Throughout a calendar year the Jewish people are obligated to follow many well-known and colorful laws and Rabbinic traditions. For Rosh Hashana, one must hear the shofar being blown. At Passover, G-d states we must eat unleavened bread (matza). But lesser known is the requirement for individuals, several times a year, to hear the Torah read. Also, a congregation of at least 10 men must, together, hear the Torah read on every Shabbat, Monday, Thursday, Holidays and the first day of every month of the Hebrew calendar. While this may seem easy enough, it is not so simple.

To observe the mitzvah of hearing the Torah, one must be listening to the reading of a “kosher” Torah. Over time, through use, or exposure to light, Hebrew letters within a scroll can tear, fade or crack. The parchment itself can tear or rip as well. Under any of those circumstances, a Torah is unkosher and thus unvaluable in meeting the mitzvah to hear the Torah as it is read.

It takes a trained individual to recognize when a Torah can not be used. One of those individuals highly skilled at inspection based on decades of experience is Rabbi William Goldberg of the Breslov Centre.

Using a powerful magnifying glass, Rabbi Goldberg can evaluate and proof each line. Once flaws have been identified, the Torah owner is appraised and given a price to fix them. The rabbi’s repair tools include kosher feathers, ink, scalpels and a razor blade. He can also repair or replace the Torah’s mantle or wooden stives.

A Torah’s longevity is often dependent on how well it is maintained, like cleaning up nuisance problems that can grow if neglected, such as ink smudges and buildups that occur on the back of parchment as it is rolled during its normal use.

Of course one way to sustain a Torah’s longevity is to have multiple scrolls to draw upon for use. Rabbi Goldberg is a well known scribe who can write a Torah. He can also order one from a recognized source.