Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

September 2014
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Date Thursday, September 18, 2014
Time 11am — 12pm CDT

Main Campus

ATO Chapel



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Torah Scroll Dedication

Torah Scroll Unveiling

This is a spectacular large Ashkenazi Torah from Germany dating between the late 15c and early 16c composed by the same sofer. Approximately 100 feet long, the Torah is written in columns of 59 lines throughout. Three of its panels have been replaced, all from the same Torah, dating to the late 17c. The pagination and orthography clearly indicate the early date. The style, preparation of the skins and ink all clearly indicate a German provenance. This Torah dates amongst the earliest 2% of surviving German Torahs.

The Torah has been carefully corrected over time and painstakingly mended. The seams are tightly sewn throughout following traditional methods. It is replete with fascinating orthographic features that date to medieval times and were repressed by rabbis around 1600. Some of the letters are corrected by a later sofer. There are also unusual tagin throughout. The Torah is filled with elegant magna letters, small or raised letters, dotted letters and the inverted nuns—all originally relating to textual and hermeneutical traditions.

Another remarkable and highly unusual features of this Torah are small indented dots throughout called “trope”. It is somewhat inaccurate to talk about trope only as musical notes. Their placement also indicates phrasing and grammar to help inexperienced readers read the Torah. While these are found in codices, they are extremely rare in Torah.

This Torah is of great interest on a number of levels. It was used continuously for nearly 600 years and survived Nazi Holocaust; the most horrific chapter Jews in history. Yet the scroll, like those who loved it, persevered. The Torah will certainly continue to inspire students, researchers and those who see it in display.

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