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, November 06, 2004

BS"D

PICTURE YOURSELF IN A BOAT ON A RIVER...


Friday, August 20th
The highlight of my day today was a chat on the phone with Dr. Eric Ray, internationally renowned sofer ST"M & all-round nice guy.
He'd written a kids' book I'm a big fan of called "Sofer: The Story of a Torah Scroll". Check it out at http://www.torahaura.com/Children_s_Books/Sofer_The_Story_of___/sofer_the_story_of___.html.
He is such a treasure - possibly the most knowlegable scibe on the planet, an expert in dating Sifrie Torah based on their materials & styles - so it was a real privilege to speak with him. He'd just come out of hospital, so we didn't speak for too long, but we both had wanted to speak with each other for some time. I wanted to speak with him because he's one of my heroes & he wanted to speak with me because he'd heard there was a soferet out there & wanted to reach out.
I'm really glad we did. R' Kevin Hale put us in touch (he's the Reconstructionist sofer I mentioned in an earlier writing). He'd been one of Dr. Ray's students. R' Kevin related to me what unbelievable knowledge Dr Ray had & how he shared it unselfishly. What a terrific teacher & mentor he was, & how very kind.
When I called, I got his wife, Lali. I told her that R' Kevin had passed their number along to me because Dr. Ray wanted to talk to me. "Oh, just a moment - Eric, it's that female scribe!" :) Dr. Ray was extremely pleasant to speak with. He asked me all kinds of questions about what I had learned with my sofer & we shared a little info. He also cautioned me not to buy any d'yo (ink) coming out of Brooklyn right now, because there were some unscrupulous sofrim adding very much soot to their recipes & not steeping the ink properly or long enough. All this was in an attempt to produce more faster & profit further. But this ink was far inferior to that which is made properly (& with the proper intention), so he wanted to make sure that I didn't buy any while I was there. I thanksd him very much for his advice & he asked me to please keep in touch. I was secretly hoping he'd invite me to his home so I could meet him & Lali, as R' Kevin had hinted he might. Oh well.

Can you imagine? Sofrim who want to get rich off selling an inferior product to be used in this most holy occupation.

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