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.

Sunday, August 20, 2006



I met with Secret Sofer today (the not-Rabbi-Laimon-sofer who taught & certified me) for a crit of my recent work. Because I can always learn more & I can always do better. This serves to keep me humble(r). Besides, other soferim find nothing to criticize in his work. I'm so lucky to have him as my teacher.

It makes such a huge difference to my work when we can bend over it together. I wish we lived in the same city. Heck, even the same hemisphere would be a start...

He began with my Qufs (ק): the rosh, head, of the descending tail is waaay to close to the lower horizontal. It's still technically kosher, but this will cause the reader to stop & check for a negi'ah, letters touching (which is not allowed). It's just bad calligraphy. It must not be distracting. Also, I have to think "circle" when I'm making that initial stroke. Round. Like Reysh (ר).

We moved to Ayin (ע). I have a "Sefardi" (Iberian/North African style) angle/curve/heel on the upstroke of the tail. The Ashkenazi Ayin's tail is straighter. Also, the left head must be turned to 90˚ as he commanded me 3 years ago, so that it resembles the upper Yud (י) of the letter Alef (א).

Went on to Mem (מ). I make a Sefardi-type curved bridge where the Ashkenazi is supposed to be straight across. & the body is a tad wide on my Mems as well - they should be two-thirds of a Khaf (כ), except that the bottom right hand corner needs a sharp, square shape.

Now Shin (ש). I have to make the inner corner more pronounced & smooth, a gradual, sexy curve from the base to the "wrist" of the far right Vav. 45˚ angle of the middle arm into this corner is also a must.

Then Chet (ח). The join between the roshei, heads, & their respective legs must be stronger & in more proportion, ie the difference between the thickness of the join & the middle of those down-stokes should be less exaggerated.

& finally, Hey (ה). Make a "6" for the Yud-part. 'nuff said.

I noted that he had nothing bad to say about any of my other letters...thank G@d :)

Here's a piece of scrap parchment we worked on together (sorry about the silver highlights - that's just the black ink being all shiny under the flash). I did some of my letters with a bamboo kulmus I carved & others with a quill, while all of his are with a quill:
Soferet & Sofer work together

I am committed to ongoing guidance from my mentor, as I aspire to continue growing my craft & refining my skills.

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Anonymous Rachel said...

This is so cool to see! I love hearing you talk about your work, what you do and how you do it and where you hope to improve. Your commitment to the derekh is inspiring to me.

6:48 p.m.  

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