Monday, November 05, 2012

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Welcoming a New Sefer Torah

by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths


     There are two customs for covering a Sefer Torah. The Ashkenazi custom covers the sefer with a cloth belt and a cloth mantle. The Sephardic custom uses a wooden or metal container. The two Torahs pictured here follow the Sephardic custom.

     A Sefer Torah contains the Five Books of Moshe,[i] hand written on parchment. We read from the scrolls in congregations three times a week, and on most holidays. There are hundreds of thousands of letters in a Torah. If even a single letter of a Sefer Torah is cracked, or touching another letter, or written higher or lower than the other letters, or any other improper variance, that scroll is posul (invalid) and the congregation may not read from it until it is corrected.

     We are told that we should consider our lives as if our deeds are on a scale. Our good deeds are on one side of the scale, and our bad deeds are on the other. The scale is level, not leaning toward merit, or to obligation. Our very next deed is going to tip the scale either in our favor, and our life will be judged for merit, or that deed will tip the scale down, pulling our judgment to punishment.

     Just like one letter of a Sefer Torah can affect the entire Sefer Torah, so too can one deed of our life affect our entire life, and it might even change the judgment of all Israel.

[i] The first five books of the Bible


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