The Torah Scroll is the holiest book in the Jewish religion and it is made up of five books that are also known as the Five Books of Moses. In each Torah scroll there are 304, 805 letters. According to Jewish tradition there are 600,000 letters in a Torah scroll and different explanations are given for this number- such as the fact that the negative space on the scroll is included in the total, or that the punctuation of the letters is included too.
The Torah Scroll is made from many sheets of parchment that are sewn together to make one long scroll. Every individual page in a Torah scroll has forty-two lines and the entire scroll must be written by a specially trained scribe- called a Sofer in Hebrew. The Sofer writes the entire Torah Scroll by hand, using a quill and specially prepared ink. In order to be able to write a Torah scroll, the Sofer must know over 4,000 laws. It usually takes a Sofer about a year to write a Torah scroll and the Sofer must work meticulously because even a single missing or misshapen letter invalidates the use of the entire Torah Scroll.
It is mind-boggling to think that the Torah Scroll used in the Jewish House of Prayer- also known as the Synagogue- is written in exactly the same way that the Torah was written by Moses for the very first time 3,300 years ago. The Torah Scroll is read from at least four times a week in Synagogues all over the world. The Torah Scroll is divided into weekly portions and a different portion is read every Saturday which is the Jewish day of rest. Additionally, the Torah is read from on Mondays and Thursdays in Synagogue.
The Torah Scroll is made up of sewn-together pieces of parchment. In addition, there are two wooden shafts attached to either end of the Torah Scroll around which it is rolled. The shafts extend beyond the top and bottom of the scroll and are also used as handles with which to hold the Torah Scroll. The Torah also has a belt that is used to tie it under the velvet covering which secures it. In the case of a non-Kosher Torah Scroll, the belt is tied on top of the covering so as to serve as an ostensible reminder. The Torah is also covered with a special mantle that protects and beatifies it. The Torah Scroll is often adorned with a special silver crown to represent our love and veneration for it.