Three things about this very long chapter of Psalms quickly come to mind. First, it consists of 176 verses divided into 22 eight verse sections. Every section is given one of the 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet to begin the first word in every verse. Second, every verse in this psalm speaks about the Word of God, e.g. Word, Law, Commandments, Ordinances etc. Third, Scrolls of the Psalms are extremely rare. Only two Scrolls of the Psalms are on public display and these two Scrolls are in Gentile Christian collections.
For higher resolution photographs of Psalm 119 go to my web site at – www.gracetranscendingthetorah.com
This is the complete Scroll of Lamentations (Eikhah in Hebrew) which is part of the Megillah. It was written according to the law of STaM (the many laws which regulate how kosher Scrolls must be written). It was written by a Sofer (scribe) in the 1800s or earlier in North Western Europe. The Sofer wrote with a quill on sheepskin using iron gall ink. This Scroll was badly damaged during the Holocaust and was moved from Israel to America in 2006 at which time Gary Zimmerman purchased the Scroll and had it framed to be hung in The Scriptorium.
Lamentations is read worldwide in Jewish Synagogues on Tisha B’Av, (the 9th of the month Av usually corresponds with the Gregorian calendar in August). The mournful reading of Lamentations is to remember the destruction of both the first and second Temples which, according to tradition, was on Tisha B’Av. The Scroll ends with hope and anticipation of The Messiah’s coming to renew the Temple in Israel.
In 1999 a Christian businessman and I started the Scroll Project (I like to call it The Scriptorium). The project was to find badly damaged Hebrew Torah Scrolls, purchase them and frame as many pages as possible and then to donate them to places where they would be honored as the Written Word of God in the original form and before translation. Thus far we have distributed portions of non kosher, fragmented Hebrew Torah Scrolls to well over 500 Christian institutions and individuals. The Scrolls have dated from the late 1500s to early 20th century.
Each Portions of the Scrolls have been treated with the highest respect. When framed, over 300 sheets, the fragments have been framed to meet museum standards.
The first portion containing the Ten Commandments was donated to the Chief Justice of the state of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore. He assured us he would hang it in his office. The Ten Commandments came from a very old fragmented Torah Scroll written in Yemen in the 1700s.
The second and third framed portions of the Ten Commandments are on loan to the United States Congress Congressman Mike Sodrel from Indiana and Congressman Kenny Marchant from Texas. Both Congressmen were very pleased to hang the large sheets in their Washington offices. They said many of their friends would be pleased to see them. The two sheets containing the Ten Commandments came from a badly damaged Torah Scroll written in Poland before the Holocaust.
The fourth framed sheet containing the Ten Commandments was donated to the Governor of the Island of Saipan the Honorable Benigno Fitial. He was very pleased to receive the sheet and said the Ten Commandments are very important for everyone to see.
The sheet containing the Ten Commandments came from a badly damaged Torah Scroll from Hungary. This Torah was damaged in the Holocaust.
The fifth framed sheet containing the Ten Commandments was donated to the Protestant Chapel at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Colonel Adele Hodges Commanding Officer of Camp Lejeune received the framed sheet for the Protestant Chapel.
The donation turned out to be quite a ceremony and it made the front page of the Marine Corps newspaper “The Globe” edition Thursday August 2, 2007.
The sheet containing the Ten Commandments came from a badly damaged Torah Scroll from Western Europe.