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, May 05, 2006


7 Iyyar

I caught a fascinating documentary about the Dab Iyyiu, an Aboriginal People in northern Quebec. I learned a lot about how these First Nations people cure their hides by watching the family matriarch skin a lynx followed by the family patriarch dry the skin indoors on a board. It might be a more reasonable way for me to tackle qlaf manufacture, considering my current home setup (no garage or workshop space).

It was amazing!

& it was totally kosher & happened to be in keeping with the laws of kosher parchment making :)
For my post on preparing deer skins for the mitzvah of Sefer Torah, click here.

Shabbat shalom, everyone!

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Blogger blackherring said...

Talking of which, I was reading stuff today which suggested that you can [technically, not halakhically] make a tanning solution using not gallnuts, but BRAINS! Apparently the brain of an animal generally contains enough whateveritis to cure its own hide. Isn't that horrid? People express it as "God gave each animal enough brains to save its own skin" - ugh!

7:43 p.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

Yeah, that's an interesting fact that I came across in my studying how to prepare kosher skins back in March. G@d works in mysterious ways ;)

Personally, I'd rather use brains to process a hide than the animal's poop, which I already wrote about.

8:16 p.m.  
Blogger blackherring said...

You can use both, can't you? The brains for the liming part and the poop for the tanning part. Mmmmmmmm, nice!

6:43 a.m.  
Anonymous kangi said... is an excellent resource, and I highly recommend it.
the HideOut has lots and lots of posts going back years - any question you might have is answered.

2:57 p.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

Thanks, Kangi, & welcome to my blog...interesting site you have there.

Deer brains are used to tan skins in making buckskin - tanning is a later stage of the process that isn't performed when you're making qlaf. So, if you're going to make buckskin, you do all the same things to make qlaf except that you don't stretch the hides & dry them after they've been de-furred & soaked. Instead, you wring them out & put them in a tanning solution (which could be deer brains, but it doesn't have to be), & after that they get worked over & smoked.

Hope that helps, Jen...

2:12 a.m.  
Blogger blackherring said...

It depends - if you process your klaf with gall-nuts like it says to in the gemara, you're tanning it, and brains are used bc they also provide tannic acid.

I'll reply to your email soon - I'm snowed under right now and my inbox is overflowing, argh. But I will.

5:13 a.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

Perhaps I misunderstood your question, Jen. I'm sure you'd never ask me a question that you already knew the answer to :)

7:49 a.m.  

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