Questions & Answers
Who can scribe?
Every Wise Temple member can scribe. Just as a Torah is not complete without each letter, the story of our congregation is not complete without each member taking part of this unique and special experience.
What if I’m not Jewish?
Every member is encouraged to scribe – non-Jewish members, converts, men, women, children and teens, and seniors. Everyone.
How young is too young?
Every member from one to 100 is invited to be present at a scribing session. Generally, children under age four, who are still learning to write, are not able to scribe, but they are welcome to be part of your family’s experience.
What if I don't write or read Hebrew?
No Hebrew experience is necessary to participate in this amazing experience. The Sofer will guide you with his words and his hand as you scribe the letter together.
“For most of my life, Torah was been that “thing” we pull out a few times each year to read from. And “we” really meant other people, as I did not have a Bar Mitzvah and do not read Hebrew. Scribing in the Torah today made it real; it made Torah “mine”, as I am now a part of it.”
What if I mess up?
Set your nerves aside. The Sofer (scribe) will be holding the quill with you at all times. There is no risk of messing up the Torah scroll.
“If you haven’t signed up to scribe a letter, don’t be afraid. It’s not at all daunting, and you’ll feel good after you do it.”
What should I wear?
This experience will take place in the chapel, so choose clothing appropriate for this setting. Also consider clothing in which you want to be photographed, as a photo memento will be provided.
How should I prepare?
On your scribing day, theTorah Team, rabbis and sofer (scribe) will be there to lead you through this special moment. In advance you may want to consider if there is a special person you would like to scribe in honor of or in memory of. Or perhaps there is simchah you would like to scribe your letter on behalf of. You will not be asked to share this publicly, but rather, after the experience, there will be an opportunity to privately reflect on this if you choose.
“I scribed today in memory of my parents who would have been moved by the writing of Torah.”
How long will it last?
The entire experience will last an hour-and-a-half. For more specifics, please read What to Expect
“As I stood on the bimah next to my husband and the Sofer, I felt so proud of my Jewish heritage and so thankful for those who came before me. I could hear my mom’s voice saying, ‘One day you’ll understand and appreciate your Jewish identity and heritage even more than you do now.’ How right she was!”
Which Torah scroll will I be scribing in?
We are writing two Torah scrolls - one for Wise Center and one for Plum Street Temple. The day you sign up to scribe will determine which scroll you will scribe in. We will alternate scribing in each Torah scroll as follows:
September 18 - Wise Center
November 6 - Plum Street
December 4 - Wise Center
December 18 - Plum Street
and so on...
What if I want to scribe with other Wise Temzple members?
Members should sign up to scribe as a family unit. However, multiple famlies experience scribing together. When you sign up, you will see all the other members who are also signed up on a particular day and time so you can choose to scribe with them. Because this is an individual, family, and communal experience, you may sign up with other members with whom you feel connected and/or with those you may not yet know, but will come to know through this shared experience.