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Accession number 2012.78
Title Torah
Date 13th century
Notes This complete Torah on parchment (which technically means sheepskin) is twenty-six inches high (the rollers add another 10 inches to the height) and is approximately 105 feet long. The scribing has been identified as that of a school of scribes in Northern Italy, in the early 13th century. Further provenance given me was that the scroll was later taken to Poland, and most recently came out of Russia about 1994. (It likely was hidden during the Communist Regime.) It has been carefully repaired probably hundreds of times, with the repairs made from the reverse side of the text. Most of these repairs cannot be detected from the text side. (The number of repairs has never counted, but in one 3 foot section in Numbers where I have often exhibited it, the repairs number over a dozen.)
Rabbi Yitzhak Goldstein, world-authority on Hebrew scrolls, says it still could be made Kosher by retouching some of the script in a few area's that have become somewhat faded. (At the time of this writing, Rabbi Goldstein was identified as the Director of Jerusalem's Machon Ot Institute. They travel around the world to evaluate, examine and restore Torahs.)
Mr. F. J. "Rusty" Maisel was able to acquire this scroll through his personal relationship with a Mr. Michael Shiffman in New York City who primarily facilitates the acquiring of scrolls for Jewish Synagogues. It was put on new rollers at the time of acquisition, so that it can be readily handled. It is accompanied with a beautiful hand-embroidered cover using gold thread, the cover judged to be approximately a hundred years of age. The Hebrew embroidered in the gold thread has been translated for me to the effect that this scroll was given to a synagogue on the occasion of a Bar mitzvah, by his family.