Essay questions

I get these by email every so often.

1. What is your favorite part of your job?

If you’re very lucky, in your life you’ll find an activity – maybe something physical, or intellectual, or creative, or none of those – that is just *right* for you. When you start doing it, everything feels good and right and comfortable. When I’m writing, that’s how I feel. That’s my favourite part of my job.

2. How long did you have to study to become a soferet?

I studied about three years, but not full-time.

3. How many Sifrei Torah have you written?

Three so far.

4. What is the hardest part of your job?

Often, when a scribe makes a mistake, they can fix it with their knife, and no harm done. But just sometimes, a scribe will make a mistake in God’s name, and you aren’t allowed to use your knife on God’s Name. That means that if you make a mistake in God’s Name, you have to bury the sheet, because there’s nothing you can do to fix it. Maybe it’s four or five days’ work, and it’s going to be difficult and expensive to catch up. The hard part is when you are sitting, all alone, and you think “No-one would ever know if I just fixed it with my knife.” And it’s true. No-one would ever know. That’s when you have to face up to your mistake, accept that you’re going to lose a week’s work, and start over – and that’s hard. It’s very hard.

5. How old were you, when you knew you wanted to be a Soferet?

It wasn’t a Goal I had. It just sort of happened one step at a time.

6. Can you describe how it feels to be a Soferet – perhaps the first in history?

I think it’s important to remember the words of Kohelet – “There is nothing new under the sun.” We remember that the sacred scrolls, the Torah in particular, represent the Judaism we live for, and it is very special when a community trusts you to transcribe that Torah. Of course it’s exciting to do something unusual, but from a historical perspective the important thing is the sefer, and not the sofer.

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared.