|There are five Megillot, scrolls from the Ketuvim (writings) section of the Tanach (Bible). It is most common to read Megillat Esther (Purim Scroll) in the Synagogue from a scroll. Written by hand by a Sofer (scribe) with ink, parchment and quill. The tradition of embellishing Megillot with illuminations has been with us for over 1,000 years. It is preferred to read or follow the reading of Megillat Esther from an actual hand written scroll. This has led to many people purchasing their own Megillat Esther for personal use. Since it is preferred to read Megillat Esther from parchment many congregations also purchase Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs, read on Shabbat Pesach), Ruth (read on Shavuot ) and Kohelet (read on Shabbat Succot). Although there are some congregations that read Eicha (Lamentations) from a klaf (handwritten scroll on parchment) on Tisha B’Av (ninth day of Av) commemorating the destruction of the Temple, there are others that do not, based on the belief of the reading of Eicha being temporary. When the Messiah comes mourning on Tisha B’Av will cease and therefore no longer read Eicha.
Some synagogues have purchased specially ordered Megillot Esther that include the vowels and trup. There are varying views on the acceptability of this.
|It is common in Jerusalem, this being the tradition of the Vilna Goan to read the Haftorah from a parchment scroll of Nevei’im (prophets). There are other congregations throughout the world that do so as well. Clearly it takes a much greater familiarity with the text and the Trup (the notations that guide us in chanting the Torah and Sefer Torah in a particular way. A later tradition of writing the haftorot on parchment developed.
Both the Nevi’im and Haftorot scrolls are often embellished as the need for simplicity is not as demanding as it is on a Sefer Torah. Some congregations have proceeded to place the vowels and the Trup on the Haftorah scrolls as well.
|This is a wedding contract between a husband and wife. Over the years they have become art pieces cherished by families.
|Mezuzah refers to one of the 613 commandments in Judaism, which requires that a small parchment (klaf) inscribed with two sections from the Torah’s Book of Deuteronomy (6:4-9 and 11:13-21) be affixed to each doorpost and gate in a Jewish home and business. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21 are two of four passages used in Teffilin.
Thus the word mezuzah can refer to any of the following:
The wording on the mezuzah’s parchment consists of the two Biblical paragraphs which mention the mezuzah. These two paragraphs are also part of the Shema Yisrael.
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|We buy and sell new and used Sifrei Torah all over the world. Though not encouraged to sell Sifrei Torah, at times it is necessary. Some examples are synagogues that are struggling to remain open, synagogues that have a large number of Sifrei Torah and some are never read from. Every Sefer Torah that is deemed to be Kasher should be read from. Not to, show a lack of Kavod (respect).