Beis Iyar, 5773
In the previous issue the question was raised regarding a man who built a new bookcase to house his ever-growing collection of Seforim. He wanted to use his old bookcase to hold miscellaneous items. Was he permitted to do so, or was his old bookcase considered a "Tashmish Kedushah" which could not be used for "Divrei Chol?"
The Rov in the man's town asked this question to the Gaon Reb Meir Arik A"H. In his Teshuvah, Reb Meir explained that although printed Seforim do contain Kedushah, most people are lenient when it comes to printed Seforim, as opposed to by written Seforim. An Aron Kodesh, which contains Sifrei Torah written on parchment, is considered to be a Tashmish Kedushah, while a bookcase, which holds printed Seforim, is not.
A "Ba'al Nefesh," however, might choose to be strict in this regard and consider a bookcase a Tashmish Kedushah. Reb Meir therefore continues his letter by writing a method through which a Baal Nefesh is able to use such a bookcase, as well. He quotes the Shulchan Aruch's ruling (Yoreh Dei'ah 282:15): "Golden and silver apples that are used to beautify a Sefer Torah are considered Tashmishei Kedushah. They may not be [sold and subsequently] used for mundane purposes unless one's intent is to purchase a Sefer Torah or Chumash [with the money of the sale]."
We can infer from this Halachah that if one sells Tashmishei Kedushah with the intent of using the money to purchase holy items, the Tashmishei Kedushah can subsequently be used for mundane purposes. To apply this to our scenario, the old bookcase could be sold to a friend for a minimal sum of money, and this money would then be used to purchase Seforim. The friend could then give the bookcase as a gift back to its original owner, or sell it to him for another small sum of money. Then, the bookcase could be used for "Divrei Chol."
Certain Poskim are of the opinion that Tashmishei Kedushah cannot be used for "Divrei Chol" upon being sold. In this case, however, being that most people are lenient with regard to printed Seforim, one can definitely follow the above suggestion and then use the bookcase for anything he desires.
(Shu"t Imrei Yosher #45)