The Book of Books – The Story of the Bible Text: The Role of the Sacred Torah Scroll in Judaism


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How often have we seen the Torah Scrolls and been unaware of the mysteries surrounding their preparation, the reasons for variations in sizes of letters, why some letters are inverted and yet others have dots above them?

These are but a few of the questions that might tax the mind of the congregant when following the reading from the Torah in the synagogue.To open the door to this fascinating experience of living with a Sopher, a scribe, as he meticulously prepares himself and his parchment for his complicated task, the author of this volume decided to write this illuminating story of the Bible text, taking the reader far beyond the confines of the scribe and his intricate task of writing the Scroll.He relates its impact through history, the scholarship and skills with which it was interpreted, and the vital part that its reading has always played in the life of the people, who have ever treated its presence with that particular aura and respect exclusively reserved and preserved since Sinai for the Torah and its message.The Book of Books: The Role of the Sacred Torah Scroll in Judaism provides a comprehensive guide in English to these and many other facets of the Torah Scrolls, the most sacred and precious possession of the Jewish People and indeed of mankind.

The idea for writing this book suggested itself as I observed my fellow Jews on Sabbath mornings at synagogue services. By and large, even regular congregants evinced no knowledge and even less curiosity about the Hebrew letters samekh and pei interspersed throughout the printed Five Books, and various glaring irregularities like minuscule and large letters or other oddities like dots above words and so on.

On further inquiry I learned that very few were aware of the regulations involved in writing a Torah Scroll, the stories of the Bible Canon, the Masorah, the printed Bible and other essential information pertaining to the most sacred possession of our people and civilization – the Book of Books.

I was, therefore, persuaded to produce this popular presentation of the Bible text. I hope it will introduce Jew and non-Jew to the history of the Bible Canon and to the impressive story of how it was committed to memory and preserved through the millennia. This story, unmatched in the annals of civilization, should deepen our pride in, and heighten our reverence for, the Holy Scriptures. It will certainly enlighten the worshiper, enliven the Torah reading period in the Synagogue, the study of it at home, and help provide the background for the stirring events of recent years, such as the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the restoration of the Aleppo Codex to Jerusalem.

Although pertinent, the historical data and information covered in this book have not been stressed in the teaching of Jewish history and literature to our youth. I have endeavoured to correct this omission: a knowledge of the development of the Bible text should enhance an appreciation of the role of the Holy Writ in Jewish life.

  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 162 pages
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1946124920
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 162 pages
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1956381092
  • Author: Azriel Eisenberg


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