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Book of Ruth Scroll, Hand-written by Torah scribe on Lamb skin
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Book of Ruth Scroll, Hand-written by Torah scribe on Lamb skin

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Book of Ruth Scroll, Hand-written by Torah scribe on Lamb skin
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Book of Ruth Scroll, Hand-written by Torah scribe on Lamb skin, 68.8' x 11.2' – Hebrew

An expert Torah scribe (named in Hebrew "Sofer") carefully inks each letter with hand made ink using a quill pen - it takes a lot of dedication to make a Torah scroll. The men who do this obey very strict rules about the making of a Torah scroll, including bathing, praying, and eating. The Soferim are exceptional men. Most Torah scrolls are usually about two feet in height and weigh 20-25 pounds but some may be huge and heavy and some might be quite small and lightweight.

Parchment used for the writing must be made from the skin of a kosher animal. The scribe mixes a special ink for the writing and prepares the actual writing utensil, a quill, usually from a turkey feather. He uses a reed instrument to scratch lines into the parchment in preparation for the writing. Once all the writing has been completed, the pieces of parchment are sewn together with thread made of animal veins. The finished scroll is attached to wooden rollers. No instrument containing iron or steel may be used in the creation of a Torah scroll, because these metals are used to create instruments of war.

The scribe writes with a feather pen or reed pen, filling its tip from the ink. An iron pen is not proper for two reasons:
1. It may puncture the parchment.
2. Iron is often used to make weapons, both of which oppose the intent of the Torah.

There is a special type of lettering that is used to write the Torah, tefillin, and mezuzah. While the writing looks like a form of Hebrew block letters, certain letters are embellished with crowns, called tagin; the various scripts or fonts in which Hebrew is commonly written or printed are not valid. The lines must be perfectly straight and even, numerous laws detail the precise figure of each letter.

Because the Torah scroll embodies the holiness of its message, it should focus exclusively on its pure text, therefore any illustrations or artistic decorations are forbidden.



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