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.

Monday, March 27, 2006


27 Adar

This morning I learned with R' David Mivasair & R' Schachar Orenstein Sefer B'nai Yisachar, a book of Kabbalah (not the Madonna kind) by R' Tzvi Elimelekh Dinov.

We read about the upcoming month of Nisan - the month of miracles - & how it is likened to a feminine (or receptive) skull. Better: an open mind. Yeah. Much better.

Speech changes the prevailing reality, he writes. Yetziyat Mitzrayim, the Exodus from Egypt, which began with the birth of Moshe Rabbeynu, didn't start until we called out to G@d.

When G@d is silent, we are afraid; when G@d speaks, justice is done.

R' Dinov also took the word "Pesach" (Passover) & divided it into two: Peh Sach. A mouth which speaks. Which is the primary mitzvah of the Pesach seder, to tell the story of our exodus, our birth as the people Israel.

He also wrote that sicha, or conversation, is linked with regel yamin, the right leg, & with skipping or leaping, which is what legs do & what pesach means: literally, that G@d harmlessly skipped or passed over our homes. Ba'al Peh.

Interestingly, the gematria for "Pesach" is identical to that of "Netzach" (often translated as "victory" or "perseverance"), the sphere of the right leg on the Tree of Life. 148 is their number.

In my own research later today I discovered that the number 148 also is shared with the Holy Name (please don't say this out loud) Ehiyeh Yah YHVH El@him. & with the B'nai El@him, which are the angels of Hod (glory or splendour) - the sphere opposite Netzach on the tree. Finally, the number 148 also represents moznayim, the scales of justice, & the modern Hebrew word for the astrological sign Libra.

It was at this point in my notes that I was inspired to write, "I reject a passive Feminine". It was all this Kabbalah talk. & a revelation to me, thank G@d.

The text went on to talk of the restoration after our exile. He used the metaphor of a sheep being sheared to express galut/exile. That we're afraid of galut because we aren't in control. We're afraid it will kill us. But it's just the sheep being shorn - not slaughtered - so do not fear. G@d had this all planned out from the beginning, even before the first word of the Torah. Soon we will be free, without our wool, but free nonetheless.

"So the next time something terrible happens to you, don't let it feel like it's the's just a bad haircut." Paraphrased from R' David.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peh Sach. A mouth which speaks. Which is the primary mitzvah of the Pesach seder, to tell the story of our exodus, our birth as the people Israel.

Ooooooh, that's so cool. I will have to add that to next year's haggadah, since this year's is already complete!

I also love the thing about galut being like a sheep-shearing, not a slaughter. It seems to me there's something spiritually valuable about our human condition of galut from G-d -- it's scary, but we can withstand it, and what's more, there's a tremendous amount to learn in it if we only open ourselves to trust...

6:55 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm also impressed by the sheep shearing idea. (How interesting that one of my 2nd grade reading groups read about shearing sheep in an a book about farms yesterday.) When I am going through a major trial I have learned to remind myself, "No matter what happens, I am still me inside." I often picture that ME as a flame, a flame I've carried inside me for over 12 years since one of the first meditations I ever did.

8:39 a.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

Rachel - yeah, it's totally cool. & it's sitting right there for anyone who understands Hebrew to notice. It's so obvious :)
That's awesome you want to put it in your Haggadah!
I also really appreciated this metaphor very much & relate to it strongly. There have been times in my life, even up until recently, where I was convinced the difficulty I was facing would be too much for me to survive...& I was right each time, in that the "old me" died & was transformed into a wiser, stronger, more conscious "new me". Terrifying & seemingly insurmountable. But then G@d takes over. So yes, it was quite a shearing.

To the person who blessed me to rise like a phoenix: thank you & ameyn.

Evenewra - synergy! :)
That is a beautiful & powerful & true meditation. Now that I read & comment on *your* comment, I guess what I meant when I referred to the "new" or "old" me is that I am brought closer to my essence, my neshamah, that soul flame like what you're referring to. There are lessons learned, G@d willing, that cause us to return to our uncovered selves, the soul from G@d that does not change. No wonder the Hebrew word "korban", which is most often translated into English as "sacrifice", means "to draw near".
Sometimes G@d strips us of that which we are leaning on when we ought to be leaning on The Holy One. & thereby gathers us in.

4:37 p.m.  
Blogger Soferet said...

Oh, & btw, these words at the bottom remind me of what you said, Evenewra.

4:42 p.m.  

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