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Museum Exhibition Micro-paper

Torah Scroll
The topic of our museum exhibit is Modern Jewish Home Items. The museum would be
located in Jerusalem and would be targeted to attract all the Jewish people and those interested in
Judaism, especially including tourists, in the Holy Land. The goals of the museum are to show
the items that every typical Jewish familiesy should have and to teach educate about the religious
and cultural importance of the objects. We chose thise topic because one of the our team
members has Jewish items that we can use as props. The three chosen objects are Torah scrolls, a
tzedakah box, and a menorah. The historical context of the objects is that the Jewish
communities hold on to their culture and religion very strongly as evident through the religious
objects in their homes. The Torah scroll is read in its entirety every year. The tzedakah box is
used for donations and doing good deeds. The menorah is lighted during the holiday Hanukkah
and is the emblem of the State of Israel. All these objects, especially the Torah Scroll, point to the
portable Jewish religion that resulted after the destruction of the temple in 70 C.E.
I chose the Torah scroll because it is the most sacred object for Jews throughout the
world. The word Torah means teaching or instruction. The scroll contains the five books of
Moses, which are: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Genesis covers the
stories about the creation of the world and the beginning of Israel, including the Patriarchs
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Exodus is when the Israelites leave the slavery in Egypt and go
towards the Promised Land. Its during the exodus when, and is when Moses received the Torah
from God. Leviticus outlines the moral and ritual laws. Numbers records the genealogy of each
tribe. In Deuteronomy, Moses reminds the Israelites of the previously given laws and gives some
additional laws. The Torah scroll contains 613 commandments. It takes about a year to handwrite

Museum Exhibition Micro-paper

the Torah, which contains 304,805 letters. The Torah is written on parchments that are produced
from the skin of kosher animals.
During the Talmudic period, the number of Torah scrolls significantly increased because
a passage from Deuteronomy was literally interpreted that each Jew should write a Torah for
himself. Of course, not every Jew followed that interpretation but many Jews were able to obtain
a Torah scroll. Many Jewish homes now days have the sacred text.
A theme relating to the class is that the Jews are a People of a Book. The Book unites the
Jewish communities, generations, as well as earned gave the Jewish people protection during the
Muslim reign. The Torah shows that Judaism is a monotheistic religion, commands against icons
and pork, and requires circumcision. Thus, Muslims considered the Jews as dhimmis by treating
Jews as second class citizens while still protecting the Jewish lives, possessions, and religion. In
addition, the Book contributed to the formation of both Christianity and Islam, the two largest
religions in the world today.
The article titled Repairing a 'Ripped Torah': Repairing Jewish Life in the Former Soviet
Union by David Wilfond is a good example of how Jews are a people of the Book. Rabbi David
Wilfond is a director of recruitment and outreach at Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem. He
travels frequently throughout the Former Soviet Union (FSU), which has the second largest
Jewish Diaspora after United States. Rabbi David Wilfond assists in rebuilding the Jewish
communities that , after the Communist regime destroyed much of the Jewish memories, by
teaching the young Jews how to pray the blessings over the Torah and read the Torah. One of the
Torah scrolls needed a repair in one of the Jewish communities in FSU, so Rabbi David Wilfond
called the Jews in London to assist with the repair. A sofer was sent from London to teach the
Jews how to repair their Torah scrolls and the sofer also taught the children how to write with

Museum Exhibition Micro-paper

quills in Hebrew language. Through the Torah scroll, the Jewish community in the FSU became
more united with the Jews in London, as well as the Jews in the FSU became more connected to
their Jewish culture, memories, and traditions.1
The Torah scroll is very effective atof communicating the intended message because
many people around the world can personally connect to the meaning of the object. Many people
visiting the Museum would be either Jewish, Christians or Muslims; all of these groups find the
Torah a sacred text to a certain extent. By showing ahaving the Torah scroll in thea museum, it
shows that the text is valuable and sacred, and that it carries is an important part ofimportant
history for the Jewish people.

1 Wilfond David. Repairing a 'Ripped Torah': Repairing Jewish Life in the Former Soviet

Union. European Judaism: A Journal for the New Europe 40:1(2007): 165-170. Accessed
March 17, 2015. DOI: 10.3167/ej.2007.4001.
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