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Megillat Esther

A megillah is an excellent Bar Mitzvah present or gift for your rabbi, synagogue, or baal koreh torah reader. HaSOFER always has Megillat Esther and megillah cases in stock and often also Kohelet, Shir HaShirim, Ruth and Eicha. Complete set of Nach, the Prophets, for reading the Haftorah in synagogue all year is always a commission item.

What makes up the cost of a megillah?

  • K'tav, writing

  • Klaf, parchment

  • Examining the finished megillah

  • Sewing the sections of the megillah together

The k'tav is by far the largest factor in the cost of a megillah. The exactness of the writing and its beauty determine the level of hiddur, quality of the megillah. The value of the k'tav is calculated on a standard of each column of the megillah having 42-lines of average size writing. Standard size "42-line" megillot range in price from $80 - $150 per column. Scroll down this page for more details about size standards in megillot and a chart showing the number of 42-line columns in each of the five megillot: Esther, Kohelet, Shir HaShirim, Ruth and Eicha and for each sefer of Nach.

The klaf element of the cost depends upon the quality of the parchment and the amount used in writing the megillah. Average-quality klaf costs $70 - $80 per piece of "42-line" yeriah parchment section.

Examining the megillah and sewing together the yeriot, plural of yeriah, add a small amount to the total cost, dependent to some degree on whether or not the megillah is written according to the "42-line" standard.

Size standards in megillot: The 42-line column

The amount of parchment needed for a megillah is calculated based on the standard size yeriah that measures approximately 50 cm tall by 80 cm wide. The Shulchan Aruch, Code of Jewish Law, 272:2, specifies that a line of script of average size writing is to contain 30 letters. Average size script with 30 letters in each row produces columns having 42 lines with 3 or 4 such columns filling the standard yeriah. Thus a standard number of "42-line column" yeriot requiring a standard amount of parchment exists for each megillah: Esther, Ruth, Kohelet, Shir HaShirim and Eicha, as well as for all the Sifrei Nach, Prophets.

When the 42-line column standard is changed to produce a megillah that is shorter in height but longer in length, the amount of parchment required increases significantly. This is due to the ruling of the Shulchan Aruch in section 273:1 that every column must be completely surrounded by a proper size border of empty parchment. Thus a megillah written with only 21 lines in each column requires much more parchment than the same megillah with similar size script written with 42 lines in each column. This principle applies similarly to any change in the number of lines per column written in the standard script size. Changing the size of the script from the standard of course also affects the length of the megillah and the amount of parchment required. Such a change can also bring with it additional expense for the sofer to write a non-standard size script.

Due to the many options available in the writing of megillot and Sifrei Nach HaSOFER only stocks the most popular Megillat Esther all the time. Please email us about other megillah purchases.

Standard Amount of Parchment for Megillot and Sifrei Nach
based on the Ben Osher Tikun

Megillah/Sefer Number of 42-line columnsNumber of parchment sections required
Sefer Torah24565
Megillat Esther103
Megillat Ruth41
Megillat Echah62
Megillat Kohelet93
Megillat Shir HaShirim41
Sifrei Nach:
Shmu'el I & II7519
Melachim I & II7820
Trei Asar:
Hoshea, Yo'el, Amos, Ovadya, Yona, Micha, Nachum, Habakuk, Zefanya, Haggay, Zecharya, Mal'achi
Grand Totals720189
Additional Megillot / Nach:
Ezra - Nehemiah4712
Divrei HayamimVariesVaries
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