Netivat Sofrut: diary of a Soferet

Adventures of a female sofer learning to heal the world by doing Holy Work...writing a Sefer Torah

נחזיר את השכינה למקומה בצייון ובתבל כלה

"Let us restore the Divine In-Dwelling to Her Place in Zion & infuse Her spirit throughout the whole inhabited world."

So wherever we are, let us bring the Peace of G@d's Presence.

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Location: Vancouver/London, British Columbia/UK, Canada

SCRIBAL EVANGELIST As the only living certified Soferet (סופרת - female Jewish ritual scribe) & the first woman to practice sofrut (creation of sacred Hebrew texts) in over 200 years, I feel an obligation to blog about my experiences of The Work. I am also currently researching the foundation of a lost tradtion of women practicing this holy craft. For more on the services I provide, please see; Sofrut Nation. I am now available to engage with students, male or female, wishing to enter into the preliminary stage of learning sofrut. You are welcome to join me on this path. "Tzedeq, tzedeq tir'dof - Justice, justice you shall pursue." Devarim/Deuteronomy 16:20.

Friday, September 12, 2003



Wednesday, September 3rd

Woke with a start & felt confused, nauseous...couldn't remember when I was supposed to call my sofer - just wanted to sleep some more but knew that I would be disturbed and/or miss out on important commitments.
Ate in a daze. I'm definately experiencing some frightening self-evaluation related to how spiritually worthy I am to do this work. To write this holy Sefer Torah.
I did more homework until a quarter to 1, then systematically went round the flat & hid everything sofrut-related in placed the cleaning lady wouldn't see.
My sofer handled the internet thing for me (Hebrew! Must improve my Hebrew!) & we hung out & chatted over lunch.
Then I did EMAIL @ HOME!!!
Barukh HaShem!
So I have a question: why do all Israeli salads have tons of rosemary & mint in them? Like, TONS! It's unbelieveable...
I fired up Limewire & listened to Stan Rogers sing Barrett's Privateers - funny, this tense history & culture dynamic between the US & Canada is so irrelevant here...
I met my soder in his studio for another lesson. On the wall was a piece he'd done for a local poet:

"...But Rachel was beautiful..."
I do what I have to
like an obedient daughter
or a dog - not for your fingers
in my flesh - I watch you
every day as you watch her
Since I'm the ugly one,
the one pushed into your bed
at night when you can't
tell the difference.
I've got another
son inside me, and still
you watch her - she doesn't
sag as I do after each birth
until you fill me again.
why can't you look at me
in daylight, or take
my hand and press it
against your mouth?
I'm not a stone, a shell
your foot rolls over
in the sand - the life
gone out of it
Maybe I am -
Your sons have sucked me
empty, and dull.
I leave your tent at dawn
as I walk to the river where I
throw my clothes off,
and the water shows me
my body floating
on the surface. It shivers
when I touch the blue dome
of your unborn child -
I touch my unwanted self
where the smooth skin
stretches over my breasts,
the silver veins - I'm cold.
I enter the water
As you enter me - quick -
like insects doing it while
they fly - the shock of it
lifts me,
and I swim raging
against the stream

- by Shirley Kaufman

He's pleased with my improvement - a hard admission to win from him. I still have write a *lot* in between sessions & I'm running out of klaf, so I've had to buy the water colour paper he recommended to practice on as I can't afford more klaf right now.
What a great day after all :)


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