NACH - MEGILLOTMegillat 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?
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.
Standard Amount of Parchment for Megillot and Sifrei Nach
based on the Ben Osher Tikun
|Megillah/Sefer||Number of 42-line columns||Number of parchment sections required|
|Megillat Shir HaShirim||4||1|
|Shmu'el I & II||75||19|
|Melachim I & II||78||20|
Hoshea, Yo'el, Amos, Ovadya, Yona, Micha, Nachum, Habakuk, Zefanya, Haggay, Zecharya, Mal'achi
|Additional Megillot / Nach:|
|Ezra - Nehemiah||47||12|