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.

Monday, February 27, 2006


29 Sh'vat

Why do we fight battles we have no hope of winning?

Tehilim 141

א  מִזְמוֹר, לְדָוִד:
יְהוָה קְרָאתִיךָ, חוּשָׁה לִּי;    הַאֲזִינָה קוֹלִי, בְּקָרְאִי-לָךְ.
1: A Psalm of David. HAVAYEH, I have called You; hurry to me; hear my voice when I call to You.

ב  תִּכּוֹן תְּפִלָּתִי קְטֹרֶת לְפָנֶיךָ;    מַשְׂאַת כַּפַּי, מִנְחַת-עָרֶב.
2: Let my prayer be offered as incense before You, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

ג  שִׁיתָה יְהוָה, שָׁמְרָה לְפִי;    נִצְּרָה, עַל-דַּל שְׂפָתָי.
3: Set a guard, HAVAYEH, to my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips.

ד  אַל-תַּט-לִבִּי    לְדָבָר רָע,
לְהִתְעוֹלֵל עֲלִלוֹת    בְּרֶשַׁע--
אֶת-אִישִׁים    פֹּעֲלֵי-אָוֶן;
וּבַל-אֶלְחַם,    בְּמַנְעַמֵּיהֶם.
4: Don't incline my heart to anything broken, to be occupied in deeds of wickedness with men that work iniquity; & let me not eat of their dainties.

ה  יֶהֶלְמֵנִי צַדִּיק חֶסֶד,    וְיוֹכִיחֵנִי--
שֶׁמֶן רֹאשׁ,    אַל-יָנִי רֹאשִׁי:
כִּי-עוֹד וּתְפִלָּתִי,    בְּרָעוֹתֵיהֶם.
5: Let the conscious smite me with kindness, & correct me; oil so choice let not my head refuse; for still is my prayer because of their brokenness.

ו  נִשְׁמְטוּ בִידֵי-סֶלַע, שֹׁפְטֵיהֶם;    וְשָׁמְעוּ אֲמָרַי, כִּי נָעֵמוּ.
6: Their judges are thrown down by the sides of the rock; & they shall hear my words, that they are sweet.

ז  כְּמוֹ פֹלֵחַ וּבֹקֵעַ בָּאָרֶץ--    נִפְזְרוּ עֲצָמֵינוּ, לְפִי שְׁאוֹל.
7: As one loosens & breaks up the earth, are our bones scattered at the grave's mouth.

ח  כִּי אֵלֶיךָ, יְהוִה אֲדֹנָי עֵינָי;    בְּכָה חָסִיתִי, אַל-תְּעַר נַפְשִׁי.
8: For mine eyes are unto You, HAVAYEH AD@NAI; in You have I taken refuge, don't pour out my soul.

ט  שָׁמְרֵנִי--מִידֵי פַח, יָקְשׁוּ לִי;    וּמֹקְשׁוֹת, פֹּעֲלֵי אָוֶן.
9: Keep me from the snare which they have laid for me, & from the gins of the workers of iniquity.

י  יִפְּלוּ בְמַכְמֹרָיו רְשָׁעִים;    יַחַד אָנֹכִי, עַד-אֶעֱבוֹר.
10: Let the broken fall into their own nets, while I withal escape.

Over the past week I have been given very stong messages about avodah - spiritual work - yet I am resisting. Why?
Purification: I have seen that all things have their limit, but Your commandment is broad beyond measure - Tehilim/Psalm 119:96
Obedience: Give me understanding, that I might live. I call with all my heart. Answer me, HAVAYEH - Tehilim/Psalm 119:144-145
Compassion: I pour out before G@d my prayerful meditation; my distress, before G@d, I declare - Tehilim/Psalm 142:3
Responsibility: How can I repay HAVAYEH for all the bounties given me? = Tehilim/Psalm 116:12
Birth: How much have I loved Your Torah! All the day it is my meditation - Tehilim/Psalm 119:97

& tonight, the messages are still coming in loud & clear:
Responsibility. Integrity. Expectancy: My eyes shed streams of water - Tehilim/Psalm 119:136
Transformation: & again it's Tehilim/Psalm 119:97

R' Bachya ben Yosef ibn Paquda writes in his "Dutes of the Heart" that there are 7 things which we have no choice but must trust G@d with: 1) our physical well-being, 2) our income & livelihood, 3) our relationships with spouse, children, relatives, friends & enemies, 4) our heart inclinations which affect only ourselves, 5) our heart inclinations which affect only others, 6) our reward in the World-to-Come regarding our conduct in this World, & 7) the extra reward we receive due to G@d's great chesed/lovingkindness.

The question is how. How to collapse into the loving arms of Ha-Shem. I see people all around me who are like scared kittens in a tree, who won't let the nice fireman near them, to rescue them. They grasp onto food & sex & drugs & SUVs & television & fundamentalism to keep distracted from what they are most afraid of: letting go & letting G@d...
...but we can't avoid G@d, so why do we cling like this?
I look forward to more deeply studying this work of musar for answers to such eternal questions...

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Blogger Regina Clare Jane said...

How to collapse into the loving arms of Ha-Shem? Maybe we were never taught how to as children- or more to the point, the G-d some of us knew as a child was not a G-d who was loving, so how could we go to Him? We knew the tree, but we didn't know the G-d... I am just starting to know G-d now... and every day I get nearer and nearer to that collapsing- and it's wonderful...
Thank you, Aviel, for that beautiful post...

8:51 p.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

I think both things that you say are true, Regina. & I am as guilty of not trusting G@d as the next person - that's why it's been on my mind & I wrote something on it. It's one of the things I need to work on with my own personal spiritual growth.

I'm finding Musar writings very insightful. They're a good, solid, practical alternative to the Kabalah & Chasidut I learn more consistently.

I find that learning Musar is like doing spiritual calisthenics rather than Chasidut, which is more like doing spiritual yoga...

10:18 p.m.  
Blogger Carly said...

What is that from? I probably should know what "Tehilim 141" is, but I don't. It's beautiful.

I realized I had a blogger account! (it's carly)

9:08 a.m.  
Blogger Carly said...

okay -- duh. Google.

Tehillim = Psalm

9:09 a.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

No worries, Carly. It's always better to ask than to remain silent & risk never learning :D

10:10 a.m.  
Blogger Regina Clare Jane said...

Aviel- could you maybe do a post on the Musar writings? I would love to know more about it. I did a search about Musar and it looks intriguing to say the least.

1:35 p.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

Sure, Regina. It'd be my pleasure. Mind you, I'm a novice at Musar, so keep that in mind :)
A friend of mine here in Vancouver has made it his life's path & is now considered one of the world's foremost authorities on Musar - at least for a non-rabbi. He's quite something.

3:59 p.m.  
Blogger Regina Clare Jane said...

Thanks, Aviel and thanks also for the link!

4:08 p.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

Ayn bayah (no problem)

4:33 p.m.  

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