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.

Sunday, July 03, 2005



My mentor's reaction to the latest example of work I sent him:

"i am impressed with the improvement of the consistency of the wriitng. i am seeing a much more even texture which adds a lot to the quality of the page. i would still like to see better letters - stronger ayins in particular...

looking at your letters overall a strange thought came to me. there is a certain Sephardi feel to your letters - I am wondering if perhaps you don't have a more natural tendency to the Sephardi STaM script. i don't quite know what to tell you to do with this information - in an ideal world i would introduce you to a Sephardi Sofer and ask him to teach you some letters and see how it goes. but i don't know any Sephardi sofrim, (let alone one who might be willing to teach a woman) - but it still might be something to keep in the back of your mind and should an opportunity come up be ready to try it out."

My reply:
"I really appreciate hearing from you. Thanks for your e-mail.
I'm also grateful for your crit of my latest work. I agree with you, I am still struggling with Ayin. Don't blame yourself, tho', I probably just have some kind of deep, fraudulent, kabbalistic flaw in the cloth my soul is woven from...
I am so intrigued at your sense of the Sefardi flavour of my letters. Maybe this is a throwback to my Italian Jewish great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother. I would love to learn Sefardi script better, but you're right, there's a gender problem. I am the problem, apparently."

I am friendly with a Moroccan sofer st"m in Efrat...I wonder if he would consider me?


Blogger Halfnutcase said...

-.- ayin was the same thought i had but didn't comment because it is still (if i'm not mistaken and easily could be) kosher, scary. but that's what a person gets from doing caligraphy all their life and being chevrusa for people learning safrus. congrats though. :-)

7:10 a.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

Thanks, Halfnutcase :)
So, you're a calligrapher, are you? That's terrific! Do you ave any links to your art I can check out?

9:39 a.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

PS - despite trying to form Ayin properly since I was a child, it has always been my arch-nemesis, so I was only half-kidding when I expressed concern for my soul...

9:43 a.m.  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

i did it as a hobby till i was about 14 and other concerns (namely something i had to take made my hands shake so bad i couldn't do it anymore) i had to give up. but now they don't shake to much and am trying to find a sofer to learn from.

9:46 a.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

Well, that's wonderful that you are on the derekh sofrut, Halfnutcase :)
I'm sure you have plenty of resources yourself as far as finding an Ashkenazi sofer ST"M to mentor you, but just in case you're in Yerushalayim & you'd like to learn from a very kind, very learned, very modest Bostoner Rabbi who can teach you the Kabbalah of the letters as well as all the rules, I highly recommend R' Dov Lehman. He teaches part time at Pardes, but also takes students privately. I learned Ramak with him & he is an amazing scholar & makes beautiful letters.
If you'd like, I can pass along his contact info. Either way, I wish you all the hatzlakha!

9:56 a.m.  
Blogger Rachel said...

What a fascinating post! I love that your mentor is so attuned to the letters that he evaluates them not only by physical standards, but also by "feel"...

3:15 p.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

Yeah, he is truly amazing, barukh HaShem...

6:53 p.m.  

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