Friday, July 29, 2011

The Torah

Torah means “teaching” and refers to the five books of Moses- Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
A Torah scroll is made from sheets of parchment, which is made from the skin of a kosher animal.
It is written by hand in Hebrew by a professional scribe, called a sofer. Hebrew is read from right to left.
The sofer takes at least one year to write out the Torah.
He is not allowed to write from memory. He must copy from a book of the Torah, and keep checking for mistakes. Letters must not be smudged or touch another letter.
If the sofer makes a mistake; he scrapes of the letters using a glass tool.
 
The most sacred word that he writes is the Hebrew name for God. He cannot correct this-he must start the whole sheet of parchment again. The sheet with the error on it is buried in Jewish cemetery.
When all sheets of parchment are finished they are sewn together  and wound around wooden rollers.
The Torah is regarded as holy and is decorated as beautifully as possible.

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