Friday, April 19, 2024 -
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In the workshop of a sofer

this modest home on Wolff Street, Torah scribe Rabbi Tuvia Negreann aspires to perfection with intricately carved turkey feathers, kosher animal parchment and razor-sharp concentration. Just 28, Negreann has mastered the precise, halachically-bound art of writing scrolls for the mezuzzot we affix to our doorposts, the phylacteries (tefilin) observant men wrap around their arms and heads, and Torah scrolls. Black inked Hebrew script surrounds his workshop, where the minutest error — like straightening a daled’s right-angled leg — could either be reparable or “100% disqualified.” Negreann, an Orthodox Jew, calmly and carefully explains the esoteric matters and strict regulations that only fellow scribes (sofers) can comprehend. In the vast majority of cases, Torah scrolls are written by Orthodox male sofers. While ideological and halachic familiarity […]
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IJN Senior Writer | [email protected]