The Torah: Torah Scrolls and Torah Making

The written text is highly important in Judaism as it is believed that G-d communicates with us through the written word, the Torah. Therefore it is not surprising that we, the Jewish people, are often referred to as Am Ha-sefer, the people of the book. The Torah is not like any other Jewish books or a simple documentary of all events in Jewish history, since Creation. It is in fact a special book, crafted in accordance with strict specifications, making it the special item it is and separating it from all other Jewish books, elevating it above all.

Making of the Torah

The text is hand-written by a sofer, a scribe, specifically trained in the art of writing and assembling a scroll. A Kosher parchment, from a kosher animal, is used for the text with a special ink and a quil, usually from a turkey feather. The scribe prepares the parchment by scratching 43 horizontal lines on it and two vertical ones at each end. This allows for a standard 42 lines of writing. Each sheet of parchment contains three to eight columns of writing. Certain letters might be stretched within a column to justify the left margin. Once the sofer completes the writing, the pieces of parchment are sewn together with thread and attached to wooden rollers.
most Torah scrolls stand around two feet in height and weigh 20-25 pounds, some are huge and quite heavy, while others are doll-sized and lightweight.

The Calligraphy

The letters of a Torah scroll are written in the "Assyrian" script. However, there are slight differences between Sephardic (Oriental) and Ashkenazi (European) writing.

Torah Accessories

Except the Torah scrolls themselves, there are additional pieces that comprise the Torah as you have seen in the synagogue: Torah yad pointer, Torah rimonim, torah cover and breastplates.

While you might not be able to possess a full-sized, you and your loved ones may have a beautiful replica of the Torah book in Sephardic or Ashkenazi style. The Torah books make for outstanding Bar Mitzvah gifts and Holiday gifts for Passover or Purim. Now, the sacred scriptures are just in the reach of your hand, scriptures that will inspire you and any member in your family to keep Mitzvot and lead your life in Jewish pride.

Learn more about Jewish symbolism and Judaica significance in our Jewish culture section on our OyVey Jewish blog; fascinating articles about the Tallit and Mitzvah of doning tefillin are only two of the articles that will enlighten you.