hatam_soferet: (esther)
( Jul. 13th, 2014 06:27 pm)

Rachel 1 wants a soferet to do some repair on a Torah in Boston. So Rachel 1 asks her friend Rachel 2 to ask her soferet friend Rachel 3, in LA, whether she knows anyone in Boston. Rachel 3 asks me. I introduce Rachel 3 to Rachel 4, soferet in Boston. Rachel 4 writes to Rachels 1, 2, and 3, copying me in on the conversation. “Hi, Rachel, Rachel, and Rachel…”

I try to think of a way to bring Rachel 5, the Third Soferet Rachel, into the loop, but can’t quite swing it. And there is Rachel 6, the Fourth Soferet Rachel, but she is in Brazil, which is a long way from Boston.

This is officially Getting Silly. We have three Soferet Lindas, four Soferet Rachels…

Mirrored from hasoferet.com.

hatam_soferet: (esther)
( Nov. 25th, 2013 06:49 pm)

This will be no surprise to anyone ever, but Montreal in winter is COLD. I went outside after a shower the other day, and my hair FROZE. With actual ice in it.

Unrelatedly, here is a picture of a mezuzah I wrote today:

Available here.

Mirrored from hasoferet.com.

hatam_soferet: (esther)
( May. 21st, 2013 09:32 pm)
Sotheby’s has gigantic Judaica auctions every so often, and they often put the items on public display right before the auction. If you time your visit right, it’s almost as good as a museum (except that unlike a museum, it’s only open for three days, and then it’s over). Last time I was there, I saw these tops for Torah rollers.

(You get how these work, yes? They go on top of things like broom handles, to which are attached the Torah.)

DEAR LITTLE CARVED LIONS WITH BOGGLY EYES! In little lion houses!

Mirrored from hasoferet.com.

hatam_soferet: (esther)
»

ICK

( May. 2nd, 2012 11:20 am)

Something you do not need to see when you open tefillin: BUGS.

The vacated exoskeletons of bugs, I grant you (note the hole in the centre one where the bug burst its way out), but still, ick. At least a dozen of them.

Perhaps surprisingly, the klafim were ok, once I’d brushed the crumbled bugs out of the folds (ick).

I’m swapping out the batim, though. Ick.

Fortunately this was a donated set so I have no idea whose head was wearing all those bugs. Not something I would want to know.

Mirrored from hasoferet.com.

hatam_soferet: (esther)
( Aug. 3rd, 2011 10:48 pm)

I write Torah scrolls for congregations, and part of my job is working closely with the congregation to make appropriate programming. Such as, for instance, an opening ritual.

A good ritual starts by speaking to who the community is, and inspires them with a vision of who they want to be. My job as the consulting scribe is to come up with Torah-related ideas that will make that connection.

The clergy and lay leaders have some idea of both ends (you hope), but since I’m not part of the community, I don’t. A meeting with the Torah committee to plan the ritual can be rather intimidating, because it’s my job to figure out, in an hour, what sorts of things they are likely to find familiar, relevant, exciting, and inspirational, and to present those in ways which will fit into the logistical and emotional parameters of ritual.

They have classes on this stuff in rabbinical school, you know. I could ace one of those classes.

Well, so. This is a community that’s celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, its jubilee year. It recently-ish (within communal memory) moved into a shiny new building, and walked the Torah scrolls from the old building to the new. The dedication is right after Simchat Torah.

Elements that got thrown into the mixing bowl, when talking with clergy and lay leaders:

* Children (or perhaps adult bat mitzvah class, convert class, etc) bringing the blank parchment sheets into the sanctuary
* 42 sheets, for the 42 journeys made by the Israelites, and the 42 lines per column. The rabbi has a dvar Torah connecting the 42 journeys to the poem Ana b’koach.
* Collecting turkey feathers from local turkeys beforehand; a quill-cutting moment
* There are pre-writing kavvanot which include Ana b’koach. A kavannah moment.
* Another pre-writing thing is vidui. Since we will just have had Yom Kippur, Ashamnu will be fresh in people’s minds. A solemn moment.
* Blank sheets, Book of Life, fresh starts (see “Jubilee”). Journeys (see “New building”).
* Having six different people write the letters of the first word, images projected onto screen
* Having those people share a minute or two each of their stories
* Talking about the symbolism of each letter, matching that up with their stories
* Having the kids sing alphabet and Torah songs
* Having cards and envelopes under each chair and getting people to write about what their Torah journey this year might be; cards to be sent to participants after the completion ceremony

Yes, that’s not a complete list of every possible element of an opening ritual. That would be cumbersome. This is a good starting list, tailored to this community. Now the clergy and Torah committee will figure out how they’d like to put all this together, and we’ll go from there.

Mirrored from hasoferet.com.

This is why we call him George. Who signs Torahs?

This is why we call him George. Who signs Torahs?


You’re not supposed to write your name on the back of a sefer Torah, just in case you were wondering.
Blue ink.

Blue ink.


What *is* this? And what is it doing scribbled on the back of a sefer torah?
Say what?

Say what?


By the way, if anyone can decipher these, I’d be delighted to hear about it. I really do wonder what they’re doing there.
I hate not being able to read people's writing!

I hate not being able to read people's writing!


At least they used pencil on the front…
Same again...

Same again...


Got rid of all these with erasers and knifework. But took pictures, for posterity. Hullo, posterity!

Mirrored from hasoferet.com.

hatam_soferet: (esther)
( Jul. 6th, 2011 03:59 pm)

I love RG.

RG has been coming to Apprentice with a Sofer on Tuesday nights.

She doesn’t count herself as valid to work on a sefer Torah (because she holds that men and women have different halakhic capabilities) so every time we do a new thing, she asks me “Can I do this? Can I do that?”

I love this. It’s so un-awkward. It makes it so easy to emphasise “Some people can’t do everything. It’s okay to be one of those people. There’s plenty you can do anyway. And no-one’s judging you.”

Cheers, RG!

Mirrored from hasoferet.com.

Here’s a video featuring a very tiny totally kosher Torah scroll.

The video’s more concerned with the accoutrements, a little aron kodesh and the usual silver ornaments for a Torah scroll, than with the scroll itself. They’re made by Bezalel School-trained artist Shuki Freiman, and they are breathtakingly beautiful, utterly and completely. Seeing them is a treat. I’m just a bit sad that they don’t talk about the scroll; they just say that it’s less then five inches tall and written by a sofer in Bnei Brak. No close-ups.

Shabbat shalom! Hope you bought your sushi this week. I bought mine. California rolls, yay.

Mirrored from hasoferet.com.

My beloved student Julie has been writing a Torah in San Francisco at the Contemporary Jewish Museum for the past year, and once she’d finished writing (yay) it came time to sew it together and have a bit of an Event.

So I went out there to help with the sewing and to be part of the Event, because your student doesn’t finish her first sefer Torah every day. I mean wow, seriously.

And I learned…that sewing a Torah together is a lot more fun when there’s two of you doing it. (Here’s a description of sewing a Torah.) It’s pretty fun anyway, but it’s even better when shared.

First we took awls and punched holes down the edges.

Then we took burnishers and folded over one edge.

Then we sorted all the sheets into order.

Then we each took part of the pile

laid two sheets right sides together (this is Sewing 101)

checked that they were the CORRECT two sheets (this is Sewing 101 section 1.1.1)

cut lengths of gid

threaded needles

tied knots

and SEWED

and SEWED

and SEWED

knotted off the threads

cut them

smoothed the seams

and rolled the new sheet up

and continued

and the rolls grew and grew and grew!

until there was a whole Torah

just sitting there

where before there had been a pile of sheets of parchment.

Pretty magical eh?

The museum isn’t a shul. It doesn’t have Torah readings. But don’t you think it’s awfully sad to write a whole Torah and then not have it read from? Julie did, and so did the museum. So they arranged for the Torah to visit Netivot Shalom in Berkeley, and on Shabbat we read from it.

Now, the funny thing is, that you write a Torah, and everyone involved is all, whoop-de-hey! amazingcakes! spiffettydoo!, but once you’re reading from it, it’s just like any other Torah. Kind of like pouring water into a lake. The water you’re pouring may be terribly special to you, but once you pour it into the lake, it’s part of the lake, and it doesn’t matter that once it was your special water. It becomes essentially anonymous, just part of the greater body.

No-one would know, to look at it, unless you told them that it was your special Torah. It acquires a life of its own, independent of you (it’s not a mixed metaphor if you start a new paragraph, right?). It’s rather beautiful, in a funny sort of way.

Julie looking slightly surprised, rather relieved, and altogether joyful to have written a Torah.

Mirrored from hasoferet.com.

hatam_soferet: (esther)
( Mar. 18th, 2011 04:06 pm)
case

This Purim, I was commissioned to write a megillah for the Abramson Center for Jewish Life, and not just create a megillah, but also a case for it to live in. The Center’s rabbi asked if I could make a design that drew on the Center’s existing artwork, and that’s what you see above.

The Abramson Center has stained-glass windows by the artist Mordechai Rosenstein. I used elements from the Book of Numbers window, pictured here.

Why Numbers? Well, the book of Esther is quite interested in numbers, have you ever noticed? Listen up when you hear it this year – you’ll see. Also, in Numbers, the Israelites complain about המן, which is part of the Purim narrative also.

More seriously, the Shabbat before Purim is known as Shabbat Zachor, because it is on this Shabbat that we remember what Amalek did to the Israelites in the wilderness. The Amalek story is also brought up in the Book of Numbers, in Balaam’s oracle: Amalek was the first among the nations, but its end is utter destruction – and the future of Amalek is (albeit obscurely) what the Purim story is about.

So it is appropriate that the Megillah case draws its colouring and background elements, these energetic stripes of oranges, green, and purple, with white accents, from the Book of Numbers window.

The letters are inspired by another Mordechai Rosenstein piece at the Abramson Center, pictured here, where they spell out והדרת פני זקן – honour the elderly.

What are the letters on the Megillah case spelling out?

The Numbers window depicts an amphora, and on Purim an amphora means one thing – wine. The rabbinic dictum is that one should drink עד דלא ידע – until he can no longer distinguish between “Blessed be Mordechai” and “Cursed be Haman.”

The Megillah case takes the words ברוך מרדכי and ארור המן, and adds the pairing “Blessed be Esther” and “Cursed be Zeresh” from the piyut Shoshanat Yaakov – and then mixes all the letters up, all over the case, until it’s all jumbled and scrambled and עד דלא ידע indeed.

The word translated “honour,” above, has the Hebrew root הדר, which we know in another context, הידר מצוה – hidur mitzvah, beautifying or honouring a mitzvah. This Megillah and its case were donated in memory of Eugene Winston, by Ira, Flaura, Andrew, and Zachary Winston, and they will have the satisfaction every year of knowing that the Center’s Megillah reading is beautified in Eugene’s honour. We wish them joy.

case

Mirrored from hasoferet.com.

Tuesday night, I was teaching at my scribe school, as is my wont on Tuesday nights.

Three-quarters of the room was speaking Yiddish.

Now, I posted recently about the surreal experience of being at a party of young, egal-type Jews where three-quarters of the room was speaking Yiddish. That was strange, yes. But having three-quarters of my scribe school chatting on in Yiddish, well, my brain felt as though it was being turned inside out. I think this is what cognitive dissonance feels like.

That is – if I tell you that here’s a sofer class mostly speaking Yiddish, what do you expect? I expect a lot of black clothing, a lot of peyes, a complete lack of women, a lot of right-wing Orthodoxy and a lot of nineteenth-century Europe ambience. (Yes, my YU friends, this doesn’t describe you. I know. But you know the stereotype I’m carrying in my head, don’t you.)

So here’s a sofer class mostly speaking Yiddish, but it’s taking place in a women’s yeshiva,* there’s no right-wing Orthodoxy in sight,** it’s midtown Manhattan, it’s all women,*** there are no peyes, no Yentl, but it’s certainly a sofer class, and they’re certainly speaking a lot of Yiddish, and dear goodness cognitive dissonance on a grand scale makes it hard to teach a class, you can’t say anything for gaping wordlessly as your cognitive abilities try to catch up.

Possibly a good thing. As they say, aider me zogt arois s’vort, iz men a har; dernoch iz men a nar.****

* Not on principle, more because Drisha are nice and give us a classroom.
** Also not on principle. Orthodoxim are welcome, we just don’t have any Orthodoxim this semester.
*** Also not on principle, we just don’t have any men this semester.
**** Google, and only because I don’t know enough Yiddish to come up with a proper witty punchline.

Mirrored from hasoferet.com.

hatam_soferet: (waan)
( Jan. 26th, 2011 01:01 pm)
This is the second time I've seen a certain hawk in the tree outside my living-room window (yay binoculars!). It looks a lot like the pictures of the juvenile red-tailed hawk here (yay internet!), so I'm guessing it's a juvenile red-tailed hawk.

Here is a picture (yay camera!):



I am amused by the similarity between the hawk's expression and Waan's expression in the icon.
hatam_soferet: (Default)
( Nov. 21st, 2010 03:46 pm)
That was one cultured week, my goodness.

On Monday, I went to a concert at Carnegie Hall - "Jack Gibbons Plays Chopin." Jack Gibbons gave a sort of expanded program-notes on each piece as part of his performance, sharing a bit about the music and about his relationship to it before also sharing his interpretation and performance of it. That was very interesting and splendid. He also played some of his own compositions by way of encore, and I liked them very much too.

I went to this concert with my Mum, incidentally. She came over from England for it. Ain't that something?

On Tuesday, I taught my scribes. This isn't exactly The Arts, but it's Proto-Arts, so it counts as culture.

On Wednesday, I took Mum to the Three Faiths exhibition at the New York Public Library, so that she could kvell over her daughter's sixteen seconds of video fame in the scriptorium exhibit.

On Thursday, I went to see some Yiddish theatre. Folksbiene were doing A Celebration Of I.L.Peretz - interpretations of two of his pieces using dance, music, video, and theatre. It was surprisingly satisfactory.

On Friday, there was, as there always is, the male-voice choir at Breuer's. That's just background culture, but it totally counts. Not many shuls have a choir like that - it's like a little free concert every week just for going to shul.

On Saturday, I went to a chamber music concert at my old shul, Adath Israel of Riverdale. One of its members is one of those world-class violinists who happen to live in New York City, and she's arranged a series of chamber music concerts at the shul two years in a row now. Kind of like the Carnegie Hall concert, only I knew half the audience by name and it was just at shul.

And on Sunday, I was sitting in the park when some people turned up and started taking portfolio photos of a dancer, all pretty in the afternoon sun against the trees.

So that was nice.
hatam_soferet: (esther)
( Nov. 7th, 2010 05:36 pm)

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.

Mirrored from hasoferet.com.

hatam_soferet: (esther)
( Oct. 24th, 2010 11:35 pm)

The Women’s Torah Project peeps sent me a pretty pretty certificate honouring me as one of the Sisters of the Torah, “dedicated to the discovery of ancient roots and the creation of powerful futures.”

Isn’t that sweet and generous of them? As I think I’ve said before, the project organisers really are rather a special bunch. What lovies.

Mirrored from hasoferet.com.

hatam_soferet: (esther)
( Oct. 19th, 2010 06:03 pm)

all-it-takes-500

A meditation on the incremental nature of change, with interconnected letters and increasingly-flourishing leaves.

Attributed to R’ Abraham Joshua Heschel, although I truly doubt Heschel ever said that, such that if anyone can find me a primary source I will eat my hat broccoli.

Prints available for purchase in my Etsy store, just in case you have some people in your movement who need honouring.

Mirrored from hasoferet.com.

A very Rodeph-Sholom couple of weeks.

Rodeph Sholom, for those not intimately familiar with Manhattan’s Upper West Side Jewish Scene, is a Reform synagogue of epic proportions, with after-school religious school program, and eponymous Reform day school a few blocks away. I have the good fortune to visit them relatively often.

Week before last I was giving an enormous crowd of second-graders a bit of an Introduction to Torah Writing with pieces written by one of my students for demonstration. (SEVENTY of them, my goodness. Impeccably behaved, too.) I was telling them about how you’re not supposed to kill an animal specially for making Torahs out of it, the cow has to have died for something else, and one of them said gravely “Ah…cow recycling?” which was sublime and a phrase I will definitely be using in future.

The third-and-fourth-graders were very pleasant as well. At the end, I let everyone come up and try to break the gid, the thread that’s used for sewing the panels, and one of the girls actually managed it. So I gave her the broken bit, she deserved it!

And then last week the b”mitzvah prep class, which is a whole rather excellent thing in itself; the shul does a package of six sort of meta-sessions where the kids and families get to think about What and Why and suchlike; space given over to consciousness which might otherwise be swallowed in details of Torah portions and party planning. I would think it was a pretty neat idea even if they didn’t have me at the first session giving people a close-up encounter with the Torah scroll — joke — but seriously, it’s rather lovely to be able to say to these families “You’re about to put a lot of effort into reading from this thing. Here’s why it’s special” and share a bit of Torah-scrollage with them.

With a bit of bonus Torah-fixing — rolling up afterwards, I noticed that one of the reinforcement strips was coming loose, and I had my soferet field kit with me so I could just glue it back down. And then I noticed some pencil marks on the back of the scroll that would be better off removed, so I did those too. In the book of Bereshit — next time I’m there we’ll be in Shemot, so I expect I’ll do Shemot then.

NYC = good place for soferet to be.

Mirrored from hasoferet.com.

Mazal tovs to the Women’s Torah Project on finishing their Torah!

“The first Torah written and embellished by an international community of women,” as they say. I’ve written three Torahs at this point, so I know well how nice it feels to finish writing a Torah.

The Women’s Torah Project started about ten years ago when a Reconstructionist congregation in Seattle decided it wanted a new Torah-scroll, and moreover, one written by a Woman. With commendable energy, they set about creating a suitable Woman, underwriting training for a soferet, and then set about creating a suitable Torah.

This was about the same time as I was learning, to give you an idea.

Their project encountered stormy waters, poor things, and they hove to just about the time I started writing my first Torah. I was fortunately-placed in smooth waters with calm winds, and made steady progress with writing my own Torah as they were trying to get back on course.

This would have been of no consequence, except that there was a prize in sight; the unclaimed territory of Torah Written By Woman. As with much unclaimed territory, it had (almost certainly) been occupied some centuries before by other ladies, but history didn’t write their names down, so as with indigenous occupants, they go more or less unregarded, poor dears. So I reached my goal of writing a Torah, and incidentally set foot on the land of Torah Written By Woman – and the Women’s Torah Project, having announced its intention of capturing this territory in a blaze of publicity some years earlier, was becalmed – I’d taken the wind out of their sails, as it were, by completing a Torah first.

Oops.

So I felt kind of sorry for them, and I was glad for them when they found a new goal. They redefined themselves as a project envisioned by Shoshana Gugenheim some years before, a project in which a team of women collectively write the Torah, as a sort of symbolically feminine endeavour.

This is Not My Sort Of Thing at all, so I didn’t participate, although they most graciously invited me. Anyway, I had another Torah commission by that time. And then another. But I sent them a couple of my students who I thought would benefit from being part of the project, and over the years I’ve given them quite a lot of general advice and mentoring born of experience; it’s nice to be able to do that.

Raised glasses in particular to the project’s organisers, who thought they were undertaking a two-year project, and gamely kept fundraising and organising for the best part of a decade. Takes a particular kind of dogged fortitude, that.

Other news in the world of Women’s Torahs – my superstar student Julie Seltzer, who did a bit of work for the Women’s Torah Project, but is now employed by the Contemporary Jewish Museum of San Francisco, writing a Torah for them as part of an exhibit; this Torah is also approaching completion, and I’m jolly pleased about that too.

Mirrored from hasoferet.com.

I’m taking Prof. Steiner’s Intro to Biblical Hebrew class at Yeshiva University this semester, and I like it a whole lot.

It’s a standard biblical grammar course, but it’s presented in a way I’ve never heard grammar described, and as a result, I’m finding myself actually rather excited about it. This, you understand, is an exceptionally refreshing feeling.

I’m used to thinking of Hebrew grammar as a set of Rules, rather like a function in x. But — if I may get technical here for a moment — instead of f(x)=x2 or something similarly straightforward, f(x) is x2 when 1<x<20, 1/x when x>-400, x9+4ix3+7.35 when -400<x<0, and a species of polynomial most of the rest of the time but asymptotic whenever x is an even number greater than 0.

You will know well what I mean if you have ever tried to read the chapter on the Kamatz Katan in your grammar book. This stuff is mad arbitrary. You might think that I, with my mathematical brain, would like madly arbitrary rule systems, but actually in linguistic contexts I really don’t. Mathematics may be a language, but language isn’t mathematics.

So, what I like about Prof Steiner’s course is that it talks about Biblical Hebrew as a language! Isn’t that wild?

Here’s a bit from the introduction to the textbook (Lambdin’s Grammar).

Our knowledge of Biblical Hebrew is directly dependent on Jewish oral tradition and thus on the state of that tradition during and following the various dispersions of the Jews from Palestine. This dependence arises on the peculiarly deficient orthography in which the biblical text was written; it is essentially vowelless, or at most, vocalically ambiguous (see below, ch. 8). The actual pronunciation of the language was handed down orally, and as the Jews left or were expelled from Palestine and formed new communities in Babylonia, Egypt, and eventually throughout most of the civilized world, the traditional reading of biblical texts diverged gradually from whatever norm might have existed prior to these diversions. The written consonantal text itself achieved a final authoritative form around the end of the first century A.D. This text was successfully promulgated among all the Jewish communities, so that texts postdating this time do not differ from one another in any important particulars.

I came out of the first class feeling rather as though my brain had been dipped in bleach, with the revelation that grammar describes and does not define a language. The vocalised Hebrew of the Bible was notated by the Masoretes, who were describing the language they heard.

Okay, that probably sounds trivial to most of you, but it was a big deal to me, okay? I’d just never thought of it that way. I kind of thought the Masoretes inherited the rule systems all in place, and their contribution was to write them down — when actually, they were making the observations that were the groundwork for building rule systems. Of course they noticed patterns and so forth, but their role was very much an observational one, not a prescriptive one.

More from the textbook:

Modern printed versions of the Hebrew Bible derive from several essentially similar sources, all reflecting the grammatical activity of Jewish scholars (or Masoretes, traditionalists in Tiberias, who during the 9th and 10th centuries perfected a system of vowel notation and added it to the received consonantal text. Because the vowel system reflected in this notation is not exactly the same as that of the tradition used in other locales, we must recognise that Hebrew grammar, as based on the vocalized Tiberian Masoretic text, is no more or less authentic than that which would derive from other traditions: it is simply the best preserved and has received, by universal adoption the stamp of authority.

Prof. Steiner also uses words like fricative and labiodental, which are not part of my regular discourse, so they sound excitingly foreign. Seriously though — it’s another part of looking at Biblical Hebrew as a language, and going from there — using various tools of linguistics and grammar to describe it. I’ll say again – this just isn’t a way I’m used to thinking about Biblical Hebrew, and I rather like it.

Mirrored from hasoferet.com.

Now all the holidays are safely over (I’M LOOKING AT YOU, COLUMBUS DAY), it’s time to get down to the semester in earnest.

What about making this the year you get round to learning safrut? Especially if you’re in NYC and you want to learn it with me, because I’m thinking about taking a few years out of NYC starting next year, so carpe diem, etc.

There are a bunch of you out there who’ve been sort of thinking about it for a while. If a critical mass of people are interested, I’ll arrange halakah-learning, halakha-review, and practice-sessions.

By the end of the year, you could – if you give it your best effort – know enough to write your own mezuzot more or less independently, for instance. You would also have the basic skills to identify and repair pesulim in your community’s sifrei Torah, and the ability to determine whether that’s appropriate.

Logistics – I’m thinking Tuesdays p.m. from 5-8.30 or so; informal skills and chevruta from 5-7.30 and class-review of the week’s halakha 7.30-8.30. Unless no-one at all can do Tuesdays, in which case we’ll arrange Monday or Sunday by democratic process.

Cost – much as I would love to teach for nothing, there will be a cost. A semester’s fee paid in advance does wonders for keeping your motivation up, anyway. I think $250 for the seven weeks left of this semester, three and a half hours a week, but if that’s impossibly beyond you, say so when you email me and we’ll figure something out.

If you’re interested, email me this week or next, and we’ll start on the 26th Oct.

Mirrored from hasoferet.com.

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