Meet Rabbi Ron Berry
In February 2017, Reform Rabbi Ron Berry visited the Jewish Museum to check all of our mezuzot were still kosher. While Rabbi Ron Berry worked he chatted to us about his life as a Sofer.
A Sofer is a specially trained scribe who is responsible for handwriting the holy texts onto parchment using a special quill and ink. The parchment on which the Sofer writes is made from the skin of a kosher animal, traditionally the skin of a goat or calf. The special ink used to write the holy texts is traditionally made from gall nut.
Scribes such as Rabbi Ron Berry normally write texts such at the Torah, tefillin, Megillah scroll for Purim and the Shema prayer found inside the Mezuzah.
‘Mezuzah’ means doorpost. The mezuzah is a small box which hangs by the doors in many Jewish homes. These boxes can be made of many different materials. The mezuzah opens up and inside, written on a tiny parchment scroll, are specific verses from the Torah. These verses are known as the Shema. The Shema is the most important prayer in Judaism because it reminds Jewish people that there is only one God.