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, May 14, 2005

DOWN TO THE WIRE

בס"ד


On Shabbes we had a 3 mile walk to shul in the hot & sunny schvitzy desert. Joel led Pesuqey Dezimrah & I was surprised with the honour of carrying the Torah (I write 'em, so why cant I carry 'em?). It was odd because I haven't carried it for men to touch in several years - I carry it on our side of the mechitzah at Shaarey Telfilah all the time.

Anyway, people seemed to enjoy us very much.
I connected with a Womens League rep from TO (that would be Toronto, for all you non-Canucks) who I quite liked & am looking forward to networking with. Our hosts, Stan & Janine is are SO SWEET! We chatted with friendly people over qidush & then took our 3 mile walk back in the sweltering heat.

I was dirty beyond redemption! (that's one of those quotes that bad journalists will love to take out of context. Next thing you know, there'll be a web site called "Soferet-Cam"...NOT!)

We did qidush again at home & had lunch just the three of us of YUMMY Turkish Sephardic food that Janine made. We have really enjoyed our stay. The Bensussen's have made our visit very welcoming & heimish & we have terrific conversations with them.

Talked forever about Jews, Judaism in small towns, how to keep your kids Jewish in a consumer-society & NOT in an idolatrous way (being that Joel & I believe that Jewish denominations are simply yet another "consumer choice"; & to treat our religion & consequently our relationship to G@d as such is, in fact, idolatrous). We also talked about the concept of home, world wildlife, Halakhah, gay marriage...until finally I had a schulf. :)
They kept chatting!

Some of the dialogue we've had this week with them has really opened my eyes as to just how difficult it can be to make a Jewish home & family in a small centre. Joel & I both grew up in small towns & we want our kids (may G@d bless us with them) to enjoy that sort of childhood, too. The thing is, no resources. This is why we're looking into kosher ways of building a small miqveh (that way I can go each morning before work, not just for taharat hamishpachah), he wants to learn how to shecht, & we want to tempt mitzvah-inebriated Jews to make a community with us.

An extended family.

Neighbours dog barked me awake, so I was grumpy & disoriented for the rest of the day :(

Havdalah was very sweet. Then I hit the shower so I could finish fixing the second Torah. That's right - I didn't get all my work done by Friday (I'd make a bad Robinson Crusoe), so back to the shul I go!

The thing is, I spent 2 days just on the last yeri'ah of Devarim, so it took me longer than I had estimated. Janine, ever the trooper, let me into the shul & sat down with her book. I got into Sefer Breyshit (working from the end, not The Beginning) about 1am, attending to & givong renewed life to these poor crumbling letters.

Poor Janine is snoring on the chesterfield in the foyer as I write this - she is so great to bring me here & let me work late into the night so that I can complete the work I pledged to do this week :)

For the otiyot Lamed, Khaf, Quf, etc the top horizontal stroke is curved down toward the right, & the bottom horizontal stroke is straight (like the bottom of the bet stroke, but it doesn't overlap & extend beyond the top stroke's curve/vertical). I was taught to make this bottom stroke curve up to meet the top one. I think the way this sofer does it is very pretty (so is my sofer's way), but he has the advantage - I think it's a bit faster...

I FINISHED! B"H!!

Shavu'ah tov!

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