Writing a Torah scroll is a holy task. In preparation, the scribe immerses in a mikvah (ritual bath). Before beginning a new scroll, he recites a formula declaring his intent to write the scroll for a holy purpose. To make sure all his tools are fit for the task, he tests the quill and ink by writing the word “Amalek” on a piece of parchment. He then crosses it out with a number of strokes in order to fulfill the commandment of blotting out the name of Amalek, a biblical enemy of the Jewish people (Deuteronomy 25:17-19).