The 18th World Congress of Jewish Studies

Le-Sefer Torah Kotevim: Instructions for the Copy of Torah Scrolls in Medieval Codices of the Hebrew Bible

After Maimonides, it became customary to copy codices and Torah scrolls consulting a revised and authoritative codex (sefer muggah), that is, a model or exemplar codex for the correct copy of the biblical text according to the halakhah. Indeed, some codices of the Hebrew Bible include very precise instructions that relate specifically to the layout of the biblical text, usually integrated within the Masoretic apparatus. I shall suggest here that these instructions must have served as reminders for scribes who had to copy a Torah Scroll, and I shall discuss some Hebrew Bibles that present these type of instructions, a fact that might indicate their specific function as model or exemplar codices.