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; 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, May 09, 2005



Okay, yesterday wasn't a total Murphy's Law kind if day - I did remember to send e-Mother's Day cards to my mum, my sisters, my aunt, Joel's mom & grandma, my nieces (yes, I'm a great-aunt!) & our rebbitzen as well as mommy-types from our shul.

Today was better. Got a late start due to the Horrific Day Which Will Never Be Mentioned Again, but after a good night's sleep, it all came out in the wash. I went for my walk after shachrit along the bike trail here & it was just gorgeous.

There were magpies! They are so beautiful! I remember this hardcover nature book put out by the CAA which my parents bought in 1975, after we moved to Victoria. I couldn't be parted from that book for all the tea in China. I used to sleep with it. In fact, it's still in my bookcase at home, to this day :)

Anyway, I digress. Not that it's bad to digress, but I ain't no Garrison Keillor. So the book was called "Outdoors Canada" & it was in that book I first saw a picture of a magpie. I wanted to know why, if they were members of the raven family, why we didn't have any on the Island (that would be Vancouver Island in BC-Speak). My parents couldn't answer me. Perhaps they had been so throughly caught up in their responsible adult lives that they had not noticed that we had no magpies...

So I didn't get to see a magpie until I was 11, on our first trip back to England, where my mum is from. I was enchanted. & then not again until my first trip to Norway at 21.

& here they were again, here in the desert. The light rain had left the ochre earth damp & smelling of fresh life. Everywhere were rainbow tumbleweeds of beige, grey, yellow...
Tiny desert flowers on spindly stalks poked out of the cracks in the ground & all over was this one magpie. So beautiful. I watched it negotiate the wind so skillfully, delicately. I wanted to come close to it where it landed near the edge of the trail, just to feel its presence, & yet secretly I wished it would shoo when I approached so I could ogle it's striking black, white & navy plumage. So I kept my head facing forward, so the bill of my ball cap would give this bird the impression that I wasn't taking it in out of the corner of my eye.

I marvelled at the spread of of its feathers.

On the way back, I caught sight of a red-winged blackbird in a eucalyptus. In-drawing.

After I showered & got ready, I packed up my tools & headed to the synagogue. I spent the next 9 hours patching holes & tears, re-inking broken letters & repairing seams. But at the end of all that time, I was done! YAY!
One thing, though: I decided to leave one letter, the last one which needed correction, for Joel, just so he could get the mitzvah.

Then I made sure he said a shehechiyanu :)


Blogger Talmida said...

I had no idea there were so few magpies on the island! We have tons of them here in Alberta, all year round! My parents hated them because they would scare away the song birds and steal their nests.

And at the U of A, they run the campus - they strut and swoop all over the place! Half of them are banded - no doubt some professor has been counting them for a couple of decades or so.

Next time you're missing the noisy critters, come east!

4:26 p.m.  
Anonymous Ari B. said...

Hi. I found your blog through Devarim's. Thanks for listing mine. Hope you don't mind if I peruse yours for a bit. :-)


4:55 p.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

Hey, Talmida!
Really, I had no idea that there were a lot of magpies in Alberta! I've spent much time there, too! Thanks for the tip - I'll be on the lookout for them when next I'm there, which will be September. I'd invite you to meet up with the hubby & I, except that we'll be stopping in Calgary & you sound like you're in Edmonchuk...

7:50 p.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

Barukh HaBa, Ari! Please dust off a few postings & make yourself at home :)
I'm honoured you're having a looksee at my blog, 'cause yours totally rocks!!!

7:51 p.m.  
Blogger Talmida said...

Aww, too bad! Well next time you're in the 'chuk, email and we'll grab a coffee or a tea somewhere.


Or go look at magpies!

1:45 p.m.  

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