A¬†Sefer Torah¬†(Scroll) contains the Five Books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. It is written in Hebrew by hand on parchment by a¬†Sofer¬†(a trained scribe) and contains 304,805 letters. A¬†Torah¬†Scroll has to be prepared and written according to strict rules.
Before the rules of writing were standardized in the 19th century, the format and writing of¬†Torah¬†Scrolls varied according to the¬†yeshiva¬†(rabbinical college) to which the¬†Sofer¬†belonged.
The various writing styles and forms of decoration of the letters identified the¬†yeshiva¬†as did the format and construction of the Scroll.
A scribe must be a pious and learned person, dedicated to the sanctity of theTorah¬†Scroll. He will recite a blessing at the outset of this work and each time before writing the Name of God. The scribe writes with a quill ‚Äď preferably made from a goose or turkey feather ‚Äď or with a calamus reed. He prepares the ink using a combination of gall-nut juice and gum, adding various tints to make it black.
The books of the¬†Torah¬†are separated by a space of four lines. No mistakes in writing are permitted, and the Scroll must remain undamaged for use in worship. A missing or misshapen letter invalidates the entire¬†Torah.
The Torahs that arrived in London in 1964 had been written by numerous scribes over a period in excess of two hundred and fifty years.