Saturday, April 3, 2010


As I make this first entry to the blog, the St. Louis Women's Megillah Writing Project is already underway. This project is the joint venture of approximately ten Orthodox women in St. Louis, Missouri, to write a complete, and of course Kosher, Megillat Esther. Most of us are already calligraphers (to varying degrees), but none of us know STA"M at this point.

Steps taken to date:
Identifying the women who hope to participate.
Purchasing our klaf (from a sofer in Israel).
Learning as a group, with Rabbi Hyim Shafner, some of the halachot of
writing a Megillah.
Finding someone local to teach us STA"M, and the practical halachot of
writing a Megillah.
Purchasing ink, gid (sinew thread used to sew the parchment pieces
together), and parchment scraps for practicing.

We hope to begin actual classes in STA"M in a few weeks, and we hope to have a finished Megillah, with God's help, in time for Purim 2012. After some research, I thought that this might be the first Megillah written by Orthodox women in modern times, but I was recently told that a group of Orthodox women in Nachlaot, Jerusalem, have written one -- something to be checked out.

I hope to blog the process from here on in, step by step, with photos too. We have documented on video, the classes with Rabbi Shafner, and when I get to be a more experienced blogger, I will incorporate clips into this blog.

As part of this project, I have translated into English Chapter 28 of Keset HaSofer, the chapter that deals with the laws of writing (and sewing) a Megillah. Now to figure out how to attach it to this blog . . . . I hope to eventually collect here translations of the Shulchan Aruch, the Rambam, and other primary sources on the topic, as well as of the Lishkat Hasofer, a commentary on Chapter 28 of Keset Hasofer.