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The Tabernacle Times
September 2017 ......................... Elul 5777 - Tishrei 5778 ......................... Volume 12 Issue 9

Let’s Talk Torah

Angela Kunkel
his month's
guest contributor Angela Kunkel




  Torah scrolls (Sifre Torah) are works of simple beauty written with devoted care by a trained scribe. This scribe is known as a “sofer”. The word sofer probably reflects the fact that some of the early scribes used to count all the letters, words, and verses of the Torah— to make absolutely sure that nothing was added or omitted. Each and every word had to be perfect.

Working full time, a sofer, had to spend nine months to complete 5,888 verses and 79,976 words in the Torah. A sofer would begin his day immersing in a mikveh. This ritual bath was an act of spiritual purification in preparation for his holy task. If a sofer was unable to immerse himself then he would leave a space for the name of G~d, postponing writing it for a day when he can properly purify himself. Before writing one letter the sofer would declare out loud, “I am writing the Torah for the sake of the holiness of a Torah Scroll, and all of the names of G~d in it for the sake of the holiness of The Name.

When writing a new Torah, the scribe is forbidden to rely on his

memory. He must have before him a correct scroll or a printed Pentateuch to serve as a guide. Any incorrect words would render the scroll unusable. Indeed, simple errors were made on occasion and could be scratched out with a sharp blade or a pumice stone. However, the most serious error, the omission or misspelling of the name of G~d cannot be corrected, the Divine Name of the Holy One cannot be erased. If this type of error is made, the entire sheet of parchment must be discarded. When a mistake is found in the Torah, a cloth ribbon is tied around the mantle as a sign that it cannot be used until it is corrected. A scroll that cannot be corrected or repaired must be placed in an earthenware container and buried in a cemetery.

                 (Continued on Page 2)

Inside This Month's Issue:

Let's Talk Torah Torah Overview Tabernacle TV
• Home/Most Recent Videos |
• Teachings for Jew & Gentile|
• Shabbat Praise & Worship

• Torah Portions/Studies |
• Music Selections |
• Beit Midrash
• Ariel Yahudah Dancers |
• Plays and Drama
Kosher Korner Coming Events
Torah Portions Be One in a Million
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