Gevil II

I just wanted to post a follow-up to R' Avi's recent post about gevil, particularly the link he posted to R' Yehuda Sherez website  It really is a fascinating read.  

He does beautiful work and it's nice to see interest in gevil reviving somewhat.  I think the art of making it very nearly went extinct.

As I was looking through some of the images and information on his site, I was struck by the fact that there must exist a variety of traditions for making gevil.  Although all the techniques center on the same process melach to slip the hair, kemach to bate the skin, and afeitzim to tan it, the end results are dramatically different.  The technique I know results in a deep red gevil and glossy surface.

This is a sample of some of my gevil that I sent to YK Sofer in the Netherlands.  This is his ksav on a menorah shaped lamnatzeach.  If you would like to see his whole post it's here

My gevil looks a bit more like some of the old North African sifrei Torah.

While R' Yehuda's gevil is that same soft beige color of the gevil of the Isaiah Scroll found at the Dead Sea. 

It would be interesting to compare notes and find out what causes such a dramatically different final result.  Is it a less concentrated solution of oak-gall?  Perhaps the galls are coming from a different type of oak and so effecting the skin in different ways.  


  1. Fascinating! I don't know the details of the processing, but when I spoke to him about ordering a sefer Torah he initially offered a choice of either white, yellow, or a light pinkish-brown. I was later informed that to make the 'ibbud avodas yad he could do it on keves, but only the pinkish-brown. I don't really understand what's behind that, but perhaps you would have a better idea. Additionally, if you want to contact him there is an email address on his website and he should get back to you within a few days. (Type in hebrew, of course.) Thanks for the post!


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