Sunday, July 31, 2011

Stam Stories #5: The Sofer and the Quill

Horav Moshe Zaggaro, zl, one of the distinguished rabbanim in Fez, Morocco, was also a sofer, scribe. He had an interesting way of writing a Torah. He wrote the entire Torah, leaving space for Hashem's Name. When he concluded writing the entire Torah, except for Hashem's Name, he would then take a special quill which was used exclusively for this purpose, and write Hashem's Name, with all of the esoteric, Kabbalistic kavanos, intentions. Shortly before he passed from this world, he asked that the pen which he had designated for writing Hashem's Name should be buried with him.

Rav Moshe passed from this world, but, regrettably, during the commotion, they forgot to place the quill in his coffin. As the students were about to lift the coffin for its last time, they found it impossible to lift. Try as they did, the coffin was impossible to raise. They could not figure out why this had happened, until someone remembered the quill. They had forgotten to carry out Rav Moshe's tzavaah, last request. As soon as they brought the quill, the hand of the deceased reached out from within the coffin and took the pen in the natural way it was used. Suddenly, the coffin became as light as a feather, and it was taken to its final resting place.

A holy man; a holy quill; a kiddush Shem Shomayim, a sanctification of the Name of Heaven. We now have an idea of the kedsushas Sefer Torah, sanctity of a Sefer Torah.