Now we've seen everything. Robots are routinely used in medicine and in manufacturing, but for writing a Torah scroll? That's the latest application that robots have been enlisted for.
As Steve Lipman wrote in The Jewish Week,
While the exhibition closes Aug. 3, the robot, reprogrammed with the help of an Israeli graphic designer, will be on display the rest of the year. The robot writes the sefer Torah exactingly slowly, from right to left, 10 hours a day.(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS: THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS. YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)
A human scribe takes a year or more to complete a scroll.
“While the Sofer [Torah scribe] guarantees the sanctity of the Scripture, the installation highlights its industrial reproducibility,” the website of the Jewish Museum (jmberlin.de) states.
The finished product of the robot, fashioned by a writing arm attached to a small nib, will not be kosher according to traditional Jewish law; it will not be acceptable for use in a synagogue, since it is not being penned by a human hand, and is on a 260-foot-long roll of paper, not on parchment.