Page 25 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

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H E B R E W A U T H O R S A N D
H O L Y W R I T I N G
A Miscellany
*
C
om p iled
b y
S
h m u e l
Y
o s e f
A
g n o n
T o E
ach
H
is
O
wn
T
orah
S
croll
Rava said: Even one who inherits a Torah scroll from his
parents should write a scroll of his own, as it is written, “Now
therefore write this song for yourselves” (Deut. 31. 19).
T
he
T
orah
L
etters
The six hundred thousand letters in the Torah correspond to
the six hundred thousand Israelites who stood at Mount Sinai;
everyone of them was deemed worthy to have a letter inscribed
in the Torah in his name. (Iggeret ha־Tiyul)
G
od
—W
eaver
of
C
rowns
When Moses ascended on high he found the Holy One, blessed
be He, sitting and weaving crowns for the Torah letters. “Sov-
ereign of the universe,” said Moses, “who compels Thee to do
this?” He replied: “After many generations a man will appear,
Akiba ben Joseph by name, who will expound innumerable laws
for each tip of every letter.” (Menahot 29b)
A
S
cribe
s
Q
u ill
Rabbi Moses Zabara, a noted ancient sage, copied Torah scrolls
with dedicated fervor out of devotion to his Maker. His method
was to write the entire Torah, leaving blank spaces for the inef-
fable Name. On completing the scroll he would engage in ablu-
tions and fasting that whole day; after which he would insert
* Translated by Maurice T. Galpert and revised and prepared for publication
by the editor.
Reprinted from S. Y. Agnon’s
Sefer Sofer ve-Sipur ,
Schocken Publishing
House Ltd., Jerusalem, Tel Aviv. Copyright © 1967 by Schocken Books Inc.,
New York, New York.
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