[b-hebrew] 5 scrolls or 1

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Wed Aug 17 12:34:48 EDT 2005

On 8/17/05, Jim West wrote:
> >Was the torah originally one scroll? What is the evidence?
> no- and the evidence is the practicality of using such a long scroll
> that it would have taken 5 healthy men to unroll it .
> >What is the modern day Jewish practise? 1 scroll or 5?
> 1 per scroll.
> cept the megilloth- 1 scroll
> the minor prophets- 1 scroll
> >Why did such a change come about? Just to deal with the size or... ?
> with the invention of the codex.

Modern Torah readings are done with one scroll containing the whole of the 
Pentateuch.  It takes two men to unroll it.  To roll over to the next column is
simpler than to roll it all the way back or forward, however.  It takes one 
healthy man to raise it.  The Meggiloth are contained on one scroll each.
Most synagogues don't have reading from scrolls except for Esther.  Some,
however, do so also for the other Meggiloth, and Prophets (portions of which
form the Haftarah readings).  Those are rare.

Yitzhak Sapir

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