Religion, Sex & Gender

Lo B'Shamayim Hi

Many, many mazal tovs to soferet Jen Taylor Friedman for completing writing* a Sefer Torah!!

Among other things, this makes her the first woman in known history to have scribed a Sefer Torah. it’s hard to know, because sofrim can’t sign their Torahs, so it’s quite possible that other women, elsewhere in history, have indeed written Sifrei Torah–but we just don’t know. Which makes Jen the first that we know about, and that’s pretty dang cool.
(The work was for this shul in St. Louis.)
She addresses a bunch of the halakhic issues involved in writing Sifrei Torah here.
Kol hakavod, Jen!
*Except for twelve words she’s saving to write at her siyum this weekend!

10 thoughts on “Lo B'Shamayim Hi

  1. Very interesting! Here is my question for her…where is your source for the (as you state it) fact, that the spelling tradition and others have been lost to the point where torahs today are imitations?
    And if they are, why do we bother sofering (can that be a verb?) them at all. And why do we fast? SHouldnt we just photocopy them? it woudl make your job a lot easier!

  2. Fran, the source for us not having the exact spellings any more is the Gemara, Kiddushin 30a. See also e.g. the Kol bo, siman 20, s.v.”Ve-zot ha-teshuvah.”
    To your second paragraph, we bother partly because of the chance that what we have is in fact the right version (see e.g. R’ Feinstein’s response to the Shaagat Aryeh siman 35-6), and partly because sifrei Torah are a powerful focus and symbol, and to discard them would be an equally powerful message, but a negative one – we usually express this concept as “so that Torah not be lost from Israel.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.