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, February 25, 2004


by Alissa Altman • Wednesday February 25, 2004 at 01:06 PM

Local woman uses quill to break down barriers by becoming the first woman to be certified to scribe Jewish sacred texts.

Thousands of Jewish men are responsible for writing sacred Jewish texts. And one woman.

Meet Vancouverite Aviel Barclay, the first woman in modern history to be certified as a Jewish religious scribe (Soferet in Hebrew) as she makes history with Congregation Shaarey Tefilah, the only traditional synagogue to hire a woman to write a sacred text.

Congregation Shaarey Tefilah has commissioned Ms. Barclay, who is a member of the synagogue, to scribe a Scroll of Esther, a Biblical text traditionally read on the Jewish holiday of Purim, which falls this year on March 6. Ms. Barclay has spent months writing each letter by hand on specially prepared parchment made from the hide of a kosher animal, using a quill made from the feather of a kosher bird – a process that has remained unchanged for thousands of years.

Continuing a long journey that started at age 3, and having overcome tremendous obstacles, Ms. Barclay will be delivering the Scroll of Esther to Congregation Shaarey Tefilah on Purim, which starts Saturday night March 6, 2004. There, the first Scroll to be written by the first woman certified as a Soferet in modern times, will be read for the very first time.

This is a historic moment in Jewish and women’s history, and the Congregation invites everyone from the community to be there to celebrate with them as they receive this ground-breaking document. The reading of the Scroll of Esther, followed by a Purim party, begins at 7:15pm, Saturday, March 6, 2004, at Shaarey Tefilah, 785 West 16th Avenue, Vancouver. Appropriately, at 11:00am the following day, Sunday, there will be a women's reading of this unique Scroll of Esther.

For information about the Scroll of Esther Project, visit the Project website at

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