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My Son's Graduation Viewed Through the Torah

For Jews, our most sacred object is the Torah scroll. Every synagogue has at least one. We stand when the scroll is taken from the Ark. We chant its verses at services. We study its words, week in and week out, poring over its stories and rules in search of meaning.

The scroll itself is made from large pieces of parchment that are sewn together so that there is barely a pause within the Bible’s first five books. For Jews, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy are rolled into one. The Torah’s Hebrew lettering is written in highly stylized calligraphy that takes a scribe one year to complete. Even in today’s digital world, the Torah scroll continues to be crafted by hand.

One formula for the manufacture of the ink used to calligraphy the letters on this scroll requires that the nut, which a female gall wasp produces when she lays her eggs in an oak tree, be ground and cooked. Added to this mixture is the gum from an acacia tree and copper sulfate, which is then slowly cooked for approximately a year. The ink is most prized and a small bottle is very expensive.

Once the scribe calligraphs these black letters to the parchment, it will last for 1000 years. That is the black ink inscribed on a Torah scroll....

This post continues on The Wisdom Daily.