Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Orlando Torah Academy's Sefer Torah is complete


March 15, 2019

Rabbi Wachsman, with Rabbi Betzalel Schur, writing the last letter in the scroll.

A Torah scroll is unlike any other holy book. One can't just sit at a computer and type the letters that make the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The Torah scroll must be hand-written. And not just anyone can write the letters. It must be done by a sofer-a specially trained individual who is devout and knowledgeable in the laws about writing and assembling a scroll.

The parchment on which a scroll is written must be the skin of a kosher animal. The sofer also mixes a special ink and writes with a quill from a turkey feather.

Mel Pearlman adding a letter.

Once all the writing is complete, the pieces of the parchment are sewn together with a special thread. The finished scroll is attached to wooden rollers. After the scroll is completed a dedication takes place with a lot of celebration.

And so it was with Orlando Torah Academy. They welcomed a new Sefer Torah on Sunday, Feb. 10, after almost of year of writing by sofer Rabbi Betzalel Schur from Chicago. The project was undertaken by Dean Rabbi Avraham Wachsman to honor the memory of his father, who passed away a year earlier.

As the sofer completed the last few lines of the Torah (the last letter was written by Wachsman), the festivities began with Orlando Torah Academy students decorating flags and making other Torah-themed projects at a mini Kidstivities popup station, and then participated in the Torah marching musical parade as the Torah scroll was carried into its new home at the Orlando Torah Academy.


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