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SUNDAY REVELATIONS: copying the Torah

Torah scribesThe Hebrew alphabet is over 3000 years old and is about the same age as the Torah itself,  There is even reason to believe it was invented so the Torah could be written by scribes but read by everyone since the Hebrew alphabet with the first vowels, was easily learned by common people.   In fact those vowels, yod heh vov heh, remained written in the original characters until about 1500 years ago, even after the switch to modern Hebrew letters based in the Aramaic language.  The amazing thing is that these same letters are used to represent the unspoken name of God!

Still scribes were trained and ordained until now to insure accuracy.  Unlike many writings that change over time, old writings found by archaeology shows remarkable preservation of the Torah for over 2000 years!

Now in Berlin, a robot’s quill runs across the paper scroll, from right to left, scribbling down ancient Hebrew letters with black ink. It is penning down the Torah.  The Torah-writing robot was developed by the German artists’ group robotlab and is working, along with a scribe, at Berlin’s Jewish Museum. The robot takes three months to complete the 80-meter (260-foot) -long scroll that the sofer — a Jewish scribe — needs nearly a year to complete.

The robot written scroll can’t be used in a synagogue because the robot is not a person and can not be ordained as a sofer.


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