How to become a Torah scribe


A Torah scribe, or sofer stam, is a person who is trained and certified to write Torah scrolls, tefillin, mezuzahs, and other holy Jewish texts. Torah scrolls are the most sacred objects in Judaism, and they are used in synagogues and communities around the world. Torah scribes play a vital role in Jewish life, as they are responsible for ensuring that the Torah scrolls used in worship are accurate and kosher.


To become a Torah scribe, one must meet the following requirements:

  • Be Jewish and observant of Jewish law.
  • Be a male of at least 13 years old.
  • Have a good moral character.
  • Be able to read and write Hebrew fluently.
  • Have good manual dexterity.


The apprenticeship of a Torah scribe typically lasts for several years, and the student learns all aspects of Torah scribal law and calligraphy. The student also learns the preparation of the parchment and the different types of inks and quills used in Torah writing.

During the apprenticeship, the student will learn to write the Hebrew alphabet perfectly, as well as the many complex rules of Torah scribal law. These rules govern everything from the size and spacing of the letters to the type of parchment that can be used.

In addition to learning the technical aspects of Torah writing, the student will also learn about the spiritual significance of their work. Torah scribes are entrusted with the task of writing the holiest texts in Judaism, and they must approach their work with great care and reverence.

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Torah scribe writing a Torah scroll 


Once the student has completed their apprenticeship, they must pass a certification exam in order to become a licensed Torah scribe. The exam tests the student’s knowledge of Torah scribal law, their calligraphy skills, and their ability to write a Torah scroll perfectly.

The certification exam is administered by a rabbinical court, and it is a very rigorous process. The student must write a complete Torah scroll under the supervision of a certified scribe, and the scroll must be examined by the rabbis for any errors.

If the student passes the exam, they will be granted a license to write Torah scrolls and other holy Jewish texts. This license is highly respected in the Jewish community, and it is a testament to the scribe’s skill and dedication.

Career opportunities

Torah scribes are in high demand. They are needed to write new Torah scrolls for synagogues and communities, and to repair damaged or worn Torah scrolls. Torah scribes also write other holy Jewish texts, such as tefillin, mezuzahs, and ketubot (Jewish marriage contracts).

Torah scribes can work for themselves, or they can be employed by a synagogue or community. They may also choose to teach Torah scribal law and calligraphy to others.

The importance of Torah scribes

Torah scribes play an important role in Jewish life and culture. They are responsible for ensuring that the Torah scrolls used in worship are accurate and kosher. This is essential, as the Torah is the foundation of Judaism and its teachings.

Torah scribes also play a role in preserving Jewish tradition. By writing new Torah scrolls and repairing damaged ones, they help to ensure that the Torah will continue to be used and studied for generations to come.


Becoming a Torah scribe is a challenging but rewarding career path. Torah scribes play a vital role in Jewish life and culture, and their work is highly respected. If you are interested in becoming a Torah scribe, I encourage you to learn more about the apprenticeship process and the requirements for certification.

Additional tips

Here are a few additional tips for those who are interested in becoming a Torah scribe:

  • Find a mentor who is a certified Torah scribe. A mentor can provide you with guidance and support throughout the apprenticeship process.
  • Join a community of Torah scribes. There are many online and in-person communities where Torah scribes can share their knowledge and experience.
  • Attend workshops and classes on Torah scribal law and calligraphy. This is a great way to learn from experts and improve your skills.
  • Be patient and persistent. It takes many years of study and practice to become a certified Torah scribe.

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