Books about Hebrew Calligraphy
- Aberdeen Codex of the Hebrew Bible, The
- Author: Cecil Roth © 1958
Publisher: Oliver & Boyd for the University of Aberdeen.
Format: 15.3cm W x 23.2cm H. 40pp + 25 monochrome photographs.
- Ancient Scrolls - Introduction to Archaeology
- Author: Michael Avi-Yonah.
Publisher: Palphot Marketing Ltd., 10 Hahagana Street, Herzlia, Israel.
GG Jerusalem Publishing House © 1994.
Format: Softback. 17.0cm W x 23.8cm H. 80pp. Index.
Comment: Many good-quality colour illustrations.
Hebrew letters cut in stone
- Animal World in Jewish Thought, The
- Author: Rabbi Shlomo Pesach Toperoff ©1995
Publisher: Jason Aronson, 230 Livingston Street, Northvale,
New Jersey, NJ07647, U.S.A.
On page 77 Rabbi Toperoff writes:
"We are also informed that the skins of birds and the hides of
animals were used by Jews for writing, and bird skins were used for the
making of scrolls and tefillin. Skins of fish were also used for parch-
ment. Indeed the Talmud discusses whether the skins of fish could be
used for scrolls or tefillin (Shabbat 108a)."
- Art of Illuminated Manuscripts, The
- Author: J.O. Westwood.
Publisher: Bracken Books, Princess House, 50 Eastcastle Street, London W1N 7AP, U.K.
Format: Hardback. 23cm W x 33cm H. Colour illustrations.
Comment: The book is a collection of several illustrated manuscripts, each having its own series of page numbers. Only two plates include Hebrew script. They are:
- Facsimile of Samaritan MSS of the Pentateuch, (part of Samaritan and Hebrew Biblical Manuscripts)
- Spanish Hebrew Pentateuch. (part of 'Hebrew Pentateuch of his late Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex').
- Art of Hebrew Lettering, The
- Author: L.F. Toby
Publisher: Rolf Schuster, 97 Allenby Street, Tel Aviv, 61300, Israel. (C)1987.
ISBN: not stated.
Format: Softcover booklet. 48pp. 21.9cm W x 15.9cm H.
Comment: Contains twenty-six scripts including 'cursive.'
- Auction catalogues as a source of reference
- The catalogues produced by major auction houses such as
Christies and Sothebys to accompany Hebraica and Judaica
booksales are a fairly inexpensive way to acquire splendidly
illustrated books about hand-written and early printed work.
Auctions of rare Judaica books and manuscripts and works of
art are held about twice a year by Baranovich Judaica Auctions
which is linked to Yeshiva Ahavas Torah Baranovich, Jerusalem.
A catalogue, fully illustrated in colour and printed on glazed paper,
cost=£15, may be obtained from Baranovich.
- Auction catalogue: Auction of Important and Rare Judaica Books, Manuscripts and Works of Art.
- Auction: 16 June 1999, New York. Promoted by American Friends of
Yeshiva Ahavas Torah Baranovich, Jerusalem.
Format: Softback. 219mm W x 279mm H. pp x + 108.
Comment: Mono and colour photographs of title pages and text,
handwritten script, signatures. The catalogue also includes
an illustration of the contemporary work of Chasya Leshinsky
of Jerusalem who is a scribe and [miniature?] painter of outstanding
talent. Her Scroll of Esther appears richly decorated and illustrated.
- Auction catalogue: The Sassoon Collection of Highly Important Hebrew Printed Books
- Auction: 30 June 1970. Sotheby & Co., London W1.
Format: Hardback. 189mm W x 254mm H. pp iv + 76.
Comment: Monochrome photographs and illustrations.
- Auction magazine:
- Christie's Magazine, November 2005
Pages 108-109 contain illustrations of six items from the Schocken Collection of Hebrew manuscripts. The text refers to the collections of Salman Schocken (1877-1959) and David Sassoon (1880-1942), and also to the sale on 15 November 2005 of "Important Hebrew Manuscripts from the Schocken Collection" in New York.
- Bar Mitzvah - Its Observance and Significance
- Authors: Rabbi Yaakov Salomon and Rabbi Yonah Weinrib.
Publisher: Mesorah Publications.
Comment: Not about calligraphy as such but it contains a substantial
quantity of hand-lettered artwork by Rabbi Yonah Weinrib.
- Beis Yosef script web-site
- Web: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/9587/alephbet.html
- Benzaquen, Rabbi Joseph
- An example of the work of Rabbi Benzaquen is at
- Beshuakh Yishuv Haaretz
- Specimens of cursive hand-writing of eminent rabbis and scholars.
Author: Shmuel HaCohen Weingarten
Publisher: Mossad Harav Kook (C) 1987.
ISBN: not stated.
Format: 29.4cm W x 22.7cm H. x + 59 pp. 53 monochrome photographs.
- Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana - Treasures of Jewish Booklore
- Editors: A. Offenberg, E. Schrijver, F. Hoogewoud.
Publisher: Amsterdam University Press
Format: Hardback. xii + 135 pages. Index. Bibliography. 23.4cm W x 29.2cm H.
Comment: A beautifully rendered book printed on coated paper with colour illustrations and detailed text. Even the dustjacket is a treat.
Note the aleph-lamed. This combined letter was used when printing and writing 'Eloha,' 'Elohim,' etc, in the 19th century but is hardly used nowadays
- Book of Hebrew Letters, A
- Author: Mark Podwal.
Publisher: Jason Aronson Inc., 230 Livingstone Street, Northvale,
New Jersey 07647, U.S.A.
Format: The pages are not numbered. 18.4cm W x 23.4cm H.
Comment: Each of the twenty two letters of the Hebrew alphabet is
illustrated (approx 1cm W x 2cm H) and accompanied by
a drawing or a cartoon. A final section contains a short
paragraph about each letter.
Tzade: one of the 22 beautiful letters drawn by Mark Podwal
- The Book of Hebrew Script: History, Palaeography, Script Styles, Calligraphy & Design
- Author: Ada Yardeni
- Book of Letters - Sefer Otiyot
- Author: Rabbi Lawrence Kushner © 1975, 1990.
Publisher: Jewish Lights Publishing
Telephone: +1 (802) 457 4000.
Facsimile: +1 (802) 457 4004.
Format: Hardback. 80pp. 16.0cm W x 23.5cm H.
- Books not about calligraphy
- Books which, regardless of their title, are not about calligraphy or lettering.
The Aleph Bet Book
This book is a translation of the aphorisms of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov. There are twenty-two chapters.
The Alphabet of Ben Sira
The Alphabet of Ben Sira is an anonymous medieval work consisting of 22 aphorisms, each linked to a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and set in the form of a story. The text may be found in 'Rabbinic Fantasies' (ISBN:0-300-07402-6) where it is printed in English. From page 171, Ben Sira is talking to his mother, the daughter of Jeremiah: ".... as he [Jeremiah] composed a book arranged in alphabetical acrostics, the Book of Lamentations, I too will compose a book in alphabets. So do not be amazed by my words."
The Alphabet of Rabbi Akiva
From 'Kaddish,' by Leon Wieseltier, (ISBN: 0-330-37237-8), page 36: "Sometime in the seventh or eighth century, many centuries after Rabbi Akiva, there appeared a pseudo-epigraphic work called Otiyot De'Rabbi Akiva, or The Alphabet of Rabbi Akiva, an early and extravagant production of the mystical imagination in Judaism. This short but dense work considers, letter by letter, the cosmological and eschatological properties of the Hebrew alphabet, and what it reveals about the godhead."
A similar work is The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet, by Rabbi Michael Munk, Artscroll Mesorah, ISBN:0-89906-193-1.
- Celebration of Judaism in Art, A
- Author: Irene Korn.
Publisher: Todtri Productions Ltd, PO Box 572, New York, NY 10116-0572, U.S.A.
Facsimile: +1 (0)212-279 1241.
Format: 22.7cm W x 31.6cm H. Hardback. 128pp. Index
Comment: A book about Jewish art generally. It contains a large number of illustrations of calligraphic work spanning several centuries and of fine quality. Examples include work on vellum, paper, metal, paintings.
- Cost of writing a Sefer Torah
- These prices were quoted in respect of a Sefer Torah
intended for Yeshivas Tiferes Yaakov, Gateshead, U.K.
Participatory contributions were invited as follows:
One Column, £75
Half Column, £:40
Source: Jewish Tribune, London, 28 May 1998, page 10, col. 4.
- Czech Scrolls
- Out Of The Midst Of The Fire by Philippa Bernard tells the story of the rescue of 1,564 Sifre Torah from a disused synagogue near Prague and their subsequent arrival at the Westminster Synagogue in London in 1964.
- Everyone's Got A Story - 41 short stories from a new generation of Jewish writers
- collected and edited by Ruchama K. Feuerman
Publisher: The Judaica Press © 2008.
Format: hardback, 16.2cm W x 23.7cm H, 412 pages, glossary.
Comment: In "Hallowed Hands - A Scribe's Life", page 317, a first-person account of technical and personal aspects of the work of a sofer are presented as told to Hilary Spirer Leeder.
- (First) Jewish Catalogue, The
- Editors: Richard Siegel, Michael Strassfeld, Sharon Strassfeld.
Publisher: Jewish Publication Society of America.
ISBN: not stated.
Comment: Contains a chapter with detailed commentaries on several
aspects of Hebrew "scribal arts." See pages 182-209.
- From The Ends of the Earth - Judaic Treasures of the Library of Congress
- Author: Abraham J. Karp.
Publisher: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.
© Library of Congress.
Format: Hardback. xxiv + 376pp. 22.5cm W x 30.5cm H. Colour and monotone illustrations.
In the brachot opposite, note the spelling and form of the letters in 'Adonai' in lines 1, 4 and 7.
Handbook of Hebrew Calligraphy, The
- Author: Cara Goldberg Marks © 1990
Publisher: Jason Aronson, Inc.
Format: Hardback. 22.1cm W x 28.5cm H. xiii + 191 pages. Line drawings, monochrome photographs. Index
Comment: An excellent how-to-do-it resource.
Hebrew Book, The, - An Historical Survey
- Editor: Raphael Posner and Israel Ta-Shema
Publishers: Leon Amiel Publishing, New York and
Keter Publishing House, Jerusalem. © 1975
Format: Hardback. x + 225pp + 4. 23.5cm W x 31.7cm H.
Comment: Encyclopaediac contents.
- Hebrew Calligraphy - A Step By Step Guide
- Author: Jay S. Greenspan.
Publisher: Schocken Books. (C)1981.
ISBN: 0-8052-3720-8 hardback, 0-8052-0664-7 paperback.
Format: Paperback. xx + 166pp. 15.0cm W x 22cm H. Monotone
photographs, line drawings.
- Comment: A comprehensive book describing equipment and techniques,
suppliers, library and museum resources, societies (USA),
- Hebrew Letters - First Hand
Dark lines define the outline of the animal. The lines are composed of tiny Hebrew letters which form words and a narrative. The technique is known as micrography.
- Hebrew Manuscript Painting
- Author: Joseph Gutmann.
Copyright holder: Not stated. Published 1978.
Publisher: George Braziller, New York.
Format: Softback. 20.2cm W x 28.0cm H. 119pp. Colour and monochrome illustrations.
Comment: This book is a visual treat and it is well worth acquiring for the illustrations and the text, but do not expect to learn too much about the internal layout of a book. It is a publishing muddle.
The book begins with detailed 'Acknowledgements' and follows with an 'Introduction' which contains the book's 19 monochrome illustrations and relevent text. Then follows a 'Selected Bibliography' [of sources of monochrome illustrations?] Then a list of the 25 (sic) colour plates (actually the book contains 40). Then a list of the 19 monochrome illustrations. Then the 40 colour plates. Confusion!
Hebrew Manuscripts: A Treasured Legacy
- Author: Binyamin Richler
Publisher: Ofeq Institute. (C)1990.
Format: Hardback. 166pp. Colour and monotone illustrations.
Comment: Beautiful illustrations.
- History in Their Hands - A Book of Jewish Autographs
- Author: Harvey Lutske (C) 1996.
Publisher: Jason Aronson, 230 Livingston Street, Northvale,
New Jersey 07647, U.S.A.
Format: Hardback. 22.5cm W x 28.5cm H. xx + 323pp. Monochrome illustrations.
Comment: The book does not contain an index. However, the Contents page lists all 130 autographs under descriptive headings. The single-page Glossary contains only seventeen headwords and I wonder whether it was perhaps intended for another book and another context. Samples of handwriting include Hebrew block and script. The sharpness of the monochrome photographs could have been much better and many of the writing samples look as if they were reproduced from poor-quality photocopies.
- Illuminated Pirkei Avos, The
- Written, illuminated, painted by Rabbi Yonah Weinrib
Publisher: ArtScroll, 2002.
Format: Hardcover. 9" W x 12" H. Leatherette quarter-binding
- Incunabula is a Latin word meaning birthplace or origin and it refers to the first books printed in Europe using moveable type, i.e. those printed between circa 1455 and 1500 CE. Many were Hebrew bibles and prayer books and were produced by Jewish printers using Hebrew letters and were beautifully printed and illuminated. For more information and links to web-sites which display Hebrew incunabula please visit my page at www.jewish-sci-tech-books.com.
- Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts, The
- Jewish National and University Library
P.O. Box 34165, Jerusalem 91341, Israel.
From the IMHM web-site: The IMHM has undertaken the task of collecting microfilm copies of all Hebrew manuscripts extant in public and private collections. Over 60,000 reels, representing more than 90% of known Hebrew manuscripts are available for the use of scholars and interested laymen. Adjoining the IMHM are the Department of Manuscripts of the JNUL housing 10,000 original MSS and the Hebrew Palaeography Project which is conducting research on the codicology and palaeography of medieval dated Hebrew MSS.
- Jewish Manuscript Illuminations - a book of postcards
- Publisher: The British Library, London, U.K.
Format: 17.6cm W x 12.2cm H. Softback. 30 colour postcards on art paper.
The postcards depict some of the best illustrations in the British Library's collection of Hebraica and Hebrew manuscrips:
Duke of Sussex German Pentateuch (c1300),
Golden Haggadah (c1320),
Barcelona Haggadah (c1350),
Lisbon Mishnah Torah (1471-1472),
Lisbon Bible (1482),
Leipnik Haggadah (1740).
See also the British Library's "Turning The Pages" rendering of the Golden Haggadah
- Jewish Time Line Encyclopedia, The
- Author: Mattis Kantor ©1989
Publisher: Jason Aronson
The entry for the year 5235 (CE 1475) records:
"The new invention of printing was used for Jewish books
Less than thirty-five years after the invention in Germany of movable type for printing, Rashi's commentary on Chumash was printed in Reggio di Calabria (Italy) on the 10th Adar. It was the first Jewish book to be (dated and) printed. The Tur was printed on 28th Tammuz, in Piove Di Sacco (Italy)."
- Jewish World, The
- Editor: Elie Kedourie
ISBN: 0 500 25066 9
Publisher: Thames & Hudson, 1979.
Comment: 317 pages of pictures and text plus an index. There are sufficient high-quality colour and monochrome illustrations of Hebrew letter calligraphy to inspire even the most jaded calligrapher. A beautiful book.
- Ketubot, books about
- Kulmus Publishing Catalogue
- Click here for a catalogue of books by Mordechai Pinchas (Marc Michaels).
- Mishnas Sofrim
- A translation [into English] of the Mishna Berura dealing with the
laws of writing the Ashuris script (as used for writing Sifrei
Torah, Mezuzot and Tefillin). Each letterform is clearly
illustrated (about 3.5cm W x 4cm H) and annotated with detailed
instructions on individual pen strokes.
Author: Yona Vogel.
Publisher: Jewish Learning Exchange.
ISBN: not stated.
- Neginot and leining
- Neginot, ie. cantillation marks. These are the small strokes (not vowel points), e.g. loops, dots, angles and curves which are written above and below letters in the Chumash and Prophets. They serve to aid one's understanding of the text and as a type of musical notation used when leining (chanting) in Hebrew.
- Two reference books are:
- Guide To Jewish Knowledge, A
Authors: Chaim Pearl and Reuben Brookes. (C)1985.
Publisher: Jewish Chronicle Publications.
Comment: This is a comprehensive general reference book and it contains
two pages of information about Neginot. See pages 74 and 75.
- Concordance of the Hebrew Accents in the Hebrew Bible
Author: James D. Price
Publisher: Edwin Mellon Press, Lewiston, New York, U.S.A. 1996.
Format: Five volumes.
Comment: Rabbi Jonathan Klein, jklein@UAHC.org,
Education Department, writing in
Jewish Shul Music e-mail newsletter,
14 June 1999), stated: "All of the Pentateuchal signs are found
in volume one. They are listed in order of appearance."
- Sources of information about leining and about a leining e-mail discussion group moderated by Rabbi David Grossman are at:
- See also 9½ Mystics - The Kabbala Today, (Rosh Milim) below in this section.
- 9½ Mystics - The Kabbala Today
- Author: Rabbi Herbert Wiener. © 1969
Publisher: Collier Books.
Page 244 [Rabbi Wiener, together with Yaacov, is visiting
Gedaliah, a scribe, in Jerusalem.]:
...."I looked over the rows of books on the upper shelves of a buffet-like piece of furniture that occupied one side of the small room; it was the standard library of an Orthodox Jew: a set of the Talmud; midrashim and other classical commentaries on the bible; commentaries, legalistic works of later rabbinic authorities; and a special Pentateuch [Tikkun Soferim] used by scribes for their copying work.
"It takes a sofer about a year to write a Torah, and the going price these days is about three or four thousand dollars," Gedaliah said as he saw me looking at the scribe's Pentateuch. "Would you like to see the parchment on which I'm working?" He opened a drawer at the bottom of the buffet and took out some sheets of white parchment with gleaming, freshly inscribed black letters, decorated with the fine lines called tagin. It is the clarity of the letters, plus the accuracy and elaboration of these tagin that mark the work of a good sofer.
I expressed surprise at the length of time it took to write a Torah. " My grandfather would take much longer," Yaakov replied. "Each time he came to the Name of G-d, he would first go to the mikveh and purify himself....".
Page 295: This period of his [Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook] life had produced some of his most interesting essays and meditations, including one called "Rosh Milim," the "Begining of Words." It was a kabbalistic discourse on the alphabet, vowel signs, and musical notations used in the reading of the Torah, quite incomprehensible to most readers. Rabbi Kook had not meant it to be a popular work, calling it simply a bit of writing inspired by "memories of the Holy Land in the diaspora."
Page 328: The other book is a small pamphlet printed in London. Its Hebrew title is Rosh Milim, The Beginning of Words. It is a meditation on the esoteric meanings of the Hebrew alphabet, vowel signs, and musical trope.
[ The author refers to Rabbi Kook's booklet as 'Rosh Milim.' A reprint which I have is entitled 'Rosh Milin.']
[ Musical notations are also known as neginot, qv.]
- Orphan Objects
- Facets of the textiles collections of the Joods Historische Museum (Jewish Historical Museum, http://www.jhm.nl/), Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Author: Daniel M. Swetchinski in collaboration with
Julie-Marthe Cohen and Stephen Harton
Format: Hardback. 248 pages. 23.5cm W x 29.0cm H. Bibliography. Indexes.
Comment: This beautifully produced book is about textiles and its
illustrations show several examples of embroidered lettering.
- People and The Book, The
- The Background of Three Hundred Years of Jewish Life in America
An illustrated and annotated list of illuminated manuscripts, rare books, authentic documents and related materials, compiled by Joshua Bloch, for a tricentennial exhibition at the New York Public Library, October-December 1954.
Publisher: New York Public Library © 1954
- Picture History of Jewish Civilization
- Editors: Dr Bezalel Narkiss (Editor-in-Chief), Dr Samuel Abramsky,
Prof. David Flusser,
Prof. Abraham Schalit, Dr Michael Ziv.
Publisher: Chartwell Books, Inc.
Format: Hardback. 24.8cm W x 31.0cm H. 252pp. Index. Bibliography.
Comment: Many examples of lettering mostly from illuminated Haggadot,
interspersed throughout the text
from page 93 to page 185.
- Planets, Potions and Parchments - Scientifica Hebraica from the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Eighteenth Century.
- Author: B. Barry Levy.
Publisher: Jewish Public Library © 1990.
Format: Softback. 21.6cm W x 28.0cm H. xii + 140pp. Glossary.
Bibliography. Index. Colour and monochrome illustrations.
Hebrew letters relief-cut in stone.
From a tombstone in the Prague Ghetto.
- Prazské Ghetto - The Ghetto of Prague
- Authors: V. Sadek, J.Sedinova
Format: Hardback. 159 pages. 21.7cm W x 31.6cm H.
Numerous examples of embroidered, printed, painted and stone-cut lettering.
- Rashi script:
- Rashi did not design or use 'Rashi' script. It is a printing font and it acquired its name after
being used for setting Rashi's commentaries by Daniel Bomberg around 1520, several centuries after Raschi's death.
- An alphabet style-sheet is available in London from
Hebrew Book & Gift Centre, q.v. above.
- Rashi Script Workbook (K'tav Rashi)
Publisher: Torah Umesorah Publications
- K'tav Rashi, Israel.
- J. Lehman, England.
- Torah Umesorah Publications, U.S.A.
This example of Rashi script was printed and published in 1859 by Adalbert della Torre in Vienna. Source: Machzor - Festgebiete Der Isralieten Fur Yom Rashon V'Sheni Shel Pesach
- Rashi - The Man and His World
- Author: Esra Shereshevsky © 1982, 1996
Publisher: Jason Aronson, 230 Livingston Street, Northvale,
New Jersey 07647, U.S.A.
Here is a paragraph from page 218. The numbers refer to extensive
chapter notes (not shown here).
"Rashi's commentaries contain references to three kinds of writing
materials: a kind of paper made from 'grass,' probably papyrus; (61)
parchments on which, Rashi says, pens made a scratching noise that
sounded like 'ken-ken' (62) and wax tablets on which one wrote with
a stylus.(63) Rashi describes a kind of primitive paper clip (atbi) as
a small wooden stick with a notch cut into its top, into which the
papers were inserted.(64) Lines were drawn with a special ruler.(65)
One writing tool used by scribes was a piece of iron with a point split
into two parts, like the nib of a pen.(66)"
- The Scribe - A Novel
- Author: Uri Raskin
Publisher: Jerusalem Publications, Jerusalem, Israel. 2005
Comment: A novel about a dysfunctional family whose son Dov is taught STaM calligraphy by an elderly man, Ezra, who is known as Ezra the Scribe.
- Signes Hebraiques - Calligraphies & Typographies
- Author: not known.
Publisher: Jacques Damase, Edition 61, Rue de Varenne, 75007,
Paris, France. [This firm may have moved to another address]
ISBN: not known.
- The 613th Commandment
- The Mitzva to write a Sefer Torah.
Author: Rabbi J. Simcha Cohen
Publisher: Jason Aronson Inc.
Format: vi + 163pp. Paperback. 15.2cm W x 22.2cm H.
- The Story of Aleph Beth
- Author: D. Diringer.
Publisher: Lincolns-Prager (Publishers), London.
Copyright by World Jewish Congress, London, 1958.
Format: Paperback. 195pp. 12.2cm W x 18.3cm H. Line illustrations
and monochrome photographs.
- A World Passed By - Great Cities in Jewish Diaspora History
- Author: Marvin Lowenthal © 1961.
Publisher: Joseph Simon / Pangloss Press.
Format: xxix + 498pp, index, glossary, bibliography. Monochrome
illustrations. Hardback. 16.4cm W x 24.1cm H.
Here is an excerpt from page xxvii of this book:
"Jewish illuminators have occasionally left us their names.
But in the case of an unsigned Hebrew manuscript, even if
invariably signed by a Jew, it is hard to judge whether the
miniatures and marginal decoration came from a Jewish
brush. Among the known limners are Joseph Bar Ephraim
who "copied" the Haggadah (Cod. Hebr 200) of the Munich
Staatsbibliotek; Solomon Halevi Bar Buya, responsible for the
miniatures of a Pentateuch (MS. II, 17) of the Leningrad
Public Library; Joseph Ibn Hayyim of Corunna, who il-
lumined a Bible now in the Bodleian Library (Cod. 2.322,
Kennicott No. I); Joshua ben Abraham Ibn Gaon of Soria
(Bodleian, Cod. 2.323, Kenn. No. 2); Shemtob ben Abraham
Ibn Gaon likewise of Soria, who painted a Bible now in the
Sassoon Collection (London); Elisha Cresques who worked
on the Farchi Bible (also in the Sassoon Collection); Jaffuda
Cresques who may have painted the figures on his Atlas
catalan (Bibliothèque National, Paris, Spanish MS. No. 30);
Abraham Vidal, remembered for his Privileges of Majorca
(Palma, archives of town hall); and Abraham ben Judah Ibn
Hayyim of Loulé, Portugal, who presumably practised the art
of illumination, for he wrote a book on it (in Portuguese
with Hebrew characters) in 1262."
- From an article in the [London] Jewish Chronicle for 18 February 2000, page 19:
- Dr Eric Ray, Torah Scribe, gave a demonstration of the art of a sofer.
He said "The vellum needs extensive preparation and must be from the
skin of an animal that has died naturally. He also pointed out that only
a limited number of verses may be written each day. This was to ensure
perfection, and to allow the scribe to meditate on the holy words."
- According to Bible Basics - An Introduction & Reference Guide to the Five Books of Moses, edited by Jerome S. Hahn and written by Rabbi Pinchas Winston,
ISBN: 0-87306-748-7, page 26:
- "Technical Aspects of the Five Books of Moses
Even with modern printing techniques, a Sefer Torah (Torah Scroll), if it is to be legally certifiable according to Jewish law, must always be written according to the laws received by Moses from G-d at Mt. Sinai. This usually amounts to about two thousand hours of concentrated effort, and the use of over one hundred writing quills. In total there are 304,805 letters (composing 79,976 words) in the entire Torah, written on sixty sheets of parchment."
- For the record, Heshey Pincus, an American scribe, was due to give
- a demonstration "of the majesty and holy art of Torah writing"
in Chigwell, Essex and Hendon, London NW4
on Sunday 14th March '99.
Source: Jewish Tribune (London), 4th March 1999, page 13.
- Web-sites which discuss and/or display Hebrew scripts:
Vaad Mishmereth STaM: detailed discussion of Halachah, techniques and pitfalls concerning the scribal integrity of Torah scrolls, Tefillin and Mezuzos.
Torah Scribe: Descriptions of the laws pertaining to the production of Sifrei Torah, Tefillin, Mezuzot, Megillot, illuminated manuscripts & ketubot and the parchment (klaf) on which they are written.
Several of the scribes listed here were found in
MavenSearch Newsletter: http://www.mavensearch.com/
Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Berger, NJ U.S.A.. Information and illustrations; Hebrew alphabet (Ashurit), Torah reading, Mezuzah, Tefillin, Sefer Torah, Megillah.
- Mezuzah information
- Rabbi Chaim Klein
- Taleisim, Tzitzit, Telfillin, Mezuzot. Computer checking on premises.
P.O. Box 92237, Norwood 2117, South Africa.
Telephone: +27 (0)11 485 4059
Facsimile: +27 (0)11 485 2304
- Mezuzah Doctor
- Flushing, NY, U.S.A.
- Hasofer Inc., 321 Kingston Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11213, U.S.A.
- The Jerusalem Scribe
- The Jewish scribal arts (sofrut): about Torah scrolls, tefillin, mezuzot, megillot, and Jewish calligraphy and illumination. Experts in Torah restorations. Recognised craftsmen and authorities producing and inspecting sofrut for over 25 years. We will answer your questions.
- This web-site, written mostly in Hebrew, provides information about writing a Sefer Torah in addition to readings from it. A series of indexed images show the full text, i.e. Bereishit to Devarim, of a Sefer Torah scroll written by Elihu, a professional Torah scribe. There is also a page of information in English about displaying Hebrew on the computer screen.
- All-female mezuzah writing group in Minsk, Belarus
- An article (Man's world no more by Yulianna Vilkos, 25 January 2006), about the group may be read on the
JTA News web-site.
- Jen Taylor Friedman, Soferet
- Megillot, Ketubot, Bar and Bat Mitzvah, Benscher cover designs.
U.S.A. and U.K.
- Mezuzot from Eretz Yisrael
- Information on purchasing certified Kosher Mezuzot written by expert scribes in Eretz Yisrael.
- Aviel Barclay, Soferet
- Sefer Torah, Megilah, Ketubah, Torah Repairs, Workshops, Amulets.
Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
|CLICK IMAGE FOR ENLARGEMENT|
- Gevil Institute of Jerusalem
- Sifrei Torah, Tefilin and Mezuzot. Sells gevil (parchment) in single sheet and bulk quantities. The Institute preserves and supplies genuine Gevil (GAWIL) Torah scrolls. The full, un-split hide is mentioned (in Talmud Bavli) as the exact material that Moshe placed into the Ark of the Covenant. This is 100% in accordance with the legal requirements listed by the Rambam and Talmud Bavli, using salt, flour and m'afatsim.
- Provides Torah scroll, tefillin, mezuzah and megillah sales and maintenance. Also related Judaica needs. Based in Milwaukee, U.S.A.
- Sefer Torah Centre
- London, U.K., and Israel. New and second-hand Sifrei Torah, Haftarot, Tefillin,
Mezuzot and Megillot. Various styles of writing by qualified expert scribes.
- Rabbi Aaron Shaffier, Sofer Stam
- Los Angeles, U.S.A. Store: Torah Scrolls, tefillin, mezuzot, checking, repairs.
- Yehuda Malkiel, Sofer STaM
- Web: http://www.soferstam.narod.ru/
- Mordechai Pinchas, Sofer
- Web: http://www.sofer.co.uk
The web-site is a rich source of information and illustrations. If you are learning Hebrew calligraphy
on your own, i.e. without the benefit of a teacher, then spend a few hours reading and absorbing the web-site pages.
Click here for a catalogue of books by Mordechai Pinchas (Marc Michaels).
- Sieger Sofer STaM
- Ron Sieger, Certified Sofer STaM of Los Angeles. Sales and repairs of Torahs, Megillahs, Mezuzos, and Tefillin. Other services offered.
- Rabbi Mordechai Danneman
- Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.
Telephone: +1 770-454-8154
All STaM requirements, new and used Torah Scrolls
- Tefillin HaMekadesh
- Tefillin produced in the Kabbalistic tradition by an expert scribe in Ofra, Israel.
- HaSofer Moshe Flumenbaum
- Certified Scribe
10 Rechov Straus, Jerusalem 91430, Israel.
or P.O. Box 43055, Jerusalem 91430, Israel.
Telephone: +972 (02)538 3701 ext 101
Facsimile: +972 (02)538 8645
Store hours: Sun-Thu 10:00 - 18:00. Fri 10:00 - 13:00
- Rabbi Benjamin Cohen
- Certified & registered Sofer STaM/Scribe/Baal Mageah, rabbi, artist providing Torah scrolls, tefillin, mezuzos, megillos, illuminated kesubos & manuscripts, repair, restoration & preservation of scrolls, parchment, quills, ink, computer & manual checking of STaM, STaM educational sessions.
Telephone: Israel: +972 54 753 5711; USA: +1 212 981 4000.
- Avraham H. Borshevsky
- Artist & Certified Torah scribe
Studio: 43 King George Street, Jerusalem, Israel.
Telephone / facsimile: +972 (0)2-623 3943
Haggadot, Megillot, Ketubot. Hebrew and English calligraphy, gilding, painting.
- Michael Jacobs
- Sofer STaM, Stum Sofer, Illustrator and Restorer
- Rabbi Aryeh Schechter
- Sofer Stam
New York, USA.
Telephone: +1 718-972 4003
- Rabbi L. Benarroch, London, U.K.
- Authorised Scribe
- Telephone: +44 (0)20-8203 7809.
- Sofer Stam Yere-Shamayim, Sifrey-Tora, Mezuzos and Megilos.
- Telephone: +972 (0)3-965 2830
- Web: http://go.to/sofer
- Web: http://users.surfree.net.il/landers