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The Journey of a Sefer Torah

Rochel Gross

The last mitzvah mentioned in the Torah is a very special mitzvah that not many Jews can fulfill. Why? One of the reasons is because it costs a lot of money. Writing a Sefer Torah can easily cost around $50,000! Why is it so expensive? Join me as we follow the long journey of creating a Sefer Torah.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

man making klafSo, you’ve decided to have a new Sefer Torah written. Now what? Where do you start? The first step is finding a very good sofer (scribe). You want to make sure he’s professional, experienced, and has beautiful handwriting, but most important of all that he is a yerei Shamayim. There are many halachos regarding the writing of a Sefer Torah and lots of things can make a Sefer Torah pasul. You have to be able to trust the sofer, because when you look at a completed Torah, you can never tell if the sofer kept these halachos or not.

For example, before he begins to write, the sofer has to say, “Hareini koseiv l’sheim kedushas Sefer Torah — I am hereby writing for the sanctification of a holy Sefer Torah” and before every time he writes Hashem’s Name, he says, “Hareini koseiv l’sheim kedushas Hashem — I am hereby writing for the sanctification of Hashem.” If he forgets to say this before writing Hashem’s Name, there’s a halachic problem.

Another thing that a sofer may not do is erase Hashem’s Name. Nor may he write from memory — rather, he has to follow written text.

These are many more halachos a sofer has to know, and since we want our Sefer Torah to be 100 percent kosher, the sofer must be a G-d-fearing Jew.


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