Late January 2004: "...& they saw..." the very first word I wrote in the Sefer Torah, from Parshat Sh'mot, Exodus 5:19. (photo credit: Jay Zipursky Jay-Photo.com)
I was recently repairing a Sefer in Richmond...a very well-loved (read worn) Torah. As I overwrite the crumbling letters in the shir columns of Parshat Ha'azinu I see that what has caused much of the wear is the sofer himself. Not to speak disrespectfully of another in my profession who undoubtedly had more experience than I...
Sirtut - scoring - on the qlaf, which must be done lishma (for the sake of the mitzvah only, with no alterior motive), serves a dual purpose: it makes guidelines for the letters to hang from & facillitates the sofer in making his horizontal strokes evenly. It is this groove that one must run the shpitz of one's quill-tip along. There is wear all along the tiny ridge that he ought to have run his quill against, not over. So I have a tiny, threadlike line running through most letters to fill in because of this. As you can see in the picture above, I'm guilty of the same thing. So now I'm much more careful to keep the horizontal strokes *at* the scoring & not above. Of course, frequently one must write across that line, like for Lamed & making tagin (crowns) & all...
So on Sunday I found out that I'm teaching at Kallah! Wahoo! I'm *so* pleased! This will be my third time, barukh haShem, & I'm so grateful for the opportunity & excited & honoured! This will be my fourth Kallah, a bi-annual Jew-Do where a thousand Yidden flock from all over the world to a small US college campus to eat, sing, dance, drum, daven, learn & celebrate together. Check it out.
I know, you want to know why a nice Orthodox girl like me with a reputation to protect would risk being part of a Jewish Renewal event. Well,...I'll blog about that later ;+>
I was up all night again, insomaniac - came to work at my desk Monday morning to see the debris from the night before in front of the computer. A yoghurt container, goat cheese, nuts...apparently I crave protein when I can't sleep.
But I *did* make a GREAT point on my nib - & that made all the difference. Such a dream to write with...
Yay - I wrote 1 amud (column) in only 2 days! Shehechiyanu! My hand, my back, my shoulders & my hip are exhausted, but i'm SO HAPPY! Wheee! Now I know that I can really do it. This has been a goal of mine since the beginning & now, thank G@d, I've reached it.
I doubt I'll be able to keep up this pace, at least not *yet*. My screw started to hurt a lot too & the muscle below my thumb is given out - but I did it!
Did I not mention I have a screw in my writing hand? My paw was crushed by a car several years ago & I almost lost one of my fingers. But thank G@d I made a (long, slow & frusrating) miraculous recovery, so now I'm just bionic. :)
It does make things difficult, tho', being slightly disabled.
I watched "The Lion in Winter" on CBC until 2 am. One of my favourite movies of all time. Kate Hepburn, Peter O'Toole, Anthony Hopkins & a teenaged Timothy Dalton. Such a great line from Katharine Hepburn about war.