Simchat Torah with a Soferet's Torah

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by JL

With Simchat Torah this weekend, I am reminded of endings and beginnings. During this holiday, we will finish reading the final portion of the Torah and start reading the Torah once again from the beginning.

October 2003 marked a new beginning in the field of Sofers, Torah scribes. Aviel Barclay became the first certified soferet, or female Torah scribe. Currently, she is writing a Torah scroll, the first ever known to be written completely by a woman's hand. Aviel, who hosts her own blog about her experiences as a soferet, claims to be the first female scribe in over 200 years. Today, she is joined by five other known women scribes. Earlier this fall, three of them were working in St. Louis at the same time

It's exciting to me that women are now gaining access to a form of religious art and expression that was previously closed to them. What do you think women will bring to the field of scribes?

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