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.

Monday, November 22, 2004

BS"D

THE BELLS! THE BELLS!!

Each Letter of the Alefbet is an activator - each has it's own unique holy form & holy sound. Like a rope attached to a bell.

This is why today has been such a horrendous writing day. I'm working very slowly as my hand is sore & then I noticed something on the qlaf. A tiny black dot. It looked as though a dry chip of d'yo had flaked off from somewhere, so I carefull used the schpitz of my quill to try to lift it away. My quill having wet ink on it, I thought this bit of dry ink would stick easily & come off. But instead I wasn't as careful as I thought & ended up leaving a drop of ink on the parchment. This was bad. Each letter in a Sefer Torah must be written lishmah - for the sake of Heaven - & even a drop falling on the parchment without the proper intention constitures SHELO lishmah, so it must be erased before any further writing is done - you're not allowed to turn it into a letter.

So since I couldn't find my glass shard or any sandpaper to take it out with, I plugged in my handy electric eraser (we aren't allowed to use base metal on the qlaf). Once the mark was gone, I realised that I had accidentally smudged the previous letter, a Hey. I felt very discouraged because I don't have time to make mistakes on this Sefer. Mistakes are very time-consuming to correct. So I left it alone & made lunch.

After lunch I went through my notes taken while learning with my sofrim, hoping to find a way to just correct the smudge & not erase the whole letter. We are not allowed to form letters by scraping ink away from them (chok tachut), only by adding ink. But I thought I remembered some erasing/adding exceptions to the rules that I was taught, so I researched all my books.
Nothing.

Then I came upon some entries I made while studying RAMAK with R' Dov:
"Otiyot (Hebrew letters) are not just conventions or images or symbols of sound. They are Ruchaniyot (spirits) whose forms relate to their essential manifestation. They posess a Me'or Nechbad, a particular light, a spiritual reality. Qedushah, Holiness, rests within the form of each Ot (letter)."

So I stopped looking for the shortcut, which ultimately cost me a lot more time than just erasing the whole letter, & I went back to my desk. I felt much more at peace with the situation, so I took out the entire Hey & continued writing.

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