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.

Friday, January 21, 2005

MY FIRST PASUL MEZUZAH

BS"D
My first pasul mezuzah

January 2005: my first pasul mezuzah. The error is pretty obvious for anyone who knows their Sh'ma, so anyone who guesses gets a lolly (& no, not having completed the text is NOT the error I'm referring to - that's just when I realised I'd made the mistake, so I stopped writing...)

Anyway, this was intended for my first Rabbi, Victor Reinstein, who heads a brand new shtibl in Jamaica Plain, Boston. So now I will have to begin again on Sunday (sigh), but it's all in a day's - or week's - work. Actual size is approximately 12cm/4.75" square.

& if anyone has the idea to print this image, altho' I don't know why, PLEASE treat it with care as it contains some of G@d's holy names.

Have a beautiful Shabbes, all!

10 Comments:

Blogger Alisha said...

OK, I'll make the requisite entry -- you skipped a line before the last line you wrote. (I actually thought it was going to be the same error that I sometimes make while saying the sh'ma, which is to go from the second "u'vkumecha" back to "u'k'shartem" rather than to "u'ch'tavtem", because that's how it is in the first paragraph.)

I find your error itself interesting, though -- do you have the entire text planned out line-by line before you start, depending on the exact size of the klaf?

7:46 PM  
Blogger Soferet said...

BS"D
Congratulations, Alisha, you're right :) I skipped a line.
Just for that, you get a lolly. So if you feel comfortable sending me your mailing address or PO box # or that of an unsuspecting friend, I'll make good on my promise.
There *is* a layout to follow, which is supplied in "Liqutei Sifrei ST"M", the bible of my profession. It's great because it provides the writer with information with which lines one must stretch out the letters & which one must squeeze them in. My mistake was that there were two identical words, one above the other, in the layout, so I mistakenly went onto the wrong line.
A lesson learned...

12:15 AM  
Blogger Alisha said...

Thanks! I have absolutely no problem sending you my address, but I have a feeling the US postal service will crush your lolly to bits...that is, if the Canadian postal service doesn't do so first. (And yes, I admit I feel a bit foolish having you spend international postage to send me a lollipop!) How about you owe it to me until we hopefully someday meet in person? :-)

4:35 PM  
Blogger Soferet said...

BS"D
Ok, Alisha, it's a deal!
I'll be at the university in Johnstown, PA the end of July & Accord, NY the beginning of August. That's as close to your vicinity I'm going to be this year, so if you'll be around, let me know & I'll pack it. otherwise, let me know when you'll next be in sunny Vancouver :)
ps - it has a hekasher

9:27 AM  
Blogger shanna said...

I see a trip to New York in my summer plans...unless, of course, you want to take a detour up towards Boston.

12:51 PM  
Blogger shanna said...

OK, for some reason I read that as NYC...but it's not, it's Elat Chayyim, right? The August retreats aren't up on their web site yet...

(*sigh* I doubt the Other Half would be interested in going anyway.)

7:07 PM  
Blogger Soferet said...

BS"D
Well, "unfortunately", we can only zoom out for me to teach at Kallah & E"Ch & then zoom back home :(. There's info about both Jew-Do's on their respective websites & all the food IS kosher (Orthodox mashgiach), but there's no eruv, so I don't know what would make a difference to your comfort level. Why not just come out to Vancouver? We have snowdrops & crocuses everywhere now!
:D

5:26 PM  
Blogger Alisha said...

Ooooohhh...I'd love to. The Northwest has been on my "really want to visit" list for a long time. But unfortunately there are little details like work and class that are tying me here...not to mention lack of funds. But hey, what's so cool about snowdrops? We have snow buckets! ;-)

As for the summer...b"H I'll be in Israel by then. :-D

6:27 PM  
Blogger shanna said...

Lack of vacation time...probably. I've been using it pretty much as quickly as I can earn it in order to leave work early on Fridays, and I need a vacation day for the second day of Shavuot. We haven't been able to go away for Shabbat since before I started working, and we really should visit our parents again the next time I can take a Friday off (besides the Friday before Pesach, which I am already taking off using comp time earned because Xmas and New Years were on Saturdays). There's the added comoplication that if I stay in this clerkship for a second year, I really should not use any vacation time at all, because all of the fall chaggim are on weekdays this coming year.

As for going to E"Ch for a Shabbat...the discomfort has less to do with having an eruv or lack thereof (Julian and I, along with many other people, survived college just fine without an eruv, and there is currently no biological possibility of there being a third person to worry about in August) and more to do with Julian's lack of affinity for all things touchy-feely. Yes, you may roll your eyes.

4:33 AM  
Blogger Soferet said...

BS"D
No, no eye-rolling here, Shanna :) I actually get tired of the touchy-feely myself. I spend time teaching those involved in Jewish Renewal for the simple reason that they want me to come teach. They're excited about Kabalah & the otiyot & midrash. I haven't had nearly the response from the Conservative, Reform, Recon or Orthodox movements. But I usually find that when people know you're Orthodox, that they won't throw themselves on you. They'll still be friendly, tho' :)
But I do totally sympathise with Julian's not wanting to "share the love around". I'd had enough of that about halfway through my great whirlwind cross-continental road-trip honeymoon last year.
& as for your taking time off for Chagim & vacation...Yikes! I'm *so* glad I work at home!
Have a beautiful Shabbes, y'all.

11:24 AM  

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