Given the technology of the times what would the medium be in which he wrote his text and how bulky would it have been to carry, for example?


1 Answer 1


According to Bava Basra 14a-b, Moses’ scroll was rolled all the way to its beginning, and it only had a single pole. This allowed for it to be two handbreadths wide by six handbreadths tall. In practice, it was stored with a slightly smaller diameter, as they would unwind it slightly and fold some of the parchment on top so that it would fit in the space allotted for it in the Ark (according to the opinion that it was indeed kept in the Ark).

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    To be clear, two handbreaths is the approximate diameter of the cylinder. The goal was to have a circumference equal to it's height (so 6/pi handbreaths) so its volume was about 17.2 cubic handbreadths ~ 8dm^3
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 5, 2019 at 14:52
  • @DoubleAA Rashi seems to learn that two was the exact diameter, six the exact height, and six the approximate circumference. That it was able to fit into a two tefach-wide gap was because it wasn’t stored fully rolled.
    – DonielF
    Commented Apr 5, 2019 at 21:22
  • Also note it was gvil not parchment. Gvil is thicker but less dense.
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 20, 2022 at 1:45

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