still remains is regarding how it’s possible to consider the Mitzvah of owning a personal Torah scroll fulfilled through the community Torah scroll if the entire purpose of the Mitzvah is to learn from it, and since it is owned by the community, one does not have the right to take it for himself. In other words, since the Mitzvah of writing a Torah scroll is for the purpose of learning from it, how is it possible for this Mitzvah to be fulfilled through owning it for only the moment that one receives an Aliyah to the Torah. [Seemingly, the Mitzvah requires that one constantly own his personal Torah scroll for the sake of learning from it, which is not possible by a community Torah scroll, being that everyone cannot simultaneously personally own it in its entirety. The only way to create a scenario in which every individual has personal ownership of the entire Torah scroll, is to say that every individual in the community takes turns owning it, in the form of a present on condition to return as done with the Esrog, as explained above. Accordingly, it is not possible to fulfill one’s obligation with the community Sefer Torah, as one is required to constantly own it, and one does not constantly own the community Torah scroll and only owns it upon getting an Aliyah.]
In truth, over, one can answer that the above requirement to constantly own the entire Torah scroll that one wrote only applied in previous times when people were accustomed to learning from the Torah scrolls. However, in today’s times that we no longer learn from the scrolls, and it is even forbidden to do so as we explained above, this is no longer a requirement. Rather, owning the Torah scroll only at the time of one’s Aliyah to the Torah suffices to fulfill the command, as the only time that one needs a Torah scroll to read from it is at the time that he receives an Aliyah to the Torah and is then required to read from it. It is for exactly this reason that we established above that the occasion that every individual fully acquires the community Torah scroll is specifically during his Aliyah to the Torah, as only then is he required and allowed to read from it, and therefore obligated to fulfill the command of writing and owning a personal Torah scroll.
In summary it ends up that throughout all the moments that a Jew is required to write and own a personal Torah scroll for the sake of studying from it [i.e. during his Aliyah], it is indeed considered as if he personally owns the entire scroll and is if he personally had it written only on his behalf.
The above is not just limited to community members, but applies also to guests who receive an Aliyah by the community Torah scroll, that the community acquires it to them for the sake of them fulfilling their mitzvah.
12. The explanation behind how all 600,000 men fulfilled the Mitzvah of writing a personal Torah school prior to entering Israel:
Based on all the above, we can explain how the Jewish people fulfilled the command that they were given by Moshe on the day of his death to each personally write a Torah scroll, even though we find no record that they did so, and it would have been a physical phenomenon that would defy nature. This was fulfilled through Moshe completing the writing of his 13 scrolls on the day of his death. Each one of these scrolls were considered community Torah scrolls which were written one per tribe, and through it every individual member of that tribe fulfilled their Mitzvah at the time that they learned from that Torah scroll. Now, although we stated above that in previous times the Mitzvah could only be fulfilled with a personal Torah scroll that every individual had available for him to learn from it at all times, since this was not physically possible to accomplish within the short amount of time between them receiving the command and entering Israel, therefore it was fulfilled through the tribal Torah scroll. Furthermore, one can say that G-d specifically gave this command over at this time and forced the Mitzvah to be fulfilled in this way, with a community tribal scroll, to show that there will be times that this is the valid way for this Mitzvah to be fulfilled, through the community Torah scroll.
13. Purchasing a letter in a Torah scroll:
Despite the above said, there still remains a great importance in every individual purchasing a letter in a Torah scroll. Although one fulfills his Mitzvah of writing and owning the scroll simply by getting an Aliyah after the scroll was written or edited by the community, it is considered fulfilled in a much higher level when one personally purchases a letter in it. When one pays for a letter in a Torah scroll, he is paying the scribe to be his emissary to write the letter on his behalf. In such a case, he does not have to rely on the assumption that the letters written are automatically considered acquired to everyone in the community, but rather fulfills this directly with his own hands as a result of his own money.
Lessons of the Sicha:
1. Every individual is to try to purchase as many Sefarim as possible, especially the classic Torah Sefarim, such as Tanach, the Talmud, and the Shulchan Aruch, and especially books that deal with practical Torah law from which one can study and gain guidance in how to perform Torah and Mitzvos correctly according to Halacha. This applies to every individual starting from the age of Bar Mitzvah, and hence it is proper for Bar Mitzvah boys to use their Bar Mitzvah money to purchase Sefarim, and so too it is proper to gift them with Sefarim in the honor of the occasion. Through doing so, one fulfills the Biblical command of writing and owning a personal Torah scroll. The purpose of this Mitzvah is in order to have Sefarim available for learning and it is hence an affiliate of the Mitzvah of learning Torah. Thus, the completion of this Mitzvah is fulfilled through learning the purchased Sefarim.]
2. Upon receiving an Aliyah to the Torah, one should be aware that the entire Torah scroll is acquired to him at that time for the sake of him fulfilling the Mitzvah of owning a Torah scroll. This especially applies by the first Aliyah that he receives after his Bar Mitzvah, after the Torah has been edited one time from an invalidating mistake.
3. Every individual is to try to purchase a letter in his community Torah scroll, or participate in its writing or editing through donations, and he is to do so with intent to fulfill the above Mitzvah of writing a personal Torah scroll. This matter especially applies towards adults above the age of Bar Mitzvah who can now fulfill this Mitzvah, although is not limited to adults, and is to be fulfilled also for every single Jewish child. Thus, as soon as one’s child is born one is to purchase a letter in the community Torah scroll on their behalf.
Are women obligated in the Biblical Mitzvah to write a Sefer Torah/Sefarim?
Some Poskim rule that women are not Biblically obligated to purchase a Sefer Torah, or Sefarim. Other Poskim, however, leave this matter in question. From the above Sicha of the Rebbe, it is implied that the Rebbe understands that the Mitzvah does not apply to women, as a) women do not receive Aliya’s to the Torah for us to consider them to have fulfilled this command, and b) the Rebbe constantly mentions 600,000 men writing it in the times of Moshe, and does not include the women.
 See also: Likkutei Sichos 23:17 Shavuos 1; Sichos Kodesh 5728 1:382, printed in Shulchan Menachem 1:22; 6:191; Michaber Y.D. 270:2; Rambam Sefer Torah 6:1; Rava Sanhedrin 21b; See Nitei Gavriel Sefer Torah chapters 1-6
 Vayeilech 31:19
 Taz 270:1; Beir Hagoleh ibid; It cannot refer to simply the writing of Parshas Haazinu, as it is forbidden to write the Torah as single Parshiyos. [Beir Hagoleh ibid based on Gittin 60a]
 Michaber Y.D. 270:2; Rambam Sefer Torah 6:1; Rava Sanhedrin 21b; See Nitei Gavriel Sefer Torah chapters 1-6
 See Devarim Raba 9:9
 Gittin 60a
 Rosh ibid, brought in Tur ibid, “Today it is a positive command of every Jew who can afford to do so, to purchase Sefarim of Cumashim and Gemara’s”
 See Aruch Hashulchan 270:9 and Likkutei Sichos 23:17 in length for explanation of why all Poskim agree that by Sefarim, the Mitzvah is fulfilled by purchasing them, even though by a Sefer Torah, some Poskim require it to be written; Hisvadyos 1988 Hei Teves
The reason: Although the Rama 270 rules one does not fulfill his obligation if he purchases a Sefer Torah nevertheless, regarding Sefarim the obligation is fulfilled even with purchasing them, as the entire purpose of this Mitzvah is to learn from the Sefer. The only reason there is a Mitzvah to write a Sefer Torah and one does not fulfill his obligation with purchase is because a Sefer Torah has laws of writing, as opposed to other Sefarim. [See Likkutei Sichos ibid]
 Implication of Rosh ibid; Shach 270:5 “The main opinion is like the Rosh and unlike the Beis Yosef”; Derisha and Perisha 270 in his understanding of the Rosh; Taz 270:4 that so is the implication of the Rosh; Aruch Hashulchan 270:8-9; Rebbe in Likkutei Sichos 23:17 Shavuos 1
Other Poskim: Many Poskim rule that the Mitzvah of purchasing Sefarim is not in place of the Mitzvah of writing a Sefer Torah, and rather is simply in addition to it. The Mitzvah of writing a Sefer Torah remains intact even today. [Implication of Michaber 270:1; Beis Yosef and Bach 270 in explanation of Rosh, brought in Taz 270:4 and Shach ibid; Conclusion of Taz ibid “The words of the Beis Yosef are correct, as how can we nullify a positive command of “Vikisvu Lachem” with the passing of the generations”; Levush and Magid Mishneh brought in Shach ibid in their opinion of the Rosh; Shagas Aryeh 36 negates Perisha] Nevertheless it appears that even in accordance to their opinion writing Sefarim is included in the Mitzvah of writing a Sefer Torah and is hence considered part of the Biblical command according to all. [So is implied from Rosh ibid; See Likkutei Sichos ibid]
 Rebbe in Likkutei Sichos 23:17 “The custom of Israel today to not write one’s own Sefer Torah is like the opinion of the Rosh”; See there in length and in Aruch Hashulchan 270:9
 Implication of Michaber 270:1; Beis Yosef and Bach 270 in explanation of Rosh, brought in Taz 270:4 and Shach ibid; Conclusion of Taz ibid “The words of the Beis Yosef are correct, as how can we nullify a positive command of “Vikisvu Lachem” with the passing of the generations”; Levush and Magid Mishneh brought in Shach ibid in their opinion of the Rosh; Shagas Aryeh 36 negates Perisha] Nevertheless it appears that even in accordance to their opinion writing Sefarim is included in the Mitzvah of writing a Sefer Torah and is hence considered part of the Biblical command according to all. [So is implied from Rosh ibid; See Likkutei Sichos ibid
 See Pischeiy Teshuvah 270:1; Aruch Hashulchan 270:11
 Rama Y.D. 270:2
 Menachos ibid; Tur ibid; Taz 270:1; Rama ibid regarding buying and then editing
 Michaber 270:2; Tur 270:2 in name of Rosh “Today it is a positive command of every Jew who can afford to do so, to purchase Sefarim of Cumashim and Gemara’s”; Rabbeinu Yerucham in name of the Geonim; See Likkutei Sichos 23:17 Shavuos 1; 24:209 Parshas Vayelech [printed in Shulchan Menachem Yoreh Deah 6:178]; Nitei Gavriel 1:4; 3:3, 6; It appears that even in accordance to the Michaber ibid [and Beis Yosef and Bach] who simply write that it is a Mitzvah to do so, and the Mitzvah of writing a Sefer Torah remains in place, nevertheless they do not argue on the Rosh that writing Sefarim is included in the Biblical Mitzvah of writing a Sefer Torah and is hence considered part of the Biblical command according to all. [See Likkutei Sichos ibid]; See Aruch Hashulchan 270:9 and Likkutei Sichos 23:17 in length for explanation of why all Poskim agree that by Sefarim, the Mitzvah is fulfilled by purchasing them, even though by a Sefer Torah, some Poskim require it to be written; Hisvadyos 1988 Hei Teves
 Rosh ibid as explained in Derisha ibid and Shach and Taz ibid;
 Likkutei Sichos 23:17; See Aruch Hashulchan 270:9
 Likkutei Sichos ibid; See Aruch Hashulchan 270:9
 See Aruch Hashulchan 270:5; Nitei Gavriel 6:1-7
 Rambam Sefer Hamitzvos Mitzvah 18, brought in Gilyon Maharsha; Listed in end of 248 positive commands as one of the Mitzvos that women are exempt from.
 Shaagas Aryeh 35, brought in Pischeiy teshuvah 270:2, Gilyon Maharsha 270
 The reason: As even women are obligated to learn Torah, in those topics relevant to them, and hence they recite Birchas Hatorah. Accoridng to the Rambam’s logic, then even men who are not Kohanim should be exempt from the Mitzvah, as they are not commanded in the Mitzvos of Kohanim. [Shagas Aryeh ibid]