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.

Monday, August 01, 2005

SANCTITY OF SKIN & FEATHER

בס"ד


Tamuz 25

It's BC Day, a stat (civic) holiday at home. Just another chol here in the US of A. I miss Canada already.

At Elat Chayyim, after the teachers' meeting I attended, I was savouring the quiet time that followed the rigourous drum & dance circle (which I did not participate in). A young man tells me he is making himself a tallis with milkweed tzitzit. He wants me to teach him how to make vegan tefilin & of course I have no idea how. You know, all animal-rights concerns aside, Torah is a visceral thing, & I believe that using viscera to bring it into the world of physicality, of Asiyah, is a powerful action. It reminds us that the place where we work with Torah to manifest its revelation through ourselves is in our guts.

Our very core.

2 Comments:

Anonymous michael said...

someone should make vegan tefilah. or at least i think that making tefilah out of an animal who died of natural causes is preferable. that, i think, is impossible to find, but something needed.

6:14 PM  
Blogger Soferet said...

בס"ד
Well, the good news is that's allowed, Michael.
In Rambam's Mishneh Torah, Halakhah 10, he states, "...One may write on the hides of all kosher animals, wild beasts & fowl. This applies even when these animals died without being ritually slaughtered or when they were killed by wild beasts."
Although we're not allowed to eat these creatures due to the manner in which they died, we can certainly make tefilin, mezuzot, megilot & Sifrei Torah from them. Rambam is backed up on this by Talmud Bavli Shabbat 108a.
I have never found a source permitting the use of non-animal derived materials in the making of our sacred articles, but knowing we can produce them without causing unecessary death is crucial, & in line with the Jewish value of tzar ba'alei chayim, not causing suffering to animals.

8:32 PM  

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