16th Annual Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival, February 6 - March 22, 2021

Pioneer Valley Premiere

A fascinating, intimate short.

Commandment 613

Watch it at home
March 5, as of 9:00 AM (Link available for 96 hours)

Join the virtual discussion
Monday, March 8, 7:00 PM

Torah scrolls are written by hand, following rules that go back thousands of years. Made to last for centuries, they are central to Jewish ritual; what is contained in them – the first five books of the Hebrew Bible – is the foundation of Jewish life. The final commandment in the Torah, number 613, is to write the scroll for yourself.

In this short documentary, we meet Rabbi Kevin Hale of Northampton, a joyful sofer (Torah scribe) who restores scrolls that were saved in Czechoslovakia during the Shoah. As he goes about his sacred craft, this son of refugees from Nazi Germany reflects on his own path to a life of faith and practice. And, at communities now entrusted with the scrolls, congregants and clergy explain the powerful bond they feel with these precious objects – and with the generations that previously cherished them.

Virtual discussion and Q&A with Miriam Lewin, producer/director; Rabbi Kevin Hale, sofer; and Randi Cecchine, cinematographer/editor. Moderated by Larry Hott, documentary filmmaker and owner of Florentine Films/Hott Productions.

Documentary | 2020 | 23 minutes
United States | English
Directed by Miriam Lewin




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