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.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

IN THE WILDERNESS

בס"ד
10 Sivan


I remember reading the Bible when I was 7 years old. I was one of those nerdy kids who would do that in their spare time - read the Bible, read encyclopaedias. In fact, that's how I taught myself the Hebrew Alefbet. Studying the letters & drawing them out from the "H" volume of our New Book of Knowledge set.

We're now in Sefer B'midbar. "In the Wilderness", as the English translation of my childhood read. I recall so many instances where the Israelites complained to Moses & cried out to G@d. There was no water. There was no food. They were lost.
I remember wondering how anyone could complain about being in the wilderness. I would love to live in the wilderness. It was the best place on Earth.
I'm a native British Columbian, so my idea of "wilderness" was forests of huge pine, spruce, cedar & fir. Streams, moss, mushrooms & flowers. There was salmon to catch, roots to dig & berries to harvest. Lakes to swim in. I envisioned the Israelites having something of a Grizzly Adams experience.

It wasn't until I was older that I realized that "wilderness" in the Middle East means "desert".
Ah. Now I see their problem.

The letters of midbar, Mem-Dalet-Bet-Reysh, means pasture-ground, waste-land, prairie. Midbari means "barren, arid, wild", while midbariyut means "desolation".
But the gematria of midbar is 246, which is the same as that of "vision", "sight" or "aspect", mar'ah (as in mar'it ayin). Mirror.

The morning before the get I ran a bath for myself in the beautiful & huge clawfoot tub that came with my room at the B&B in Olympia. As the room filled with steam, the antique mirror magically revealed the shape of a joyful, heady, freely dancing woman.
From the left:
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From the right:
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From straight on:
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I have no idea how she got there. But there she was.
Like the Israelites, as we journey through life's midbarim, may we remember that there are resources to be found; & when they aren't apparent, may we be granted the faith that we can rely on G@d.




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