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, January 12, 2005



In a previous post, I inadvertently wrote a sentence that was not clear about the Halakhah of women writing & fixing Sifrei Torah & as a result some people got the wrong impression. For that I apologise & will write more exactly about it now (& no, I'm not sure where the post is. My blog is long enough that I don't have time to go through it all looking for a single sentence I wrote I don't know when).

I said something to the effect that my synagogue asked a sofer to repair a couple of Sifrei rather than have me do it (actually, the owner of the Sifrei made this request). I had commented that not everybody holds by the same position about women being kasherot to write &/or those woman-written/repaired Sifrei being kosher for public kria. This lead someone to think that I was misrepresenting Orthodox Halakhah & they told me so. So please allow me to clarify what I meant to say more clearly:

When I said that not everyone held the same position on this issue, I was meaning *everyone*, as in Orthodox, Reconstructionist, Conservative, Reform, Athiest, Renewal, Humanist, whatever. My intention was NOT to assert that there are various *practices* based on the different opinions within Orthodoxy only. If I gave anyone else that impression, I apologise. Please, if you're ever not sure about what I'm stating, or disagree, feel free to comment.

My understanding on this issue so far is:
According to traditional sources (I won't call them "Orthodox", because that's revisionist) there are some important voices in Halakhah that state women are kasherot to write Sifrei Torah, & some that appear to understand those Sifrei may be kosher for public ritual use. However, no Orthodox congregation that I am aware of is at this point willing to in fact use a woman written/repaired Sefer in this way.

Although I do want to point out that Rebbetzin Dulcie of Worms used to re-sew & patch Sifrei for her community in Germany 900 or so years ago, & that wasn't a problem. Perhaps engaging with the otiyot is the unspoken issue..?

Hope I cleared that all up sufficiently. If not, just yell.

Chodesh tov!


Blogger Barefoot Jewess said...

You go, girl.

I know there will be dissenting opinions. And I know you study.

You may not win, but you do make an authoritative stand. You may be the minority voice, but let me tell you, you speak for a lot of us who question.

Keep it up.


11:14 a.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

Thanks, Barefoot. I'm not a rabbi & my intention is not to give p'sak Halakhah, but I think it's important for obscure(d) areas of Jewish thought & law to have a light shone on them. So I hope I'm coming across the way I think I am ;+s

4:31 p.m.  

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