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, October 22, 2006



The letter Hey (ה) has a gematrial/numerological value of 5. It's the 5th letter of the Hebrew alefbet.

Hey has the easiest voice. The sound of Hey is only your out-breath, the exhalation of prana. It needs no effort, no motion of lips, tongue or mouth (Tanchuma Bereishis 16).

Our spirit (ru'ach) lives in our breath (ru'ach), is our breath. The Kabbalah says that when two people are talking together and their faces are so close they inhale the other's breath, they are sharing souls. According to Hasidism, our souls are too vast to inhabit our bodies; they penetrate and surround them.

Hey is female. Her soft-sounding voice indicates the feminine form of a noun, as in yeled (boy) - yaldah (girl). The two Heys in The Four-Letter Name represent the Mother and the Daughter in the archetypal Family, Yud (י) representing the Father and Vav (ו) the Son.

G@D created two worlds; this one with the letter Hey:
בִּדְבַר יְהוָה, שָׁמַיִם נַעֲשׂוּ; וּבְרוּחַ פִּיו, כָּל-צְבָאָם. 6
Bid'var HaShem shamayim na'asu uv'ru'ach piv kol tzeva'am
By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.
- Psalms 33:6

Why? Our traditions tell us that this world is like the letter Hey, easy to fall out the bottom. Also like this world there is always a tiny space, which allows another entrance. This is t'shuvah, repentance (Menachos 29b). This teaches us to leave a small opening in our hearts to let others back in when they have hurt us and wish to be forgiven (Tomer Devorah 1:7).
It also serves us by making room for forgiving ourselves...

Hey is made up of two other letters. First there is a Dalet (ד), then there is a Yud (י) in the lower left hand corner of the Dalet's space. Yud, the hand (yad) has the power to open the Dalet, door (delet) to the path of returning to G@d, our Source. The point of the Yud must be separate from the roof, but not further than the thickness of the roof. This Yud leans inward to the space, so the Hey won't resemble a Taf (ת).

We just saw a miniature letter Hey yesterday in B'reyshit Parshat B'reyshit/Genesis 2:4 -
ד אֵלֶּה תוֹלְדוֹת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ, בְּהִבָּרְאָם: בְּיוֹם, עֲשׂוֹת יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים--אֶרֶץ וְשָׁמָיִם. 4
Eyleh toldot ha'shamayim v'ha'aretz be-hibaram b'yom asot Y-H-V-H Eloqim eretz v'shamayim:
These are the generations/begettings of the Heavens and of the Earth when they were created, at the time of Y-H-V-H, G@D's making of earth and heaven:

The Hey is small in "be-hibaram" because the letter Hey is one of those which symbolizes G@D - an abbreviation of both the Four-letter Name "Y-H-V-H" and "HaShem". And according to midrash, before the creation G@D was...that's it. All there was was G@D and G@D was all there was. So in order to make room for us, The Holy One had to contract. The word our tradition uses here is "tzimtzum". Like a mother's body making room for a growing baby. The child, like us & all of Creation, is of its mother, but different. The mother contains & sustains her child, but must constantly be altering the status quo to achieve this. So the Hey in the word meaning "they were created" inspired this midrash which teaches us about G@D's process.

Shavu'ah Tov - a good week - & Chodesh Tov - a good new month to everyone.

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