The following is excerpted from the Deseret News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.
In Jewish tradition, a Torah scroll is a sacred document containing the five books of Moses that is handwritten in original Hebrew on parchment.
Rolled up in two ornate wooden shafts, the words given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai — Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy — are read multiple times a week and on holidays and include the 613 commandments that Jews live by.
“Our Torah scrolls are really the most important item in our tradition,” said Rabbi Sam Spector, rabbi of Salt Lake City’s Congregation Kol Ami.
But every few years the historic scrolls need maintenance and repair.
This week Kol Ami, Utah’s largest Jewish congregation, is hosting a sofer/scribe who specializes in restoring these ancient scrolls, often hundreds of years old.
Rabbi Moshe Druin, of Miami, Florida, has restored ancient Torah scrolls all over the world.
“I’m a conservator. There is extremely few of us. I’m talking about you can count them maybe on two hands,” he said. “It’s a very specialized art, mastering that Hebrew calligraphy on parchment. We use feathers and ink in the same way it’s been done for thousands of years and I’m here for the whole week. I’ll be going over all their Torah scrolls and hopefully restoring a large number of things.”
Rabbi Druin will be working on Kol Ami’s 10 Torah scrolls at its synagogue this week. His last visit to Kol Ami was in 2017, when he remembers fixing two or three scrolls. Members of the congregation and community can sponsor or contribute to the restoration effort by donating to dedicate a letter, word, verse, portion, book or Torah for themselves, family or friends.
To read the full article, CLICK HERE.