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, October 30, 2006



The Temple of Aaron men's club was kind enough to present me with this collage they made of some of our Torah event's media coverage:
Soferet Collage 1

Soferet Collage 2
(I'm actually really surprised that the photographer got a good shot of me - I'm normally so animated & I move around so much that I'm horribly horribly UN-photogenic. So kudos to him!)

Sunday went beautifully, thank G@d. We started at 9am with all the children of the Jewish school, their parents, grandparents, & any other special people in their lives who they wanted to invite to share in the Torah-writing experience. It was gorgeous!

You know, hundreds of people lined up to rest their hand on mine as I wrote in this Torah. It was amazing. Some even cried.

It made me really think: I refused to practice sofrut until my teachers & rabbis gave me the go-ahead. Even though I'd learned it well with them & felt ready - ok, MORE than ready - to begin this sacred task I had yearned for since I was small, I knew it was wrong for me to call myself a soferet or to practice any of it until I was given permission by them to do so. Once I received my endorsement, then my work was finally kosher (if you accept sofrut from a woman, that is!).

& I chose my teachers carefully, & they me, because to seriously, positively change the world you have to change yourself. They still mentor & challenge me.

& when I first began to write, I have to admit, I was petrified. Who was I to interact with the holy letters in this way? Just because I was certified didn't mean I was an expert yet. It's like when you finish journalism school or are ordained as a minister - you're totally qualified, but you lack experience. You're a baby. & I was a baby soferet. & terrified of making any error, visible or invisible, even by accident. I felt the weight of all the Jews who might rely on me to provide for them what they needed. It was hard.

& yesterday I had the solemn privilege to witness other people's very intimate reactions to my writing a letter for them. The searing love I saw in their faces for this scroll, which some may not have even been able to read, was palpable. This is the Torah, Eytz Chayim Hee!

I am so lucky! Barukh Ha-Shem!

There were yummy little kids, oldsters...what a blessing!
One very elderly man came up to me on his turn - he must have been 100 years old if he was a day - & he looked me in the eye. Like, right through me.
& I asked him what his name was.
I was expecting "Max" or "Benny" or some other anglicized name for a gent of his generation. But he gave me his Hebrew name. He pronounced it proudly with his heavy Polish accent: "Barukh ben Chayim Pesach!"
& I was just held, transfixed, by this man's presence. He kept staring right through me & he repeated his Hebrew name: Barukh ben Chayim Pesach.
I was blown away.
Then he held my hand & we wrote a letter together.

I later learned that this man walked away from my writing table with tears in his eyes, saying, "I'm 95 years old & that was the most important thing I've ever done."

& this went on all day! What a great experience! I'm so blessed!
& there was a 6-month-old baby girl too! Her parents held her over the Torah & put her teeny delicate little pink hand on mine as I wrote, her eyes wide.

I must thank everyone at Temple of Aaron for making me feel like I was part of their family. They honoured me by trusting me with their Torah & really, with their hearts too. & I hope I brought to them whatever they needed from me. If, in the end, we've all drawn a little closer to Torah, & thereby a little closer to G@d, that is the greatest gift we can share.

I must say, the airport here has the coolest floors!
Jewy centre of the snowflake mosaic floor of Minneapolis-St Paul airport:
Soferet Jewy Snowflake Mosaic

All good things must come to an end, so I hopped my plane & headed north back home to Canada:
True North Soferet

& this is the fab view I had of Mount Ranier & the waxing moon on my layover at Sea-Tac:
Soferet View @ Sea-Tac
(if you click on the pic, you'll see it in all its stunning detail!)

& finally, the fertile Lower Mainland of Vancouver & our beautiful Georgia Strait:
Soferet Flying Home
Home sweet home!

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