UA's 200-Year-Old Torah To Be Restored

Published: Friday, February 13, 2015 - 5:05pm
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A visiting rabbi came to the University of Arizona this week in order to restore a 200-year-old Torah, the scroll containing the first five books of the Bible.

This is the second straight year the school has welcomed a sofer, or scribe, to work on the sacred text. Rabbi Gedaliah Druin spent two days in Tucson.

Druin describes his work as bringing the Torah back to health. Beth Alpert Nakhai, associate professor at the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies at the UofA, said an anonymous donor gave the school the Torah in 2009. It’s 23 inches high and about 73 feet long. She said Rabbi Druin did his work with a quill and special ink.

Alpert Nakhai said the school believes the Torah needs the repairs before it can be used in classes or other venues. And not just anyone can do that work. Rabbi Gedaliah Druin said becoming a sofer is challenging.

Druin said he’s passionate about his work, and that if he wasn’t, he’d need to stop. UofA’s Beth Alpert Nakhai said the Torah is a source of learning and roots for Jews and other religions based on the Hebrew Bible. But, she said this particular Torah is more than that.

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