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.

Thursday, May 26, 2005



Adapted From The Works Of Professor Shulamit Reinharz

1. A Jewish Leader knows enough Torah and other traditional texts to be able to draw on them in speeches (with reasonable pronunciation) and can write and deliver “divrei torah” comfortably and competently.

2. A Jewish leader knows enough Jewish history to be able to see what they are doing in the context of historical trends.

3. A Jewish leader keeps informed about what is going on in the Jewish world.

4. A Jewish leader visits Israel at least every four years.

5. A Jewish leader ensures children receive Hebrew names and a Jewish education.

6. A Jewish leader understands Jewish holidays and rituals.

7. A Jewish leader knows some Hebrew.

8. A Jewish leader can explain Jewish ideas to others.

9. A Jewish leader knows some basic facts about Jewish demography and geography here and abroad.

10. A Jewish leader is guided by the concept of “klal Yisrael” and has explored Jewish communities abroad and feels a sense of responsibility for their welfare.

11. A Jewish leader has a non-competitive approach to other Jewish organizations.

12. A Jewish leader is philanthropic.

13. A Jewish leader can sing a few songs and dance a few Israeli dances.

14. A Jewish leader has empathy for the whole range of Jews, young and old, sick and well, poor and rich, disabled and able-bodied, gay and straight, single and partnered, beautiful and plain, unaffiliated and religious, white and black, intermarried and in-married, rural and urban, Eastern or Western, Russian and Ethiopian, Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Mizrachi, and born-Jewish and Jewish-by-choice.

15. A Jewish leader has a vision of the world wide Jewish community of the future and of our relation to non-Jews.

16. A Jewish leader understands the concept of mitzvot and tries to live by many of them without being self-righteous.

17. A Jewish leader helps others become Jewish leaders.

18. A Jewish leader…

…It’s up to you to fill in the 18th point!


Blogger Danya said...

This is great. But I hope that actually knowing Israeli dancing isn't a strict qualification! Some of us are choreographically challenged, you know.....

12:24 a.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

Oh, I so hear you on that one, Danya. I had to take belly dancing to unlearn "dancing like a white guy".

12:28 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You missed off "vision" - no leader can lead well without vision. If someone's passionate enough, the rest follows. Well, you should know that :)

5:59 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooooops duh no you didn't. I'll just get back to work and stop being a twit :)

6:00 a.m.  
Blogger Jordan Stratford+ said...

She should also be able to tell a joke, appropriate to the audience, and swear when necessary.

1:52 p.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

Yer a real smarty-pants, Jordie, that's what ye'are...

6:13 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This list really bothers me. I can't quite pinpoint why, though.

I had a dream last night wherein I needed to translate the words "divrei Torah." I said TorahMatter — not matter in the sense of issue or idea, rather more like anti-Matter, mashu, something-ness.

Over and again I'm frustrated by the finitude of definitions of Torah (and yiddishkeit).

I think it's really the first point that irks me so much: "[ability to] draw on [Torah and texts] in speeches (with reasonable pronunciation) and can write and deliver [...] comfortably and competently." A pre-literate child can (and often does) speak words of Torah.

For me, the study, practice, and upholding of Torah is a path to the Infinite Divine. Much less a code book; more like a decoding ring.

I suppose this list would bother me less if it were titled How to Spot a Jewish Academic.

11:33 a.m.  
Blogger The Jewropean said...

I would like to state my opinion on some of the points on this list:

4. I disagree. This would mean the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt''l, who by choice never went to Israel, and others who never had the occasion, couldn't be Jewish leaders. The contrary is true: The more distant we are physically, the closer we need to spiritually.

And why 4 years? I'd suggest 3,5 years, as for Tefilin and mezuzos.

11. If Jewish means halachic, I agree. As for Reform etc. we definitely need to adopt a competitive approach.

13. I think it's more important for a leader to make sure there is NO mixed dancing at community events.

As for the 18th point I'd like to add: He or she should have a great deal ahavas Hashem and Ahavas Yisroel.

4:17 p.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

Over and again I'm frustrated by the finitude of definitions of Torah (and yiddishkeit).

Shir-Yaakov, I agree entirely. See this comment.

But I see Torah everywhere & it shines from every child.

Thanks for your input, Jewropean - I like this list enough to share with people & hoped it would stir up a little conversation, but I did not author it so I can't answer your questions.

11:55 p.m.  

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