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.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

ADVENTURES IN ALEFBET RELATIONSHIPPING

BS"D


Shalom u’vrakha to you all, peace & blessings. Susan Davis was kind enough to ask me to write an update for the Kadima newsletter, & this is the result. First I’d like to tell you about some of the “outer” things which have changed in the past while for me & the Sefer, married in this process. My letterforms & spacing have definitely improved. Letters like Gimel & Alef have more “personality”, & even my simpler otiyot (letters), like Vav, have become more solid & present. I have also slightly changed (allowably) the angle on one part of Shin, which makes a huge positive difference in its execution & aesthetic. For all these I am truly grateful to G@d.

I have experienced many reasons for speed variations. Though my skill as a soferet has no doubt improved, how quickly I can write & how much I can accomplish in any given day is still different.

One of the “inner” things, which have changed for me during the writing process of the Sefer, is that I realized that I’m not really a Feminist; I’m a Mutualist. That one of the things that I hope my writing this Sefer for Kadima will alter in Jewish life & practice is not to help bring women ahead of men, but to open up an area previously closed to women, at least functionally. That if Kadima & I can help make sofrut not only a skill that women can learn alongside men, but a real, concrete practical way that women can earn their living, make it a viable career option, then we will have assisted in equalizing the gender disparity existing in some areas of Judaism today.

I made a radio appearance on CBC One, the Canadian national station, at a show called “Sounds Like Canada” last November. It was really a lot of fun. I brought a sheet of qlaf (parchment) with me & shook it on the air so everyone in the country could hear what qlaf sounds like. And the execs at CBC liked the show so much they included my interview in their “best of” special & played it over again this summer.

While Joel & I were on our road trip honeymoon, I dropped brochures for the WTP across the continent, from New England to the Canadian Rockies, & I also connected with quite a few Jewish organizations, which had heard of the WTP & wanted to learn more about how they could help. That was very encouraging.

I was a guest on a local TV show a couple of weeks ago called “Studio 4”, where I spoke about how there are grounds, even within traditional Halakhah (Jewish Law), for a Jewish woman to write a Sefer Torah. I really enjoyed meeting all the people behind the scenes at the TV station, most of whom were Jewish (of course!) & were really happy about the work Kadima & I are doing. I hope by taking every opportunity to interact with the media that I’ll garner further financial support for the WTP & bring attention to this very important issue in Judaism.

I hope these few words have been of interest to you all, & that you had a meaningful New Year bursting with joy & anticipation for 5765.

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