Sefer Torah

Sefer Torah

In Judaism, the Pentateuch (see Torah), when written in Hebrew by a qualified calligrapher on vellum or parchment and enshrined in the Ark of the Law in a synagogue. It is used for public readings during services on the Sabbath, Mondays, Thursdays, and religious festivals. Sephardic Jews often enclose it in a wooden or metal case; Ashkenazi Jews cover it with an ornate mantle of cloth decorated with ritual ornaments. Its scrolls are handled according to prescribed ritual that reflects the esteem in which the scrolls are held.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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