Soferim (Talmud) - Halakhic Authority

Halakhic Authority

Because Soferim is not part of the Babylonian Talmud or Palestinian Talmud, later generations of Jews have not always accepted its rulings (in whole or in part) as authoritative. There are a few points of halakha which rabbis have decided straight from Soferim, since they are not mentioned in the Talmud. For example, many Rishonim and the Vilna Gaon rule that a berakha must be recited before the reading of the megilloth Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, and Ecclesiastes; this berakha is mentioned in Soferim, though not in the Talmud. Similarly, Rabbi S. S. Boyarski ruled that a berakha must be recited before reading the other books of Kethuvim; this berakha, too (different in text from the one for the megilloth) is mentioned only in Soferim, and not in the Talmud. However, these rulings have not been accepted by all groups of Jews.

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