As a "seasoned" Torah reader, I've become interested in some aspects of Safrut.
Our shul has existed for many decades, and we have accumulated many Sifrei Torah. We recently had a sofer evaluate which scrolls can be repaired. Of the approximately 20 scrolls, the sofer said that only 6 can be repaired. The others are too brittle and the ink fades quickly. Thus, the sofer evaluated that it would be too costly to repair them as the letters would fade or crack quickly.
Apparently, there are certain characteristics of the parchment and, perhaps, the ink used that allows some Sifrei Torah to last almost indefinitely, while others can't. Can someone explain to me:
- What are some of the qualities in the parchment that would have a Torah last for many years without becoming brittle? What would the typical lifespan of such a Torah be?
- Are there any similar factors / qualities in the ink used? Is any type of ink considered better quality than another?
- When one purchases a new Torah, what can one do to preserve the Torah so that the letters are less subject to fading? I've heard that high humidity can damage the parchment. Anything else one should (not) do?