The 23rd volume “Five Scrolls” from the Tanakh Pri Aaron series, translated by Rabanit Frima Gurfinkel, includes five scrolls – the Megilot with commentaries by Rashi, Sforno, Malbim and Torah Tmima.
The Megilot (Scrolls) are the five books included in the Ketuvim (Scriptures) section of the Tanakh. These include the following five books of the Tanakh: Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs – in the Russian tradition), Ruth (Ruth), Eicha (Lamentations of Jeremiah), Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) and Esther (Esther).
In the Jewish religious tradition they are called “Hamesh Megilot” i.e. “Five Scrolls” In ancient times, long before the invention of printing and the modern method of making books in the form of bound sheets, all sacred Jewish books of the Jews were made by writing them by hand by a specially trained Jew – a soifer. The sheets of parchment on which the book was written were not joined into a brochure, but were filed one after another, ultimately forming a scroll. Despite the invention of printing, the writing of Jewish books intended for public reading, in accordance with Halakha (Jewish religious law), continues to be carried out in accordance with the laws adopted since ancient times: by hand, on parchment, in a special script and in the form of a scroll. Such scrolls include the Torah Scroll itself (the Pentateuch of Moses), the above five books from the Ketuvim section, as well as the Book of Jonah from the Neviim section, which are also publicly read on the corresponding holidays and memorial dates.
In accordance with Halakha, besides the Torah, of all the listed books, only the scroll of Esther is required to be read, which is read exactly from the scroll in the evening and in the morning on the holiday of Purim. Very important in the Jewish religious tradition is the annual reading of the Scroll of Eich (Lamentations) on the 9th of Av, which is a tragic date associated with the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple. According to custom, the Book of Eich is read in the evening and morning of the 9th of Av. Public readings of the Book of Shir HaShirim on Passover, the Book of Kohelet on Sukkot, and the Book of Ruth on Shavuot are now accepted and practiced as customs in all Jewish communities around the world.
It is worth noting that in addition to the above books related to the “Five Scrolls,” the Book of Yonah, related to the section Nevi’im (Prophets), is also publicly read on Yom Kippur.
Translated by: Gurfinkel, Frima
Language: Russian, Hebrew
Format: 5.5×8.5 Hardcover