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.

Friday, August 05, 2005



Tamuz 29

A conversation I had with several people today revealed this kernel of truth: rabbis today are more like pastors. They teach but have no idea how to truly poskin.
I mean no disrespect to the education rabbis of various stripes have acquired to earn their title, nor to the rabbis themselves. They certainly are qualified as teachers. & "teacher", is, after all, what "rabbi" means. But I'm serious when I say that institutionalising the rabbanut has robbed it of its human, social quality. A quality necessary to poskin. A quality necessary to integrate Torah & life in this world. A quality requiring rabbis to do teshuvah on their own faults. Which is why many of us reach for our bookshelves when we have a Halakhic question instead of reaching for the phone to make an appointment with our rav...

Later I discussed with Ben Rashba's teshuvah permitting amulets: he ruled that it was permissable to use coins with the image of a lion on it so you could bring down the power of the constellation of Leo onto this coin & use it as an amulet. That's in Teshuvot HaRashba; Minhat Kena'ot see D. Margolit "Chochmey Yisrael KeRofim/The Sages of Israel as Doctors
Rashba & Rambam didn't get on so well, it seems...

Ben & I also looked into RambaN, in his writings on the goat for Azazel, & the commentary on Torah Leviticus by Chavell p. 219-220.

If the sofrut tradition dictates that a sofer begin each day by writing the name of Amaleq (may his name be erased) on a scrap & then crossing it out in order to remind us to never behave toward anyone the way the Amaleqites behaved toward us, that's superstition.
If G@d says to take a billy goat & wrap a red thread around its horns & put all the sins of the entire nation on it & then push it over a cliff, that isn't magic. That's a mitzvah.

Shabbat Shalom.


Anonymous jen said...

Some of the teshuvot I've been reading lately are Rashba totally trashing Rambam. Rambam asserts something, and then Rashba comes along and is all like "That's completely loony. No-one in their right mind would say that. He must have been high on crack the day he wrote that" - or words to that effect, anyway. Hope you're feeling better, btw.

3:47 a.m.  
Anonymous tigergrrl said...

What does "poskin" mean? I tried to look it up on and all I found was the name of a labor organizer and a classical composer. . . Thanks!

9:00 a.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

Jen - yes, it seems to have been the hobby of several big ravs to demean, refute or otherwise mock anything the Rambam dared put to paper. I actually find that quite amusing :)

Tigergrrl: "poskin" basically means to render an official legal judgement based on Halakhah (Jewish Law). A "posek" will "poskin" on a subject when you ask him for his "p'sak".

9:24 a.m.  

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