Woman scribes history-making Torah
Published Sunday, May 16, 2010 6:35PM EDT
A celebration at Congregation Dorshei Emet Sunday marked the completion of the first Torah in Canada - and one of the few in the world - to be written by a woman.
Members of Dorshei Emet in Hampstead called upon Soferet Jen Taylor Friedman to transcribe its new Torah scroll, which offers Jewish laws and teachings.
Traditionally a man's job, Taylor Friedman is one of a dozen female scribes in the world.
"One of the ways I show affection is to make things for people. A sacred Torah is one of the most beautiful things you can give a community," said Taylor Friedman.
One of three Reconstructionist synagogues in Canada, the congregation observes its faith in accordance to the secular world.
"If you honour women and treat them as equals in everyday life, they have to be treated that way in religion too," explained Jeremy Becker, a member of the congregation.
In addition, members were also invited to write a letter on the scroll; a Jewish commandment some have been waiting their entire lives to fulfill. The act is unorthodox, but Rabbi Ron Aigen says the history-making Torah has engaged all of the congregation's members.
"We called it Torah Imeinu, the Torah of our mothers... because we honour all of the women our lives: Mothers, wives, daughters," said Aigen.