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 Soferet.com; 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.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

B"H

THANK G@D FOR MY SOFER!

Saturday, September 6th

Ahh...Shabbes :)
I went for lunch to my sofer's & he & his wife & kids were great, as usual - there were the same friends as last week, the the addition of Tzipporah, a beautiful Moroccan woman from Chicago who was a very bright light. She was attending classes at She'arim (Gates), a Charedi (ultra-orthodox) women's yeshivah (seminary) & loving it. She luminous & had the voice of an angel! It was a real pleasure to sing z'mirot (Shabbat songs) with her.
While I was helping my sofer set up for lunch, he'd asked me whether he'd been of help, with his e-mail reply to my questioning of Self. He wasn't sure. I thanked him & told him I was much better, that I *knew* at some point that I was going to have a spiritual meltdown, that I jusy didn't know when, & that it was all well & good. One can NOT (*should* NOT) skip flippantly into such a serious honour as writing a Sefer Torah. There are many levels of preparation & for me, anyway, this re-grounding was one of them. I explained how the task was mountainous to my expressions of faith. He was pouring wine into his kidush cup, listening thoughtfully. He looked up into my eyes & muttered a line from the Sh'ma, "...b'chol levavkha, uv'chol nafshekha, uv'chol me'odekha." - referring to the fact that we *must* serve G@d, "...with our entire hearts, with our whole souls & with every part of our minds." I smiled. He's right. Normally the word for "heart" in Hebrew - "leyv" - is written Lamed-Vet. In the Sh'ma the word for "your heart" - "levavkha" - is written with TWO Vets. Why? This is to recognise & acknowledge that our hearts have 2 inclinations - one that is purely motivated & one that is selfishly motivated. & these words of G@d ask that we use *both* those inclinations in the ways which we relate with The Holy One. So basically what my sofer pointed out to me is that being aware of my shortcomings & "human-ness", is important, but that G@d doesn't expect me to be "perfect" (whatever *that* is!) before I attempt this Holy work.
Thank G@d!
We hung out for a while after lunch & talked about literature & told jokes & then I returned to my apartment for a schluff (nap).
After I woke I continued to read R' Nebenzahl's book, even though it had spun me into my spiritual crisis :) I'm very stubborn!
Shavu'ah tov!
The eveningsa are so beautiful here. Soft & fragrant.
I finished cutting ALL of my quills, even the goose ones, & I re-shrpened the turkey kulmusim (quills) I'd been using. They need to be re-shaped every 10 lines of writing, as they dull quickly. This is very high-maintenance Work :)
Homework
I blogged & e-mailed all night because I got all hopped up on Twizzlers :)

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