As the Washington Post article stated, “Forget auto-correct.” It wasn’t available to Richard Epstein, the man who copied the Torah over an eight year period. According to Jewish tradition even one error would make the entire text unfit for use in Jewish worship.
Epstein said of his accomplishment:
“I feel like basically the Torah wrote me, more than I wrote the Torah–that it really shaped me. When you write, you go much slower than you think, and especially when you’re writing the Torah. It’s wet and it’s gooey.”
Epstein followed the Jewish tradition of speaking each word out loud, and then speaking each letter in that word out loud before writing it. He said the process caused him to to be impacted by the scriptures on a deeper level. Some nights he would dream about the passages he had written that day.
There are professional scribes who write Torahs in this manner but Richard Epstein’s accomplishment is remarkable because he is an amateur.
“I felt I wanted to be closer to God, and I felt, ‘What better way to be closer to God than the gift that he made to the Jewish people?'” -Richard Epstein
If you’re interested, you can read the original article here: Julie Zauzmer, For holy text, Potomac man wrote 304,805 letters without a single mistake, Washington Post May 18, 2014
Mike Krumboltz, Man spends 8 years penning 304,805 letters of the Torah without a single error, Yahoo News
[Image via J. Nathan Matias – Creative Commons]
Special thanks to a certain Redditor who pointed out Epstein’s accomplishment.