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, October 30, 2004

BS"D

JEW FOR JESUS

Shabat, July 31st
I rolled over into the sunlight of Shabat morning & washed, then davened, avoiding treading on the waxy mess in the grass where I'd lit my candles the night before. When I was finished Shacharit I looked up to see a young man with a punam, a very Jewish face, sitting on the picnic bench opposite & watching. I smiled. What else does one do with a harmless stranger? I walked over the grass to my canteen sitting on my picnic table & poured myself a glass of water. It was only 10am & already a thristy day. I poured a second cup & approached this young man, "Would you like some water?"
He smiled & accepted. "What's your name?" I asked.
"Michael", he replied, "Hey, are you a HEBREW?" He was very excited.
I smiled, "I'm a Jew, yes."
"Well, I'm also Jewish, I guess, but I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord & Saviour, so I guess you could call me a Messianic Jew."
WOW. I've heard of these people, seen them in documentaries, but never met one before. "Well, then, Good Sabbath." I anglicized my expression of Shabat peace to him, just in case. I guessed rightly by his question that he had little, if any Jewish identity growing up.
He was a young guy, maybe 20, taller than I with short curly brown hair, eyes to match hiding behind sunglasses & some scraggly facial hair. He was studying at the Christian College in Cheney. His family had come to spend time with him, so they were camping 3 sites over. He noticed the praying action, so came over to get a closer look.
"So, do guys, like, still sacrifice animals?"
I smiled, & chuckled a bit, at his surprising question. "Oh, no! No-no-no..." I shook my head, smiling, "We haven't done that in 2,000 years. Not since our Temple was destroyed."
He moved to the next topic. "So, what do you guys do about SALVATION?"
"Well,..." I took this opportunity to do my best to explain to him that G@d requires us to be conscious & kind to others at all times, to act appropriately, & when we make mistakes, to acknowledge them, apologise to whomever we hurt, learn from our errors, put things right, give charity, perform mitzvot & do everything in our power to emulate G@d.
We had an interesting conversation à la Ramban's "The Disputation at Barcelona", where he explained to me that humans are lost, are doomed from birth & that each day we sink deeper & deeper into sin, so we all need Jesus. I smiled. I related to him that G@d requires each person to stand up & take responsibility for our own sins, because no other person can do that for us, as our sins are ours alone & we are the ones with the power to correct ourselves & the world. He didn't like that much, unfortunately. He got a bit short with me, so I told him that I was really enjoying talking with him, since sharing ideas respectfully with people you disagree with is a blessing & a learning experience. He could see that he would not win a convert out of me, so became flustered & witnessed at me. His Christian duty fulfilled, he stalked off.
I was sad to lose him. I didn't think I could open the window to his beautiful & holy Jewish heritage in just a few minutes, but I felt bad that he was going away to continue on this path of apikorsut he'd chosen.
G@d protect him & reunite him with his brethren, Amo Yisra'el, soon.
Qidush & lunch after studying the Torah portion was fun :) a warm, sunny picnic of kosher food purchased in Seattle.
After lunch I took a walk down the road to view the rippled scrubby warm mountains. They were very reassuring somehow.
I took a nap in the tent, not being able to take much heat - & listened to insect noise.
I read "The Art of Pilgrimage", by Cousineau, in the shady grass later in the afternoon & examined what I hoped to do on this voyage: reconnect with family, meet new friends, learn deep Torahs about everyday life, explore cemeteries for long-dead ancestors, find G@d everywhere between a red clover blossom & a crack in a Manhattan sidewalk, get married...
Shalosh seudos was mellow, with the dipping of the sun & the whiz & whir of more bugs coming to life :) I miss this in the city.
Havdalah, with its song & huge flame, drew attention from those in neighbouring campsites...but I see this as a way of stating the existence of G@d, & that Moshiach will come.
Shavu'ah tov!

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