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, June 08, 2006


12 Sivan

Over the past while, I have faced many challenges including professional difficulties with my main client, divorce, my home synagogue being torn apart by politics, as well as other family issues. These have significantly affected my work & my health, however, through all of this - which isn't over! - so many friends & family, colleagues, students & other clients have given of themselves very generously. You may see your name on this list & wonder why you appear, if you don't think you did much. Or you may have reached out to me during a time when I was unable to respond, or was unreliable. But I'm very grateful to each of you for the strength you've loaned me, am humbled by your graciousness, inspired by your wisdom & thank you for your patience. You truly are my community (even though you are all over the world) & I hope to learn how to emulate your kindness.

These names appear in no particular order, forgive me if your name does not yet appear (or if I haven't included your full name) & I reserve the right to continue to add people as they come to mind:

Chuck Kelso & Shelley Kelso-Rothschild
Rabbi David Mivasair & Rebbetzin Michal Mivasair
Christobel MacDonald
Rabbi Laura Duhan-Kaplan
Lorri Feldman & Alex Duncan
Rabbi Schachar Orenstein & Rebbetzin Meira Alper-Orenstein
Michael Benarroch & Kim Bailey
Rabbi & Rebbetzin Solomon Maimon
Max & Leona Pinsky
Rabbi Richard & Rebbetzin Sharon Toban
Rory Richards
Rabbi Benzaqueyn, Sofer
Debby Fenson
Rabbi Dr Louis Sutker & Rebbetzin Charlotte Atlung-Sutker
Shaul & Florence Wachsstock
Rabbis Harry & RaeAnn Brechner
Izzy Pludwinski, Sofer
Rabbi Ross & Rebbetzin Emily Singer
Vivian & Jeffrey Claman
Rabbis Seth Goldstein & Yohanna Kineberg
Josie Cohen & Dan Wolfson
Rabbi Dr Neal & Rebbetzin Carole Rose
Jeremy Rothschild
Rabbi Ilan & Rebbetzin Dina Acoca
Robert & Rachel Miller
Rabbi Yonah Reiss
Naomi Voss & Michael Potter
Rebbetzin Cirelle Rosenblatt
Jordan Stratford & Zandra Gutierrez
Rabbi Dov Linzer
Alisha Hess-Haber
Rabbis Linda Motzkin & Jonathan Rubenstein
Cigal Shene
Rabbi Daniel Seigel
Shir-Yaacov Feinstein-Feit
Rabbi Claudio Kaiser-Blueth
Ben Newman
Rabbi Moshe & Rebbetzin Rivy Kletenik
Alissa & Morey Altman
Rabbi Neal Loevinger
Rachel Barenblat
Rabbi Victor Reinstein
Fred Nudel & Jeanette Cohen
Rabbi Shimon Brand & Rebbetzin Amy Schechter
Kim & Jay Zipursky
Rabbi Kevin Hale, Sofer
Odeyah Hoffman
Rabbi Yossi Benarroch
Baila Lazarus
Karen Volk
Mark Weintraub
Gilan Israel
Leora Israel & Ariel Zellman
Ron Eichler & Chelsea Caldwell
Dan Sieradski
Jen Taylor-Friedman
Abba & Karen Brodt
Rabia Kurd
Jay Rothschild
Tabassum Firoz
Danya Ruttenberg
Imam Fode Drame
Peter & Joyce Fergus-Moore
Alan Morinis
Betina Rae
Dr Marcy Schwartzman
Tamsin Charles
Dr Dena Bloomenthal
Andrea Silverstone
Nancy Katz
Corrinne Wilansky
Yehuda Miklaf & Maurene Fritz
Davin Rothschild & Ashley Daniels
Penny Shima Glanz
Betty & Bob Thunder
Shani Shahal
Lisa Alcalay Klug
Regina Green
Eric & Lisa Hartman
Shelley Rivkin & Glenn Bullard
Ariel Becker
Evgenya Shkolnik
Avrum Nadigel
Annie Barwin
Hal & Donna Decter
Mia Kalef
Dr Brenda Mason
Maya Bleiler-Bennett
Arwen Kuttner
Holly Taya Shere
Estheriesa Laye
Adam Franklin-Lyons
Larisse Cohen
Aimee Promislow
Evelyn Neaman
Byron Alley
Sara Glesby
Josa & Noah Sarna
Camille Joseph
Simon Montagu
Robyn Fisher
Leah Levi
Rosalie & Efraim Eisen
Leslie Phillips
Lynda Rosenberg

&, indirectly:
The Comedy Network
Rabbi Moshe Chayim Luzzatto
Vision TV
Rav Bachya ben Yosef ibn Paquda
Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

I intend (slowly, as I can afford) to give charity in each of your names, bli neder, so please feel free to suggest to me where you would like the small amount I can spare to go. This will provide me with the priviledge of doing the mitzvah of tzedaqah & the opportunity to "run to do a mitzvah" as we are commanded to do. & as this will take some time, to honour each of you, it will ensure I am in the process of performing mitzvot for some time to come.

With G@d's help, one day I will again have the opportunity to write an entire Sefer Torah, to be a beneficial partner & blessed to be a good mother. But if I am never able to realize these very dear dreams, G@d forbid, then you have still succeeded in making me feel very loved.

So, thank you all.

[Addendum: Donations to the following charities have been requested from folks on the list -
Vancouver Jewish Family Service Agency housing, Ahavat Olam Rabbi's discretionary fund, Shaarey Tefilah Rabbi's discretionary fund, Calgary Jewish Family Service, ALEPH's Yesod Foundation: the Reb Zalman Legacy Project, Hadassah, To'enet Rabbanit Program (women's court advocacy) at Midreshet Lindenbaum, New Israel Fund of Canada, Autism Society Canada - Societe canadienne de l'autisme, the Seattle Kollel, Melanoma research, BC Children's Hospital, Bustan.

Other suggestions -
The "Canadian Association of Sofrot", giving granola bars (with a smile) instead of money to homeless people who ask for change, the Soferet Chivas Fund... ;) ]

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Blogger Emily said...

This is the second time this week you've brought tears to my eyes
Aviel! Thank you.

7:20 p.m.  
Anonymous Gilan Israel said...

My request: Spend some money in Israel for your own living expenses. Pay taxes. Congratulations, you have just supported my favourite tzedakah fund.

3:04 a.m.  
Blogger Regina Clare Jane said...

I don't know what to say, Aviel... but thank you. You must know how you must have touched everyone on that list and blessed us all as well. I will be in touch...

3:59 a.m.  
Blogger Poor Mad Peter said...

We are honoured (and surprised) to find our names on such a list. It is equally true that you have given us opportunities to do Justice and Charity in turn. We will pray on this and get back to you. There is something bigger here than a list of gratitude...

--Peter Fergus-Moore

12:15 p.m.  
Blogger Regina Clare Jane said...

I tried to post earlier today, Aviel, but the comments don't seem to come through. Anyhow, just wanted to say thank you for including me in your list. I am mosy honored and glad that I can call you my friend...

7:29 p.m.  
Anonymous alissa said...

"Gilan Israel" beat us to the punch, Aviel (ah). We, too, would whatever tzedaka you would give in our name (thank you!) to go to the Soferet's Israel Expenses fund. Maybe have a martini with Cigal. ;)

2:35 p.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

In one way or another, each of you who have commented so far have made a difference to me at a very trying moment. Either because you were uncompaining when I took forever to reply to your e-mail, or because you wrote an unexpected encouraging word, talked with me on IM or, wonder of wonders, fed me & listened to me. So...thanks :)

& I'm sure Cigal will be happy to hear that we will have a girls' martini night out in Jerusalem!

8:40 a.m.  
Anonymous Rabs said...

AVIEL!! You are SUCH an incredible woman. May God Bless you.

CALL ME! I miss you! (before yougo to israel, you hear??!)
Love rabia

2:57 p.m.  
Blogger OttawaGrit said...

Great work!

3:39 p.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

Thanks, OttawaGrit. It wouldn't be great without the people on this list!

Rabia - where are you?!?!

3:56 p.m.  

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