On Bava Basra 151, the gemara presents an interesting distinction between tefillin and sifrei Torah.
Previously, on Bava Basra 150, the gemara had been discussing which items are deemed to be nechasim - resources which are capable of being bequeathed in a will. These included, money, property and other similar objects.
On Bava Basra 151a, the gemara asks whether tefillin are nechasim. The gemara answers that tefillin are nechasim and learns this from a gemara in Erchin which teaches that a person can pledge his tefillin to hekdesh (the Rashbam teaches that as a result he must redeem the tefillin, but the money is sanctified).
Immediately thereafter, the gemara asks whether a sefer Torah is deemed nechasim. The gemara gives both sides of the equation - since a sefer Torah can be sold in limited circumstances (specifically so that the scribe has money to learn or to get married) it could be deemed nechasim. On the other hand, since the sale of the sefer Torah is highly restricted, perhaps it is not nechasim.
While the gemara leaves this as a teiku, the meforshim provide interesting color to the discussion. The Rashbam explains that since tefillin are considered clothing they are capable of sale (and are thus nechasim) even though they contain parshios from the Torah. The Rambam distinguishes a sefer Torah from all other seforim as the latter are all deemed nechasim.
If you have seen this post being carried on another site such as JBlog, please feel free to click here to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter up!