There are 52 sheets of parchment making up the Torah Scroll. Each sheet has 54 lines of script. Some sheets have three columns of script while others have four. There are no vowel markings, only consonants. Also, there are no verse, chapter or book indicators.
Scribal oddities are found in the Scroll, which draw special attention to particular scripture passages. One example anomaly would be Sh’mot (Exodus) 15:1, “The Song of Moses.” In this passage, the Hebrew letters form the appearance of the children of Israel passing through the sea as we read in Exodus 14, “the people of Isra’el walked on dry ground in the sea, with the water walled up for them on their right and on their left.” (Ex. 14:29)
The Torah weighs 20 pounds and is 45 inches tall, when measured wood-to-wood.
Each Shabbat service at the Tree Of Life, the Torah Scroll is removed from the Ark and carried to lead the Torah procession. On a regular basis the Torah Scroll is opened and read aloud before the Congregation.
Our Torah, Aron HaKodesh and Hebrew mural of “know before whom you stand” was featured in the Messianic Times calendar of August 2016.
The Desire for a Perfect Scroll
Rav Mike Lohrberg began searching and saving for a larger Torah Scroll back in November of the year 2002.
After nearly a decade of searching, and Congregants donating to the fund, the Tree Of Life purchased their Torah Scroll in October of 2011 from B’nei Brak in Jerusalem for $5,800.00.
Arduous Repair Work
The Scroll was in need of repair so a restoration agreement between Tree Of Life and Riv Donovan, a Messianic Jewish Believer and Soferet from New York, was signed. This event took place in December of 2011, accompanied by checks totaling $2,500.00.
An Uncommon Scroll
In 2011, the Soferet had this to say, “The Torah is written in Beit Yosef with a little vellish writing influence typical of Seferim written in Germany about 90 years ago by Jews that arrived from Spain to Germany during the 18th and 19th century. It is a beautiful and unique Torah! And 28 inches WOW!” Rav Mike and Mrs. Bonnie (Yaffah) picked up the fully restored Torah Scroll in May of 2012.
Protecting the Scroll
The Torah came with two mantels to cover the Scroll. One in dark blue for Shabbat and the other white for the High Holy Days. The mantels are inscribed with the Scripture from Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 2:3, “For out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
The Holy Ark
The Aron HaKodesh, which houses the Torah Scroll, was built by Steve Proper. He also refurbished the infant baptismal, which was in the building when Tree Of Life purchased the Sanctuary from Comstock Park Christian Reformed Church. Steve made the baptismal into the Torah reading table. His total bill was $4,350.00. The matching dark blue and white covers to the reading table were lovingly made by a Tree Of Life Congregant, Bernadette Wagenaar.