442. The Rambam’s Sefer Torah
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Tefillin, Mezuzah v’Sefer Torah 9:10 The Rambam wrote a sefer Torah in which each column was four thumb-widths wide, except for the columns of the two songs, which were six thumb-widths wide. There were 51 lines per column and 226 columns in the entire sefer Torah. All told, this sefer Torah was about 1,366 thumb-widths […]
441. The Size of Various Measurements
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Tefillin, Mezuzah v’Sefer Torah 9:8 If one wants to make the width of a sefer Torah more than six or less than six thumb-widths, he makes similar calculations. As long as one does not make a mathematical error, the length of the Torah will equal its circumference. Tefillin, Mezuzah v’Sefer Torah 9:9 The thumb-width mentioned […]
440. Calculating the Size of a Sefer Torah – part 2
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Tefillin, Mezuzah v’Sefer Torah 9:6 After writing the sample column of text, he measures the column with his measuring stick. He then adds the two thumb-widths between columns and he calculates the number of columns the entire roll will take if he writes consistently in the same size. Once he knows the total number of […]
439. Calculating the Size of a Sefer Torah – part 1
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Tefillin, Mezuzah v’Sefer Torah 9:4 (Continuing from 9:3) Next, one makes a stick measuring 40 or 50 thumb-widths in length. Each thumb-width on the stick should be divided into halves, thirds and quarters, so that exact measurements will be possible, down to a quarter thumb-width. Each sheet of parchment is measured with this stick to […]
438. Making the Length Equal the Circumference
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Tefillin, Mezuzah v’Sefer Torah 9:2 Margins must be left in a sefer Torah as follows: below the text – four thumb-widths; above the text – three thumb-widths; between the columns, two thumb-widths. The sofer should leave an additional thumb-width at the start and end of each piece of parchment, plus room to sew the sheets […]
437. Songs and Non-Songs
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Tefillin, Mezuzah v’Sefer Torah 8:4 At this point, the Rambam lists the “open” and “closed” sections in the five books of the Torah. Listing them all would be beyond our scope, so we’ll just provide the “bottom lines”: Genesis – 43 “open” sections and 48 “closed” sections; Exodus – 69 “open” sections and 95 “closed” […]
436. “Closed” Sections; Uncorrectable Errors
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Tefillin, Mezuzah v’Sefer Torah 8:2 There are three forms for a section that must be written “closed.” One is for when the preceding section ends in the middle of a line. In such a case, one leaves the aforementioned amount of space (nine letters’ worth) and starts writing at least one word of the “closed” […]
435. “Open” Sections
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Tefillin, Mezuzah v’Sefer Torah 7:16 All holy books may be only written on scored lines, even when they are written on paper. One may write three words without scoring lines but no more. A scroll that contains the entire Tanach (Torah, Prophets and Writings) does not possess the sanctity of a sefer Torah. Rather, it […]
434. Writing More Books, or Fewer
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Tefillin, Mezuzah v’Sefer Torah 7:14 It is permitted to write scrolls containing single books from the five books of the Torah. Such scrolls do not have the sanctity of a sefer Torah. One may not write a scroll containing several sections of the Torah, nor may one write a scroll for a child to study […]