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.

Saturday, August 06, 2005



Rosh Chodesh Av

In the practice of sofrut, there must be a radical submission to The Law. Deveykut (cleaving to G@d) is a requirement of this service of the People Israel. If one thinks that to be a sofer/et is an exalted, sexy, powerful, elitist position, one cannot perform this task. Any sofer/et who does not accept the responsibility of safeguarding this tradition as humble service is simply indulging in self-pleasure.

There are two ways you can make something Halakhically acceptable in Judaism: you can write a paper all about the exisitng Halakhah, or you can actually start doing the work based on the existing Halakhah. Look at women's aliyot in Orthodoxy, if you want an example. Everyone knew there were Halakhic positions permitting women being honoured with aliyot in front of men. But were we doing it? No! Nobody thought they would see women honoured with aliyot in an Orthodox mechitzah'ed mixed minyan in our generation, but look: Shirah Chadashah, the Leader Minyan, Darchei Noam...

After qidush lunch we celebrated with sheva brakhas in the barn to commemorate the 2-year anniversary of our's also possibly the last time we'll ever get to have sheva brakhas since our 1-year chupah anniversary is next month, G@d willing, kena hora, & all that. & yes, you are Halakhically allowed to celebrate sheva brakhas only on Shabbes during the 9 days. :D
Joel accidentally spilled the red grape juice from our mixed cups over my white linen dress. How fitting.

Only now, after Shabbes, am I learning about the murder of 4 innocents in Shfaram. I am so disappointed & angry & heartbroken for these poor Arab Israelis, as well my sympathy goes out to the parents of their Jewish Israeli murderer.

Shavu'ah tov - may this week not bring bloodshed.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never herd of continuing sheva brachot longer than seven days after the wedding. What is the basis for this practice?

7:45 p.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

Oh, sure - in you can do sheva brakhas for a couple up until their first anniversary if you have at least a minyan of men who were not at the chupah :)

7:54 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never heard of that! Poop, too late now.

We adopted the minhag of having honey with challah instead of salt for the first year. Then we adopted something a fine teacher said - he was saying how the honey custom isn't so great because you stop after a year and "you want to say marriage gets worse after the first year?" so we kept straight on with the honey.

Necessitates chocolate challah for Rosh haShana, of course. :)

3:50 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you can write a paper all about the exisitng Halakhah, or you can actually start doing the work based on the existing Halakhah.

Or you can do both ;)

I'd disagree about the elitist part of sofrut. In the sense that I truly don't want just anyone coming along and playing at sofrut, not unless they've put in the legwork, I think elitism is in a sense necessary. It's not intrinsically elitist, but I do think there are minimum standards, and if someone can't learn the relevant halacha, it's elitist to say they can't play, but perhaps you have to say that.

3:53 a.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

Well, you & I do agree, Jen, as we know from our talks, e-mails & IMs. The practice of sofrut must absolutely be safeguarded & taught to those who will continue in this tradition.

When I use the word "elitist" here, I mean that if one seeks to earn the title "sofer/et" or "rabbi" or whatever as a means to draw attention to oneself, to gain power, or to otherwise make a fake construction that satisfies one's ego, then one is basically masturbating.

This is not holy service.

6:12 p.m.  

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