All S'faradi synagogues I've been in have each sefer Tora in a box. All Ashk'nazi ones I've been in have each sefer Tora in a cloth. When did this split occur, and why, and how?
I assume either:
- everyone used cloths (or boxes) and at some point some group started using boxes (or cloths), either en masse due to a decree (where? when? by whom? why?) or gradually as the boxes (or cloths) became more popular (where? when? why?); or
- old sifre Tora were sometimes in boxes and sometimes in cloths, but then the one became the Ash'knazi custom and the other became the S'faradi (why? how?).