Section: Hanhagos   Category: Ma'aseh Rav
The Steipler Gaon Taking Care of Living & Breathing Seforim

Rav Yaakov Yisroel Kanievsky, the Steipler Gaon was especially Makpid on Kavod HaSefer.  The Sefer Toldos Yaakov gives some examples of his diligence and sensitivity in his Kavod HaSefer.

•    Once when someone took out the wrong Sefer for him, before returning it to its place on the shelf he made sure to learn something from it in order not to embarrass it.  
•    He would fix every rip in his seforim.  When he rebound his Shas he said, “I have pleasure from the fact that my Seforim have been restored with their proper honor.”
•    If he would fall asleep on a Sefer after learning until his last ounce of energy dissipated, he would feel terrible about the lack of Kavod for the Sefer.
•    Two of his seforim “Birchas Peretz” and “Chayei Olam” were originally sold at cost price because he felt they were worthwhile to disseminate publicly.  Afterwards he decided to raise the price because he felt it was not Kavod for the seforim to be sold so inexpensively.  The profits were given to Tzedoka.

In many Shuls and Yeshivos in Eretz Yisroel there is a letter hung near the Seforim shelves regarding the importance of returning seforim after using them and not leaving them on the table.  It tells a story of a time that the Steipler Gaon finished learning in a Yeshiva not far his home.  After walking approximately 100 meters, despite the fact that walking was very difficult for him he realized that he didn’t return his sefer to its place.  He then turned around, went back to the place he was sitting, returned the sefer, and then went home.

The Steipler Gaon was a living Sefer Torah.  We may never reach his level of Torah but there is no reason we cannot reach his level of respect for the seforim that the torah is written in.