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.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006



Somebody, who I'm sure had the best of intentions, used plenty of Sello tape along the edge of the parchment here to tightly secure it to the roller.
Please don't ever do this. Seriously. Call your local sofer instead.
Soferet request: DON'T TAPE YOUR TORAH!
To get a really good look at the tape (which is clear), click on the image & selected the largest available size at my Flickr page. The tape isn't the white patches pictured here - that's more parchment added after the Torah was originally written (over the drill-holes & knots, I might say). The tape is around the edges of those patches.

& at least they are parchment patches - until I got the tape off, I wasn't sure - it looked like interfacing (stitch witchery).

The problem with this is that any kind of tape will make the Torah scroll unfit for use because of the unkosher animal hooves & other bits used in glue manufacture. Mister Ed does not belong slathered on your Sefer.

Another problem is that the residue left behind, even when completely removed, will discolour the parchment over time (if it hasn't already).
So...pleasePleasePLEASE don't ever do this. It may seem like a good idea at the time, but it's actually always a bad idea.

So I did manage to get all the adhesive residue off both the parchment & the wood, thank G@d. It created a fair bit of dust, which is bad for the parchment - it grinds in & wears away the letters - unless you are careful to remove it properly. Laying clean, acid-free paper over the letter helps, but there's always some parchment or sawdust that finds its way onto the face of the Torah. DON'T BLOW! Not even gently. You'd be surprised at how much spit hits a Torah just from people reading it, so blowing is a no-no. Instead, I use a blower-bulb &/or an extremely soft goat-hair brush. Soft, because even hair can scratch the letters & goat, because they're kosher, man!

It's really handy that I'm also a professional artist & was a gemmologist before I was lead to sofrut - I came equipped with the knowledge of how to use many tools. I even owned some. I can't tell you how relieved I was when I figured out how to use some of my gemological tools (blower-bulb, diamond tweezers, loupe, etc) in sofrut! They were really expensive, so it wasn't a waste after all!

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Blogger Rachack said...

When I was laining from the Torah on Simchas Torah, I was having trouble rolling out the last column because it was a big sefer torah and I am not so strong, so I asked the Gabbai Sheni to help me out, and he pulled the roller too far and tore threading which attached the parchment to the wood. Because it wasn't so bad because we have 2 other kosher torahs and i had already lained enough to give almost everyone an aliyah. And anyways, I didn't really like that Sefer Torah so much because the first י of ישימו in וזאת הברכה was a bit elongated and looked a lot like a ו and the sofer said that it's ok bideived because a kid knew it was a yud not a vav, but shoud have been fixed but couldn't have been fixed during chol hamoed.

8:38 p.m.  
Anonymous rabs said...

Hey Aviel! Are you around? I miss you! I came by your place yesterday but I don't think you were home..came at around 3:20 or so. Caaaaall me!


2:37 p.m.  

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