Q508743

List of Sofer : Vote for your favorites.

List of Sofer    : Vote for your favorites.

A Sofer, Sopher, Sofer SeTaM, or Sofer ST"M (Heb: "scribe", סופר סת״ם‎) (female: soferet, plural: soferim) is a Jewish scribe who can transcribe sifrei Torah, tefillin and mezuzot, and other religious writings. (ST"M, סת״ם‎, is an abbreviation of these three terms. The plural of sofer is "soferim" סופרים‎.)

By simple definition, a sofer is a copyist, but the religious role in Judaism is much more. Besides sifrei Torah, tefillin, and mezuzot, scribes are also necessary to write the Five Megillot (scrolls of the Song of Songs, Book of Ruth, Book of Esther, Ecclesiastes, and Book of Lamentations), Nevi'im (the books of the prophets, used for reading the haftarah), and for gittin, divorce documents. Also, many scribes function as calligraphers—writing functional documents such as ketubot "marriage contracts", or ornamental and artistic renditions of religious texts, which do not require any scribal qualifications and to which the rules on lettering and parchment specifications do not apply.

The major halakha pertaining to sofrut, the practice of scribal arts, is in the Talmud in the tractate "Maseket Sofrim". In the Torah's 613 commandments, the second to last is that every Jew should write a Sefer Torah in their lifetime. (Deuteronomy 31:19)

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