DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. -- The Jewish community of Dobbs Ferry will celebrate the inauguration of a Torah scroll -- Judaism's most sacred object -- with a unique ceremony Sunday at 11 a.m. Chabad of the Rivertowns.
An expert ritual scribe will ink the first letters of the scroll, as was done 3,300 years ago for the first time by Moses. At the ceremony, community members will have the chance to dedicate a letter or even a portion of the Torah scroll. An authentic Torah scroll comprises between 62 and 84 sheets of parchment cured, tanned, scraped and prepared according to exact Torah law specifications, and containing exactly 304,805 letters. The resulting handwritten scroll takes months to complete.
Timeless dictums hold for a certified Torah scribe, and everything from the character of the scribe to the quality of the parchment and type of ink is taken into account. The slightest error voids the entire 54-portion parchment.
"With the Torah dedication, this is an exciting time for our community,” said Rabbi Benjy Silverman, director of Chabad of the Rivertowns, the organization hosting the event. "The ancient wisdom contained in this scroll is the essence of our identity as Jews, and writing our own Torah scroll is a cause for great celebration."
The scroll is being sponsored by Jean-Marc Orlando.