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.

Thursday, September 18, 2003



Wednesday, September 10th

As I expected, I was up all night - spoke to Joel, finally (sigh - what a relief).
I called my sofer - we're meeting at 12:30 - & he told me the story of David Applebaum & his daughter. So tragic - he was the world expert on how to deal with medical emergencies resulting from terrorist attacks. He'd just come back from a seminar in the US & his 20-year-old daughter was getting married, so he took her out for coffee & dessert to celebrate & have some father-daughter time. They were both killed last night. The wedding was supposed to be today. He'd trained & co-ordinated all the people who raced to rescue him last night, but there was nothing anyone could do.
I talked to Joel again til it was time to go for my sofrut lesson. I told him the story. He was silent & speechless. Particularly about the idea that someone could be murdered on the eve of their chupah.
My sofer said, "better - improvements - not worried - getting the hand of it". Specific improvements are still needed on my Gimel, Tav, Tet, Lamed, Shin & Alef. These adjustments are subtle - we both know that, that I can write kosher just the way I do now, but these changes will improve the beauty & legibility of my script when they are words in sentences :) Which is the next step. Writing not just random words he calls out in the studio or I find in my sidur at home, but writing out full sentences! How exciting! We're going to start reviewing the Halakhah in Chapters 1-12 of the Qeset HaSofer soon...
I ate lunch & decided to check out the Cafe Hillel scene. I figured they'd have it barricaded, which is good, but I decided to walk down the opposite side of the street, just in case. I don't want to get too close. I don't want to *see*. I just have to appraise. It's a primal urge in me. I crept down the east side of the road slowly, not wanting to appear like a lookie-loo, & viewed the scene. There were very tall, powder blue walls put up - wooden, like the type around construction sites, but these didn't have any little square windows cut in them. These had posters proclaiming the murder of David Appelbaum pasted all over them. They reached almost to the very top of what used to be the glass store front - so, almost a storey. The building & what had been the entire patio area was enclosed. The whole stone façade, what I could see of it along the top, where the huge sign used to be, had been blown off by the explosion. There were several young security men in official fluorescent vests standing around & leaning against the walls of the enclosure & the sand-filled waist-high plastic barricades used to block the sidewalk from any pedestrians. I'm really glad the site was so closed. I didn't stop, I just kept going down the road & made a left at the railroad tracks so I could go for a quiet stroll away from the traffic. I don't get out much, with all this homework I have to do...
I got groceries & once again bought the wrong kind of goat cheese. I need to improve my Hebrew.
I made a quick dinner & ate in silence.
I went to sleep. I was so exhausted from being up all night, feeling terror & grief as I listened to the noises outside & watched the images on the news. One person had actually been decapitated by the blast. Medics had to gather up body parts & place them in plastic bags so they could be sorted at the hospital & returned to their families. This is so sickening.
Mirit woke me & we chatted. Her English is amazing! SO great to hear her voice!
I did e-mail & icq - it's my sister Dona's birthday. She's 74.
Joel called to check on me again & sang me to sleep.


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