(24W5) The World of the Sofer (21 Feb 2024)

February 21st, 2024, 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm

 

 

The Sofer or scribe plays a critical role in Jewish religious life, bringing their artistry in Hebrew calligraphy to the writing of sacred Jewish texts.  The traditions and requirements associated with this role are little known and Reuven Schlenker, for many years a practicing Sofer, will introduce participants in this session to the responsibilities of the Sofer and to its multiple components.  He will discuss: what is a scribe, a quick history of scribal arts, how one becomes a scribe and rabbinical laws associated with this role, scribal tools and related scribal arts.

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Reuven Schlenker, a distinguished Sofer or Scribe, informs his work through education and experience in the US, Europe and Israel.  He was born in 1950 in Los Angeles, where he lived with his grandparents until 1959 when his father’s military career took the family to West Germany.  Reuven remained in Europe until 1979, spending summers in Yiddish-speaking yeshivot in Israel.

Returning to the United States in 1979, Reuven began learning safrut under Hakham Rabbi Abraham Shamsian from Isfahan with whom he studied until 1984.  He then began learning at the Vaad Mishmeret STaM in Brooklyn. under HaRav Rabbi Aryeh Schechter.

For his secular education Reuven attended Pepperdine College in Los Angeles, Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, the University of Maryland at College Park, and George Washington University in Washington, DC.

He is married with two sons, one serving in the IDF on the northern border and the other learning at Kibbutz Sadeh Eliuahu in Shomron, Israel.

Examples of Reuven’s works: