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, August 31, 2006



Barukh Ha-Shem! Wonderful news! I've been selected to teach at the renowned Limmud conference held annually in Britain! What an honour!

It's the largest Jew-do in Europe & they're celebrating their 25th anniversary. I'm so excited that I'm not even sure which of my courses I'm going to teach, or whether I'll give over some of the offerings from my women's sofrut certification program. We'll see what the Brits want... :)

A Psalm for Divine Guidance, Tehilim Chapter 139:

א לַמְנַצֵּחַ, לְדָוִד מִזְמוֹר:
יְהוָה חֲקַרְתַּנִי, וַתֵּדָע.
1 For the Leader. A Psalm of David.
O LORD, You have searched me, and known me.
ב אַתָּה יָדַעְתָּ, שִׁבְתִּי וְקוּמִי; בַּנְתָּה לְרֵעִי, מֵרָחוֹק. 2
You know my lowering and my rising, You understand my thought afar off.
ג אָרְחִי וְרִבְעִי זֵרִיתָ; וְכָל-דְּרָכַי הִסְכַּנְתָּה. 3
You measure my going about and my lying down, and are familiar with all my ways.
ד כִּי אֵין מִלָּה, בִּלְשׁוֹנִי; הֵן יְהוָה, יָדַעְתָּ כֻלָּהּ. 4
For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, You know it entirely.
ה אָחוֹר וָקֶדֶם צַרְתָּנִי; וַתָּשֶׁת עָלַי כַּפֶּכָה. 5
You have hemmed me in behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.
ו פלאיה (פְּלִיאָה) דַעַת מִמֶּנִּי; נִשְׂגְּבָה, לֹא-אוּכַל לָהּ. 6
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; too high, I cannot grok it.
ז אָנָה, אֵלֵךְ מֵרוּחֶךָ; וְאָנָה, מִפָּנֶיךָ אֶבְרָח. 7
Where shall I go from Your spirit? or where shall I flee from before Your presence?
ח אִם אֶסַּק שָׁמַיִם, שָׁם אָתָּה; וְאַצִּיעָה שְּׁאוֹל הִנֶּךָּ. 8
If I ascend up into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in the underworld, behold, You are there.
ט אֶשָּׂא כַנְפֵי-שָׁחַר; אֶשְׁכְּנָה, בְּאַחֲרִית יָם. 9
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the deepest parts of the sea;
י גַּם-שָׁם, יָדְךָ תַנְחֵנִי; וְתֹאחֲזֵנִי יְמִינֶךָ. 10
Even there would Your hand lead me, and Your right hand would hold me.
יא וָאֹמַר, אַךְ-חֹשֶׁךְ יְשׁוּפֵנִי; וְלַיְלָה, אוֹר בַּעֲדֵנִי. 11
And if I say: 'Surely the darkness shall envelop me, and the light about me shall be night';
יב גַּם-חֹשֶׁךְ, לֹא-יַחְשִׁיךְ מִמֶּךָּ:
וְלַיְלָה, כַּיּוֹם יָאִיר-- כַּחֲשֵׁיכָה, כָּאוֹרָה. 12
Even the darkness is not too dark for You,
but the night shines as the day; the darkness is even as the light.
יג כִּי-אַתָּה, קָנִיתָ כִלְיֹתָי; תְּסֻכֵּנִי, בְּבֶטֶן אִמִּי. 13
For You have made my reins; You have knit me together in my mother's womb.
יד אוֹדְךָ-- עַל כִּי נוֹרָאוֹת, נִפְלֵיתִי:
נִפְלָאִים מַעֲשֶׂיךָ; וְנַפְשִׁי, יֹדַעַת מְאֹד. 14
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
wonderful are Your works; and that my soul knows so well.
טו לֹא-נִכְחַד עָצְמִי, מִמֶּךָּ:
אֲשֶׁר-עֻשֵּׂיתִי בַסֵּתֶר; רֻקַּמְתִּי, בְּתַחְתִּיּוֹת אָרֶץ. 15
My frame was not hidden from You,
when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the Earth.
טז גָּלְמִי, רָאוּ עֵינֶיךָ, וְעַל-סִפְרְךָ, כֻּלָּם יִכָּתֵבוּ:
יָמִים יֻצָּרוּ; ולא (וְלוֹ) אֶחָד בָּהֶם. 16
Your eyes did see my unformed substance, and in Your book they were all written--
even the days that were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
יז וְלִי--מַה-יָּקְרוּ רֵעֶיךָ אֵל; מֶה עָצְמוּ, רָאשֵׁיהֶם. 17
How weighty also are Your thoughts to me, O G@d! How great is the sum of them!
יח אֶסְפְּרֵם, מֵחוֹל יִרְבּוּן; הֱקִיצֹתִי, וְעוֹדִי עִמָּךְ. 18
If I would count them, they are more in number than the sand; were I to come to the end of them, I would still be with You.
יט אִם-תִּקְטֹל אֱלוֹהַּ רָשָׁע; וְאַנְשֵׁי דָמִים, סוּרוּ מֶנִּי. 19
If You but wouldest slay the wicked, O G@d--depart from me therefore, you men of blood;
כ אֲשֶׁר יֹמְרוּךָ, לִמְזִמָּה; נָשׂוּא לַשָּׁוְא עָרֶיךָ. 20
Who utter Your name with wicked thought, they take it for falsehood, even Your enemies--
כא הֲלוֹא-מְשַׂנְאֶיךָ יְהוָה אֶשְׂנָא; וּבִתְקוֹמְמֶיךָ, אֶתְקוֹטָט. 21
Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate You? And do not I strive with those that rise up against You?
כב תַּכְלִית שִׂנְאָה שְׂנֵאתִים; לְאוֹיְבִים, הָיוּ לִי. 22
I hate them with utmost hatred; I count them as my enemies.
כג חָקְרֵנִי אֵל, וְדַע לְבָבִי; בְּחָנֵנִי, וְדַע שַׂרְעַפָּי. 23
Search me, O G@d, and know my heart, try me, and know my thoughts;
כד וּרְאֵה, אִם-דֶּרֶךְ-עֹצֶב בִּי; וּנְחֵנִי, בְּדֶרֶךְ עוֹלָם. 24
And see if there be any way in me that is grievous, and lead me in the way everlasting.


Three cheers for Jewish learning! Hip-hip...

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Blogger Poor Mad Peter said...

"Grok" it? Oh dear, the ghost of Robert Heinlein still walks the earth...

4:03 a.m.  
Blogger Talmida said...

Way to go, Avielah!! Congratulations!!

8:02 a.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

Hee, yes. I became a fan of Heinlein when I was in my mid-teens. Very occasionally I come across those rare people who, in order to accurately express themselves, will use this term. I tend to shriek with delight whenever I hear it. & I felt like taking liberty with the translation of this Psalm, so...
Thanks so much, Talmida. I'm just reeling. More than anything I wish to give over teachings which my students there will consider valuable & worth their time & money. G@d willing I'll be able to do that.

10:43 a.m.  
Blogger Liorah said...

mazal tov!

9:22 p.m.  
Blogger Regina Clare Jane said...

Wow, congratulations, Avielah! You deserve this! BTW- your post on Rachel's Tomb was riveting and scary at the same time. Thank you for the pictures.

5:42 a.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

Thank you, Liorah :)

Thanks to you, too, Regina - I'm glad you enjoyed the Post on Rachel's tomb. It seems to have confused some people - not everyone realizes that Beyt Lechem (Bethlehem) is an entirely Arab city now - because why all the security?

8:28 a.m.  

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