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 General Information

  General Information  
 

Here you can find information on Stam an acronym made from the initials of Sefer Torah, Tefillin, and Mezuzah; the three main categories of holy writings.

Sefer Torah    Tefillin   Mezuzah


Sefer Torah

A Sefer Torah is a long scroll containing the entire text of the Five Books of Moses, hand-written in the original Hebrew. It is rolled up around two ornate wooden shafts, attached to either end of the scroll.
Kept in the Ark of each synagogue, the Sefer Torah is routinely read aloud in all synagogues, and in its presence we offer prayers and blessings for all those in need. Yet the Sefer Torah is much more than that. It is the quintessential, core representation of Judaism itself. It is the tangible embodiment of our connection to G-d and of His wisdom and guidance. On the most joyous day of the year, we embrace it in our arms, as we dance ecstatically and celebrate that connection. Our holiest and most precious treasure, the Torah is literally G-d's gift to the world. The Torah is our guide to life. Actually, the Torah is our life. Without it, the Jewish People cannot live. It is the heart, mind and soul of Judaism, right there in front of you, black on white. The original hard copy.

The first Sefer Torah in history was dictated by G-d verbatim and written by Moses, just before his passing. In his parting words, he told them to listen to the words found in that scroll and to reference them in response to life's questions. They taught their children to do the same, and that's how we've kept its tradition until this day.
From that Sefer Torah, many identical copies were made, and likewise in all subsequent generations. Today there are many thousands of Sifrei Torah in existence.


Blessings

One must be extremely scrupulous concerning the Blessings of the Torah. It is forbidden to utter any words of Torah before these blessings are recited.


Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us concerning the words of the Torah.


And make the teachings of Your Torah, Lord our God, pleasant in our mouth and in the mouth of Your entire people, the House of Israel, and may we and our children and the children of Your entire people, the House of Israel, all be knowers of Your Name and students of Your Torah for its own sake. Blessed are You Lord, who teaches the Torah to His people Israel.


Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has chosen us from among all the nations and given us His Torah. Blessed are You Lord, who gives the Torah.


Aliyah to the Torah

The Oleh (the one called to the Torah) should touch the beginning and end of the Torah reading with the corner of his tallit (or the Torah's sash) and kiss it. Close the Torah, hold both handles, turn the head slightly to the right and say:


Bless the Lord who is blessed.

Oleh and congregation says:

Blessed be the Lord who is blessed for all eternity.

Oleh continues:

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe,who has chosen us from among all the nations and given us His Torah. Blessed are You Lord, who gives the Torah.

During the aliyah hold the right handle of the Torah, and read quietly along with the Reader.

At the Conclusion of the Aliyah
Touch the end and begining of the Torah reading with the corner of your tallit (or the Torah's sash) and kiss it. Close the Torah, hold both handles, turn the head slightly to the right and say:

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has given us the Torah of truth and planted eternal life within us. Blessed are You Lord, who gives the Torah.


Scribal Arts

There are 304,805 letters in a Sefer Torah
27,057 א 7,187 ח 10,623 ם 2,925 צ
17,344 ב 1,802 ט 9,854 נ 1,057 ץ
2,109 ג 31,530 י 4,287 ן 4,694 ק
7,032 ד 8,610 כ 1,833 ס 18,125 ר
28,052 ה 3,330 ך 11,247 ע 15,596 ש
30,513 ו 21,570 ל 3,975 פ 17,949 ת
2,198 ז 14,472 מ 834 ף 304,805 TOTAL
Beraishis (Genesis) 78,064 letters
Shmos (Exodus) 63,529 letters
Vayikra (Leviticus) 44,790 letters
Bamidbar (Numbers) 63,530 letters
Devorim (Deuteronomy) 54,892 letters
There are 79,976 words.
There are 5,844 verses.
Beraishis - 1,534 Shmos - 1,209 Vayikra - 858 Bamidbar - 1,288 Devorim - 955
The Torah is divided into 245 columns.
Beraishis - 60 Shmos - 50 Vayikra - 38 Bamidbar - 52 Devorim - 45
All of this must be hand-written by a scribe on parchment made specifically for this purpose, using qualified quill and ink. The average Torah takes 6 months to a year to complete.