[b-hebrew] 5 scrolls or 1

Bearpecs at aol.com Bearpecs at aol.com
Wed Aug 17 15:54:29 EDT 2005

In a message dated 8/17/2005 1:31:35 PM Eastern Daylight Time,  
jwest at highland.net writes:

I  suppose I perceived that to mean that the pentateuch 
consisted of 5  individual scrolls rather than just one  mega-scroll.

And you were correct.  The books were indeed written and used as 5  
individual scrolls.  As we know, many of the Qumran scrolls are individual  scrolls of 
the books.  You were simply incorrect that it could not  physically have been 
one scroll, since (as was pointed out) using one scroll is  the universal 
modern practice.  This is eminently suited for  liturgical practice, but I 
certainly wouldn't want to lug it around in a book  bag.
Interestingly, a printed book containing the five "books" is called  Hamisha 
Humshei Tora "the five fifths of Torah", or commonly (yet paradoxically)  "a 
Does anyone have any evidence or citations for when the change to a single  
scroll was made, and was any contemporary reasoning offered?  (Yes, I'm  sure 
we can all offer good logical speculation, but do we have any documented  
reason by those who did it?)
Hayyim Obadyah
New York, New  York 10027

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