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.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

...ET NATAN LANU...

BS"D


Two celebrations coincide now: Passover & Earth Week. These holidays celebrate renewal & rebirth & encourage us to renew our sense of responsibility for our planet. As women, we share a unique understanding of these events.
Passover (Pesach) has roots in sprouting barley and the birth of lambs. Two ancient festivals predate Pesach: the offering of lambs to the Source in the spring, & a barley-farmer's festival featuring bread made from flour and water without leavening. The release from slavery in Mitzrayim intensified these two spring festivals and gave us their symbols.
The Yetziyat Mitzrayim story itself has an even deeper reference to Spring birth. B'nai Yisra'el, whom God called "My first-born," begin as an embryonic family & multiply swiftly until their emergence through the narrow birth canal, Mitzrayim (Egypt or Narrow Place).
Midwives Shifra & Pu'ah begin the liberation with their defiance of Pharaoh's murderous decree, Moshe Rabbeynu is born twice (once from his mother, again from the Nile), & the waters of the Red Sea break as the birthing begins. The birth of a people and their freedom is a continual process of rebirthing.
In Hebrew, the word for compassion (rachamim) and womb (rechem) share the same three letter shoresh: Resh-Chet-Mem. As women, we are intimately tied to creation and Ha’Rachaman (The Compassionate One), whether through the monthly cycles of our wombs, the birthing and nurturing of children, or our own intuitive connections to nature.
During Nisan, the month of Passover, Jewish women received the holiday of Rosh Chodesh, an ancient moon celebration that acknowledges the changing calendar as well as our own internal cycles.
During Nisan, our people were freed from Egypt in order to receive, learn & observe G@d’s commandments. Let's look at seven of these sacred obligations to help us explore the following question:
As women, what is our unique relationship to the natural world, how is this relationship changing, & what effect do these changes have on our spiritual growth?
Please consider these sacred obligations and explore together how they relate to your inner and outer life:

1). Honor Mother: Kavod Eym

2). You Shall Sanctify the 50th Year (the Jubilee): Kedashtem et Sh'nat Hachamishim Shanah (Ha’Yovel)

3). Save life: Pikuach Nefesh

4). Do not be wasteful: Bal Tashchit

5). Be kind to living creatures: Tza'ar Baalei Chayim

6). Do not oppress others economically: Lo Tonu

7). Keep the 7th day: Shmirat Shabbat

It's a house of cards: pull one of these out, & the others topple: If you don't let the ground from where your food emerges rest (#2), it will yield produce of lesser & lesser quality until you starve. If you're in such a hurry to make a buck that you keep your employees on slave-wages & are careless how you butcher your animals (see the Agriprocessor scandal), then your whole business is treyf, not just your product, from ignoring #5 & #6. It's arrogant to lay waste something perfectly useable (#4), & is often inspired by the consumerist attitudes of those who break #6 & #5. & what can I say about the other 3? To disregard those will fog your whole world for the rest of your life. To respect them will bring you joy til the end of your days & to those around you, animal, vegetable & mineral alike.

Treat everything as gift from The Holy Compassionate One & you will never step off your path.

Chag kasher v'same'ach...modim l'simchah

3 Comments:

Blogger Rachel said...

Thank you for these beautiful meditations!

1:31 PM  
Blogger Jordan Stratford+ said...

This is truly beautiful.

6:27 PM  
Blogger Soferet said...

BS"D
Aw, shucks, guys, thanks.
It's all from G@d...

6:09 AM  

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