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.

Friday, September 01, 2006

HOW TO GIVE BLOOD

BS"D


- See a tv commercial from Canadian Blood Services (a.k.a the Canadian Red Cross) begging for blood & marrow donations

- feel obligated in the mitzvah of helping to save & preserve life

- call CBS regarding blood & marrow donation & wait on hold until Hell freezes over

- walk to CBS

- wait

- sit with reception until ID & data are fully entered into the computer

- fill out extremely long & detailed donation form with surprising questions (like Did you spend more than a total of 12 weeks in the UK between 1977 & 1990?)

- wait

- bring form & ID for blood pressure test & haemoglobin assessment

- take a number

- wait

- follow an R.N. into a small room for a private interview

- be permanently rejected (CBS calls this "deferral") over a medical misunderstanding, despite going to great lengths to be very clear that there is actually no problem

- walk home very disappointed that no mitzvah was accomplished

- make multiple phone calls to various CBS offices & wait until Hell freezes over

- call doctor

- doctor visit: confirm that blood is perfectly fine & that the CBS nurse just freaked out

- letter requested to make paper trail en route to having blood deemed acceptable again

- call CBS regarding re-instatement & wait on hold until Hell freezes over

- walk to CBS with doctor's letter with intention of donating blood & joining the bone marrow registry

- wait at reception while nobody can find anyone to meet & accept paperwork

- walk home very disappointed again

- wait 6 weeks

- get phone call from friendly CBS rep whose entire job consists of re-instating people whose blood & marrow were mistakenly rejected

- walk to CBS to donate blood & register for marrow donation

- discover that donation clinic isn't open

- walk home very disappointed (again again)

- go to Israel, preferably when there's a war

- call Magen David Adom (Red Shield - Israeli equivalent to the Red Cross) & wait on hold until Hell freezes over

- ask Anglo-Israeli friends where to go to donate blood

- over 5 weeks, frequently go to Central Bus Station & Zion Square looking for donation vans (which are supposed to be there almost every day)

- 2 days before returning to Canada, finally happen across a mobile blood donation vehicle in Zion Square

- fill out 4 pages of donation form in Hebrew with help from friend who is fully bilingual & knows all the medical jargon

- wait

- bring form & ID for blood pressure test & haemoglobin assessment

- follow an R.N. into van for private interview

- lie down on donation bed

- be asked whether I have recently had a cold

- have 10 minute conversation about definition of cold symptoms, severity, & a million details about throat, sinuses, eyes, etc...

- be rejected over having had a cold too recently

- walk home very disappointed (again again again)

- return to Canada

- go Shabbes shopping (groceries, wine, candles, etc)

- decide to live dangerously

- walk to CBS with Shabbes shopping, having neither eaten nor drunk

- have reception check on long & bizarre paper trail supporting the safety of blood hoping to be donated

- fill out extremely long & detailed donation form with surprising questions (like Did you spend more than a total of 12 weeks in the UK between 1977 & 1990?)

- wait

- bring form & ID for blood pressure test & haemoglobin assessment

- follow an R.N. into a small room for a private interview

- be gratefully accepted as a blood & marrow donor after explaining everything again (YES!)

- lie down on donation bed

- be swabbed first with alcohol until a timer sounds, then with iodine

- be stuck with the biggest livestock needle ever (are these really meant for humans?)

- take 20 minutes - about twice as long as expected - to fill a bag

- apply ice to wound

- sit around the goody table, where nothing is kosher, & meet a non-Jewish lady who works at the JCC as well as a non-Jewish woman who was adopted by a Jewish family & grew up going to Catholic school & Jewish summer camp

- walk home with Shabbes shopping, quite pleased to finally have accomplished this mitzvah of helping preserve other people's lives by consenting to be drained a pint, & get ready for the long weekend

Shabbat Shalom!!!




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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

two words:
mad cow disease
that is why they dont want britishers

2:11 AM  
Anonymous magid said...

Wow. Lots of time on your part to be able to donate! Kol ha'kavod.

I'm surprised there aren't any kosher snacks afterward; in the US they always have something kosher (though not always something I'd like to eat...). (Though when I gave in Israel, there were no snacks at all...)

6:07 AM  
Blogger Soferet said...

BS"D
Oh, don't I know it! Some of my friends & family can't give blood or marrow in Canada for just that reason.

I just hadn't been expecting to see such a short allowable time period quoted for the UK on the form. They also had another category for France & other places in Europe for K-J disease.

I don't blame them, though - donating blood is about the sick person, not about the donor...

6:07 AM  
Blogger Soferet said...

BS"D
Yes, Magid. "Driven" is my middle name ;)
Well, I think the snack situation is typical of all 3 countries: everything is hekshered in the US, few things are in Canada but they try to have a wide selection of snacks & drinks, in Israel you're expected to be so tough that you can bleed 10% away without any kind of fortification ;)

6:13 AM  

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