Looking at different fragments of ancient and contemporary scrolls, I wondered
What are the considerations of determining the length of a line in Torah scroll/Chumash?

enter image description here Dead Sea Scrolls

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the Damascus Pentateuch

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Contemporary Kosher Torah scroll

  • Why do you think a chumash has any considerations as to its line width?
    – magicker72
    Jan 9, 2022 at 18:38
  • Chumashim typically just try to get everything to fit in the length of scroll or amount of paper available. And I recommend again this essay by Yosi Baruchi. Also this class by him on the same topic.
    – Harel13
    Jan 9, 2022 at 19:13
  • 4
    BTW, I'm pretty sure the DSS pic you brought isn't a Torah/Chumash scroll.
    – Harel13
    Jan 9, 2022 at 19:22
  • @Harel13 THis could be extra Biblical.
    – Al Berko
    Jan 9, 2022 at 19:24
  • Which means that it's anyone's guess whether the sect that composed it had standards for extra-biblical scrolls.
    – Harel13
    Jan 9, 2022 at 19:28

1 Answer 1


The standard ideal length of a line is about 30 letters long, enough to write למשפחותיכם thrice per line (Menachot 30a, YD 272:2). Lines that are too long are hard to follow and lines that are too short look like a note not a proper book. Some (Tosfot, etc.) say that the ~30 letter approximation can vary with the font size.

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