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.

Saturday, September 06, 2003

KING DAVID'S TOMB

B"H


Thursday, August 21st

Alarm clock pro is still not working
I spent an hour on the letter Bet with my sofer this a.m. I wondered why we'd start here as I always begin teaching with Yud, it being the foundation of each of the other letters. But this script, Beis Yosef Torah k'tav ST"M, is very square & straight, so Bet it is...
As usual, my sofer's calligraphy is totally amazing & mine is thick & ugly & plodding in comparison. I wonder why nobody has ever commissioned him to write a Sefer Torah - it certainly would be the most beautiful one in existence. But probably few, if any, could afford him for such a project. His Bets are straight & square & light & have personality & his tagin (crowns) are hair-thin. In comparison, my Bets are slightly rounded, either more squat or too open, & the tagin are crude. I have to write them on the shpitz (top corner of the oblique-cut nib), he says. This is very different from drawing out each letter, like I used to (& my letters looked *great*). I need a lot of practice.
Enjoyed my lunch of whole wheat pita, green olives, choumous with zatar & feta with tea. AAAAHHHHHHHhhhhhhh.......
Already exhausted by the heat, so I took a nap.
Explored Har Tzion (Mount Zion) alone. The climb up was a real killer in this heat - very steep going. I reached the stone wall where I remember there was a black scratching which read, "qever david" ([King] David's Tomb) with a barely discernible arrow pointing in a direction you couldn't go from there, on account of the stone wall topped with barbed wire. It survived & I continued my pilgrimmage up towards the left of the religious graffiti. I followed the winding paths & steps to the summit, where I found myself at the front steps to the huge Greek Orthodox church you can see from the west. The door was closed & everything was silent. Eerily silent. I strode through the unkempt grounds, all dry grass the same yellow as the limestone this city is built from. There was nobody around - *nobody*.
At all.
Just me & the wind in the broken grass & the seemingly abandoned buildings. No birdsong. This was dangerous. Me alone with my laptop on deserted Mount Zion. & a basketball court. & a thick metal cage securing some kind of pit. The cage was like the ones I saw at the circus in daze of yore, complete with solid metal cap. I peered in as I encircled it - an old underground church? No, a miqveh, it's telltale division on the broad steps giving up its secret. I made for the single green patch at the side of a far building, hoping it was an entry into the streets leading to the inhabited part of Har Tzion. It was. Phew. Last time I was here in '97 I was mugged by a Palestinian, so I'm relieved to drift into the company of other worshippers. I strolled the worn stone into the arched alcove, complete with hand washing station for prayer, which lead to the tomb of King David. No thief awaited me under the darkened archways like six years ago. I washed & proceeded to the tomb. I put tzedakah in the tin box locked to the wall by the entrance & entered, where there were others davenen. I stood, breathing in the arched stone room, the Sifrei Torah in their cases lined up on the top of the semi-cylindrical tomb, 6 feet high, which was draped in a rich blue embroidered velvet cover, all the way to the floor. On it read "David Melekh Yisra'el Chai V'Qayam" (David, King of Israel, lives forever). I said Hallel, made a note of the fact that this place still did not touch my heart, & left.
Did e-mail in the internet cafe in the Rova. The Russian guys there are so obnoxious :) I love Israel!

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