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.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

BS"D

REPAIR

I was fixing an old Sefer for a local shul in the Vancouver area recently. Such beautiful letters! They practically *danced* off the parchment with joy! His spacing & layout were just so skillfully executed! I look forward to when I am no longer a novice & can give a Sefer the honour it deserves by making it gorgeous, not just kosher.
I could tell by the script that the sofer who had written it had been a Chasid. I wondered what he might think of me re-inking his letters where they'd cracked & peeled with time. I thought to myself: what can I learn from this mysterious sofer by retracing his strokes made hundreds of years ago?
I tried to look at the work I'd done on top of his with *my* sofer's critical eye. What would he do? How would he judge this?

Sometimes when I'm filling in a tiny crack in a letter, it's so fragile that as I add the tiniest drop of ink to seal the crack, the whole letter will stick to the dyo on my quill & come away from its home on the qlaf, leaving a pale gold imprint behind on it's former bed. So I re-write the entire letter, beginning to end, in the original sofer's own script, filling in the gold.

But what do I do with the homeless letters?

They were written with such great care & kavanah & generations of Jews have chanted them in awe. They've been the vehicle of mitzvot performance - I couldn't just throw them away.

So I drop each one into my inkwell, that they may rejoin the liquid ink & one day be transformed into more holy letters in a Sefer Torah.

B'ezrat HaShem.

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