The Temple of Aaron men's club was kind enough to present me with this collage they made of some of our Torah event's media coverage:
(I'm actually really surprised that the photographer got a good shot of me - I'm normally so animated & I move around so much that I'm horribly horribly UN-photogenic. So kudos to him!)
Sunday went beautifully, thank G@d. We started at 9am with all the children of the Jewish school, their parents, grandparents, & any other special people in their lives who they wanted to invite to share in the Torah-writing experience. It was gorgeous!
You know, hundreds of people lined up to rest their hand on mine as I wrote in this Torah. It was amazing. Some even cried.
It made me really think: I refused to practice sofrut until my teachers & rabbis gave me the go-ahead. Even though I'd learned it well with them & felt ready - ok, MORE than ready - to begin this sacred task I had yearned for since I was small, I knew it was wrong for me to call myself a soferet or to practice any of it until I was given permission by them to do so. Once I received my endorsement, then my work was finally kosher (if you accept sofrut from a woman, that is!).
& I chose my teachers carefully, & they me, because to seriously, positively change the world you have to change yourself. They still mentor & challenge me.
& when I first began to write, I have to admit, I was petrified. Who was I to interact with the holy letters in this way? Just because I was certified didn't mean I was an expert yet. It's like when you finish journalism school or are ordained as a minister - you're totally qualified, but you lack experience. You're a baby. & I was a baby soferet. & terrified of making any error, visible or invisible, even by accident. I felt the weight of all the Jews who might rely on me to provide for them what they needed. It was hard.
& yesterday I had the solemn privilege to witness other people's very intimate reactions to my writing a letter for them. The searing love I saw in their faces for this scroll, which some may not have even been able to read, was palpable. This is the Torah, Eytz Chayim Hee!
I am so lucky! Barukh Ha-Shem!
There were yummy little kids, oldsters...what a blessing!
One very elderly man came up to me on his turn - he must have been 100 years old if he was a day - & he looked me in the eye. Like, right through me.
& I asked him what his name was.
I was expecting "Max" or "Benny" or some other anglicized name for a gent of his generation. But he gave me his Hebrew name. He pronounced it proudly with his heavy Polish accent: "Barukh ben Chayim Pesach!"
& I was just held, transfixed, by this man's presence. He kept staring right through me & he repeated his Hebrew name: Barukh ben Chayim Pesach.
I was blown away.
Then he held my hand & we wrote a letter together.
I later learned that this man walked away from my writing table with tears in his eyes, saying, "I'm 95 years old & that was the most important thing I've ever done."
& this went on all day! What a great experience! I'm so blessed!
& there was a 6-month-old baby girl too! Her parents held her over the Torah & put her teeny delicate little pink hand on mine as I wrote, her eyes wide.
I must thank everyone at Temple of Aaron for making me feel like I was part of their family. They honoured me by trusting me with their Torah & really, with their hearts too. & I hope I brought to them whatever they needed from me. If, in the end, we've all drawn a little closer to Torah, & thereby a little closer to G@d, that is the greatest gift we can share.
I must say, the airport here has the coolest floors!
Jewy centre of the snowflake mosaic floor of Minneapolis-St Paul airport:
All good things must come to an end, so I hopped my plane & headed north back home to Canada:
& this is the fab view I had of Mount Ranier & the waxing moon on my layover at Sea-Tac:
(if you click on the pic, you'll see it in all its stunning detail!)
& finally, the fertile Lower Mainland of Vancouver & our beautiful Georgia Strait:
Home sweet home!
Technorati tags: religion, religion and philosophy, Judaism, Jew, Jews, Jewish, Torah, Canada, Canadian, journal, weblog, blog, diary, soferet, sofrut, safrut, scribe, art, thoughts, stam, feminism, ritual, women, woman, life, sofer, Technorati.