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sewing to the
atsey chayim

Mordechai Pinchas Sofer

The shaft on the ets chayim has three (or four) holes drilled into it (depending on the length) to allow for the giddin to be thread through attaching the k’laf. The top and bottom holes are approx 2.5-3.5 cms from the top and bottom of the parchment.

ets chayim with holes

The edge of the k’laf should be placed next to the holes. The needle is pushed through the hole and goes through the parchment on the other side. Mostly we will be dealing with 3 holes, so the giddin is threaded through the hole and round 4 times. 3 x 4 = 12 symbolising the 12 tribes of Israel.

needle thread first
thread under

Once the first stitch is made, it should be pulled tight wrapping the parchment to the staff. The giddin is then sewed round a further three times and tightened and straightened on each occasion. The needle is then threaded underneath the tightened four stitches creating a loop and then knotted. This is done a further two times creating three knots tightly together. The excess giddin is snipped off and the knots can be pushed into the hole with a shaped piece of wood making the final work look neat and tidy.

knot push in

As with the seam sewing, there are alternative methods of sewing on to the rollers though these are much more complex. 

Attaching to the atsey chayim

Mordechai Pinchas

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