This is a record of a journey… My journey. The journey started 14 months before this blog, and I’ve been trying to avoid writing a blog for 14 months. As I have described my experience to others, however I’ve been asked repeatedly if I’m blogging about my activities.
It is hard for me to understand why anyone would want to read this unless they are on a similar journey. Most of the time, this journey is a lot like watching ink dry. In fact, it is exactly like that.
This is because a Sofer is a scribe. A person who places words on a page using a feather quill and Oak gall ink. It is a slow tedious process, but the process, or at least the mechanics is only a small fraction of the wisdom and lore that surround this task.
The first 14 months were just practice, so that my letters might look somewhat reasonable on the page. My goal is to write the 5 books of Moshe (Moses) in Hebrew STAM on parchment using a quill as a pen. I will start in the month of Aviv (April 2011) and it will take me seven years to finish the task if I don’t get sidetracked.
When I was trying to come up with a name for this blog, I jokingly said Sofer Goy to my wife. When she laughed, I knew this was the name. At it’s most basic Judaic meaning, Sofer Goy is an oxymoron, it means:
A goy, in modern Judaic usage, is a gentile, someone who is not Jewish. In Jewish thinking, a Goy is not required to keep the Torah, let alone write it and if a Goy writes the Torah, it is automatically considered suspect.
So, if I’m a goy, then how could I be a sofer? and furthermore, Why?
By this first definition, I am a Goy. At least as far as I know, I’m not Jewish. But I am in good company: Avraham (Abraham), Itzak (Isaac), and Yaakov (Jacob) were all Goy. (Take a look at Deuteronomy 26:5).
As to the question of: Why I’m writing the Torah? The answer is: I don’t know. I can only say at this point, that I have a strong desire to write it. (ask me again in a year or two)
When I tried using Google to translate Sofer Goy, it said:
I’m currently sewing a large Samech (the letter S) on my shirt, while writing Hebrew with my other hand and typing this with my left foot. Not.
Sofer Goy could also mean:
No matter what it means to you, or to me, my goal is to use these pages to talk about what I’ve learned.
My purpose on these pages is not to argue points of philosophy, religion , politics or theology. My desire, is to learn what it is like to be a sofer first hand and share this with others.
My Christian family and friends may think I’m too Jewish, and I’m guessing that many Yehudim, who find these pages, will think I’m too Goy.
My desire, is that we all will learn from this shared journey.
ארצי בן יעקב