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Or Atid Torahs Get Their 50,000 Aliya Checkup

March 11, 2021

Or Atid recently had two of its Torahs repaired and cleaned. Over the course of several days, smudged backgrounds were cleared, “broken” letters were inked, plaster dust* was swept, and parchment pages were re-sewn by soferet Alexandra Casser. In a profession that once was the sole domain of Orthodox Jewish men, Alexandra is one of only a handful of female scribes in the world. She has been a soferet (Jewish scribe)  and educator since 2010 and specializes in the restoration of antique Torah scrolls. There is limited formal training involved in becoming a scribe; scribes typically learn their craft under the mentorship of an experienced sofer. Alexandra studied under soferet Jen Taylor Friedman while attending Yeshivat Hadar in New York City and has provided services to dozens of Jewish communities throughout the United States.

Many of the repairs are quite subtle; see if you can find the repaired aleph in the "before" and "after" image of text below. Hint: Look for the word v'yomar. 

As Alexandra worked, members of the Or Atid community stopped by to watch, ask questions and learn about the process and we captured it all in the images below.

*Parchment was commonly treated with plaster dust to make it look whiter. Who knew!

Picture Credits: Rabbi Louis Polisson, Robin Wolk, Sandy Gotlib

Thu, April 15 2021 3 Iyyar 5781