Thursday, May 6, 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010

la vie soferet

New York woke me up in the middle of the night with some truly impressive rain. Really, it must take a lot of effort to drop that much water out of the sky.

I was going to try and take a picture for you, but by the time it was light and I'd showered (why did I bother doing that? I could have just sat on the fire escape for a bit) and stuff, the rain had slacked off.

When it started raining (in the middle of the night, of course) I got out of bed and closed the windows, because I have bits of a Torah on my various tables, all too close to the windows for irresponsible sleeping through rainstorms. Okay, they're all at least a metre away from the windows and it would take some REALLY determined rain to get that far in, but you try sleeping through a rainstorm with open windows and bits of a Torah on your tables, and I bet you wouldn't make much of it either.

Oh, re: tables - that'd be one writing-desk, and one dining-table, which is temporarily serving as a Torah Corrections Zone (that sounds a lot more borstalian than it actually is), so meals are eaten on the balcony fire escape during fine weather and on the couch otherwise. Lest you should think that la vie soferet involves sumptuous drawing-rooms, or something.

Anyway, I'm working at Yeshivat Hadar today. Back later. Cheerio.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

What counts as Done?

So when all the writing is finished, there's still a good deal of this and that to be done, to a sefer Torah.

Proofreading, obviously. I've been more or less proofreading as I go along, but one still has to send it to the external checker, and wait for that.

Seams - I've been sewing it as I go along, as well, but there's a bit of tinkering around one does with the seams.

Cleaning - one needs to remove miscellaneous pencil marks from various places.

And similar. So, I can write 100% in the little box at the side, because when I'm done with the writing the rest is pocket change - but there's still what to be doing, and I'm doing it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Shatnez gatz

One of the few places in Torah where all the letters with crowns - שעטנז גץ - are within a few millimetres of each other. Pretty, isn't it?

This one's in Devarim, 22:11-12:לא תלבש שעטנז צמר ופשתים יחדו: גדלים תעשה לך על ארבע כנפות כסותך אשר תכסה בה.

Monday, April 19, 2010

yom hazikaron

I wrote this bit today. Very appropriate. I don't plan it this way, you know.

When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. He shall say: "Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them. For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory."

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Overdue update!

All pretty quiet on the home front here, as we slip into the last few weeks of Torah writing. I've spent today at one end of a huge table, correcting Torah sheets I wrote a while ago.

At the other end of the table was Sofer Boyfriend, correcting a Scroll of Kohelet he wrote a while ago.

Sunshine, lovely spring breezes, birdsong, and the scratchings of scalpels and occasional "What do you think about this?"-type conversation snatches all add up to a very congenial atmosphere from which to produce Torah.

Logistically speaking, writing has been suspended while the present sheets are being proofread. This is called planning ahead - the computer-checking people are Very Very Busy right before Shavuot, so the sensible thing to do is get practically all of your sefer to the checkers well in advance. By Monday, the checkers will have 88% of the sefer, and we'll be able to do the last bits in a decently leisurely sort of fashion.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Getting along

Life in the soferet household has been enlivened of late by a succession of computer mishaps. One computer can't talk to the internet, another can't talk to the camera. One can't type letter A, one can't type Hebrew. A quill, by comparison, is just a dream of simplicity.

Anyway, computer sanity has been restored more or less, thanks to a screwdriver and eBay, and we're now into Sefer Devarim.

Here's a picture of my progress chart. Big project like this, you have to have a progress chart, or you get all scared. The different books are different colours because it's cheerful that way.

You can see how I've crossed off all the columns in the first four books. Only one book left!

And here's the gap between the end of Sefer Bemidbar and the beginning of Sefer Devarim. That's the last between-book gap...

Phonecall yesterday, also, to say that the first half of the sefer has been duly scanned and is ready to be collected from the Lower East Side. More about that when it happens!