Campus News

Ira A. Lipman donates Torah scroll to Brandeis

By Julie Jette

In an era of instantaneous (and sometimes thoughtless) communication, the completion of a Torah scroll stands apart as the culmination of the slow, steady and careful transmission of sacred wisdom.

Brandeis community members had the rare opportunity to participate in the completion and dedication of a Torah scroll on August 8, when a scroll was donated to Brandeis Hillel by Ira A. Lipman, in memory of his mother Belle A. Lipman, on her yahrzeit, the anniversary of her death in 2009. Hillel will hold another celebration of receiving the new scroll after the academic year begins.

A Torah scroll can take more than a year to complete, and is fashioned according to exacting standards contained in Jewish law. Rabbi Binyomin Spiro, the sofer, or scribe who inscribed this scroll at his workshop in Baltimore, explained that the parchment is derived from the hide of a kosher animal species such as a cow, a goat, or even a deer. The inner layers of the hide are removed and the sofer writes only on the inside of the outermost layer, using a quill pen and ink. 

Cantor Joseph Malovany, left, assisted Ira A. Lipman, who donated the Torah scroll to Brandeis Hillel, in holding the Torah

Read about the gift and dedication on BrandeisNow

Date: August 23, 2018