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.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

YOU WILL COVET! WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT!

בס"ד


12 Av

One of the Sifrei Torah I checked today had an amazing & amusing problem. Where we received the Aseret HaDibrot (10 Commandments) in Sefer Sh'mot (the Book of Exodus), I was reading the last utterance, which is normally translated into English as "You shall not covet your neighbour's house, nor his wife, his man-servant, his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is your neighbour's. " except that in this Torah, the word "Lo" ("not") was completely obliterated...that's right, it was just...gone.
Which means that the 10th Commandment in this Torah says, "You shall covet your neighbour's house, & his wife, his man-servant, his maid-servant, & his ox, & his ass, & anything that is your neighbour's!"
Can you imagine how much this Torah would be worth to some people? "Well, maybe your Torah says not to covet, but mine insists on it!" :D
Bwa-ha-ha!
I told the synagogue dierctor that this word had flaked completely off the parchment & what that meant & she replied, "Tell me when you find something in one of our Torahs that says we can eat shrimp!"

A private owner of a Torah came to me with their Sefer to check. They related a very bad story about the sofrim who last "repaired" it. I was so sorry to hear this, & this poor Torah was in terrible shape because of what they did to it. This is not the first time I have heard negative reports about these particular men. Halakhah (Jewish Law) prohibits me from identifying them under the circumstances, so all I can say here is: If you don't know if you can trust a sofer 110%, then please wait & do not give any of your sacred ritual objects to him. Ask around & find out who is kosher in their deeds & not just their name.

Another Torah I checked today had a tiny Peh written inside the "tongue" of a Peh in Ha'azinu. It was so gorgeous!

It has been such a long day & I have been working so hard. I had dinner with Joel, R' Neal, & Joel's cousins Jay & Laura at some crazy place in Brookline :D
Later we four relatives hung out in the car in R' Victor's driveway for a while talking about the family.
I sure learned a lot.
Wow.

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