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.

Thursday, August 18, 2005



13 Av

If you are genuine about this work, you will perform it with patience & obedience to the Halakhah. If you do not, then you do not have a "calling", but a simple "desire". There is a vast difference between the two M.O.s. One cannot do this work however one wishes.
When you choose to be a part of our tradition & to be a representative of that tradition even more so, then you will have to give up your autonomy in order to call yourself "rabbi" or "sofer". Otherwise, how can other Jews who cannot perform the work you do on their can they rely on you as a credible agent?

I gave a talk at Nehar Shalom tonight, just as Shanna reported. There were actually a couple of Orthodox people in the group, which was really encouraging. The folks were all lovely & much deep discussion was inspired, lishma (for the sake of Heaven), thank G@d.


Anonymous Rachel said...

This post intrigues me. I admit that I have difficulty with the notion of surrender sometimes. Intellectually I stiffen, I experience some fear. I suspect this relates to gender and to some old deep experiences for me.

I had a wonderful talk about this with my friend Andi last year before she went to Korea to begin studying towards Buddhist ordination. I understand the need for submission or surrender; but at the same time it pushes a lot of my buttons and I'm not comfortable with it. I look forward to seeing how that shifts, over the next several years of study with Aleph.

4:04 p.m.  
Anonymous shanna said...

I believe the link you are looking for is this. :)

11:39 a.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

Oh, uh, yeah...thanks, Shanna!

I appreciate very much what you wrote above, Rachel. Very candid. For me, surrender is sometimes a challenge: I am, after all, a human with an ego. Other times, it's as automatic a breath. But it can still be a stuggle at times, so may all our struggles with G@d come to fruition. I wish you a successful unfolding of your path with ALEPH!

6:05 p.m.  
Blogger kyla said...

When non-Muslims talk about surrender, I get all happy! My interfaithy bits get excited about cross-strains and parallels.

And I wanted to say that I was, for some reason, thinking earlier today about representation (which is a tangent from what you're talking about, I realize) and how there is the individual in the sight of God Alone and then there is the individual (sofer, rabbi) as a conduit, or catalyst, or representative between other people and God. And how that social position really encourages surrender - you really have to bend your body and your ego to a greater power than your own misgivings (and I have many) about surrender can withstand. In Islam, it's essential that a righteous man lead the congregational prayer, be imam. But, on the other hand, righteousness comes from deliberately inhabiting that position so that it is not just your ego that is involved the Work, but your soul. And you said it beautifully: that's the difference between a desire and a calling; between work and Work.

I don't know if my metaphors and such are too Muslim - I've been writing a comparative religion paper all day ...

8:12 p.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

Tehilim/Psalm 119:126 states: "Et la'asot la-YHVH heferu toratekha/It is a time to act for G@d, for they have made void Your Torah."

Your comment here & your Sept 26 blog post really inspired me, Kyla.

Does not the word "Islam" have the same Arabic root as the word "submission"? & how is "surrender" different from "submission", in Hebrew, or English, or Arabic?

Sometimes we tense up with fear at the idea of surrendering or submitting. Very natural. But this is G@d we're talking about. Allah. Ha-Qadosh Barukh Hu. The Safe One.

So I dare you all to let go at the same time I do...

5:38 p.m.  

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