Jan 9, 2019
Mezuzah Gate: What Happens Next

The Mezuzah controversy raised many questions about the mostly concealed Stam industry. COLlive gathered some answers.

By COLlive staff

What sparked the saga?

R' Moshe Dovid Wolf purchased 10 mezuzos from 8 different Stam vendors in Crown Heights and had them checked by R' Binyomin Rosenbaum, a sofer in Chicago. He presented the results in a video stating that 5 vendors sold non-kosher mezuzos and 2 of them had "very poor quality mezuzos."

What led him to conduct this research?

Wolf, who works in property management in Chicago, often assists his father Rabbi Aron Wolf with his organization "Chicago Mitzvah Campaign," which sells Tefillin and Mezuzos to locals.

"The hope is, through this video, stores will be more careful in what they are selling to the consumer and at the same time educating customers about the sad reality of today's mezuzah market," the young Wolf wrote in an email to COLlive.com.

How did the Stam vendors respond?

Seven of the 8 vendors responded by inviting Wolf to a Din Torah at Vaad Rabbonei Lubavitch, the Chabad rabbinical court that is based in Crown Heights. Wolf was given 2 weeks to respond with a hearing date, where he can justify his claims.

Why are they doing that?

Because Wolf's research specifically accused each one of them with fraud, instead of presenting the findings without identifying each store and vendor by name.

"Relying on a single unknown magia (reviewer) to do a character killing of many people and people's livelihood is wrong," says Rabbi Gad Sebag of Oraita, one of the vendors named in the video. "The poor choice of how to do this and the public shaming of sofrim is wrong."

Rabbi Sebag also pointed out that Wolf's "refusal to have a multiple neutral hagoho (review) performed of these mezuzos and then review the outcome is screaming foul."

Did vendors respond to the actual claims?

A few of the Crown Heights Stam vendors responded that each Mezuzah they sell is carefully checked by one of their in-house magihim (reviewers) before being sold, and if one isn't up to standard, they send it back to the merchant who got it from the sofer.

Who is the merchant?

Because of the high demand for Stam, individual sofers in Israel sell mezuzos they have written to a merchant, who then supplies them to vendors and stores in the United States. The Crown Heights vendors have in-house sofers/magihim that can make corrections when required.

Is this done with all Mezuzos?

Most mezuzos - both low-cost or expensive ones - are inspected by in-house magihim before being sold. The low-cost ones may undergo repairs as well. These are known as the "Mivtzoim Mezuzos" (which is what Wolf has purchased and presented in his research).

These Mivtzoim Mezuzos that cost under $42 are commonly purchased by Chabad Shluchim and outreach activists for Jews who don't necessarily lead a Torah observant lifestyle but are willing to hang up a mezuzah that won't require a costly investment on their part.

"There is a big demand for the low-cost mezuzos that (we provide) according to the Rebbe's request that every Jew have a mezuzah," says Rabbi Moshe Klein of Hasofer. "It is definitely better to sell a mezuzah that isn't written beautifully but is 100% kosher than for a person to put up a piece of paper or none at all."

What did the Rebbe say about such Mezuzos?

We aren't aware of a direct reference (and welcome any if anyone is aware of them). Some Shluchim pointed this week to a sicha on Sukkos 5727, in which the Rebbe told a story about the Baal Shem Tov who built a Sukkah which was kosher, yet questionable, to justify the similar ones built by the simple Jews, "so that they also have a kosher Sukkah that will protect them and save them from sin."

But Wolf's research said those mezuzos were outright not kosher...

"It is possible. I have not inspected them. It is very difficult to accept any halachic rulings as final through this medium," Rabbi YY (Fitz) Rabin of Yeshivas Stam in Crown Heights wrote in a public letter to students of his training program while noting he wasn't vouching for any vendors.

"There are many questions. For example, a space in the middle of a word being "too big" and dividing the word into 2 is a highly subjective question. Very often 2 sofrim will not see it the same way.

"Or, a 'crack' in a letter. Was it seen with a light shining behind it or a magnifying glass in front of it? Many magihim check like that and discoveries made through these means are meaningless in halacha... It is very difficult to accept with certainty and finality "pesulim" ('not kosher' rulings) of these kinds, without really seeing them."

Rabbi Sebag of Oraita says he sent Wolf's video to magihim in the U.S. and Israel "and they were puzzled" because the video adheres to "new concepts in halacha such as she'elas tinok (asking for a child's innocent opinion) in spacing issues... Not mentioned in Shulchon Aruch."

"The letters Tzadik showed in the reports are not even questions (clear space between the 2 heads. Kosher lechatchila. The disconnect parts of letters that are reported as posul are not nikar l'hedya (visible enough) and therefore kosher, as is, even without repair," he said.

He added, "As for the spacing between letters in the same word, a couple of them could have be been closer but are not posul. I do have to notice that those same issues appear in the others' report that for some reason was kosher there."

This now becomes a "he-said-he-said" argument. What is the solution to this?

With Stam becoming more commercialized, the industry should be regarded like any other - kosher food, nonedible kosher l'Pesach products etc. where consumers demand to see a certification on each item. In Israel, Stam comes with a hechsher from Rabbi Moshe Landa, Badatz Eida Chareidis Yerushalayim or others.

Is there a chance for a central Chabad certification for Stam?

In 5754 (1994), Crown Heights Beis Din member Rabbi Yehuda Kalmen Marlow tried instituting that (following the public guidelines that were outlined in a 5748 letter). He announced a cooporation with the Mishmeres Hastam organization in Israel to issue "certification documents" on all Mezuzos imported from Israel with a computerized tracking system that would identify who wrote it and when.

That system isn't in place today and sadly, the Crown Heights Beis Din (Badatz) is fractured into two separate institutions. Another factor is that many will resist giving a single entity a complete monopoly over the industry. Even in Israel, there are multiple certifications available.

So what does this mean going forward?

One option is for each vendor and store to announce who is supervising their Stam and ideally, it should not be the owner himself.

Rabbi Eliezer Lipa Shapiro of the Shapiro Stam Center ("Hamafitz upstairs") was quick to produce such a certification this week signed by Rabbi Yehuda Benchemhoun, a sofer for 35 years who was certified by Vaad Mishmereth STaM and Rabbi Yisroel Yitzchak Piekarski OBM, Rosh Yeshiva of 770.

In the letter, Rabbi Benchemhoun states that Shapiro's Stam "are affixed with my signature to indicate that they are kosher without any doubt whatsoever, thus are worthy of being used with a Brocho."

Rabbi Moshe Klein, owner of Hasofer which is in business for 36 years in Crown Heights, produced a similar letter from his in-house sofer and magia Rabbi Faitel Lewin.

Would that be enough?

In a statement this week, 2 out of 3 members of the Crown Heights Beis Din wrote that having the certification of an in-house sofer or magia (like Rabbi Benchemhoun) who is on the payroll of the vendors or store doesn't suffice and that an independent sofer is needed.

"It is now possible to rely on a certificate of approval from known and authorized rabbis who have given their witness on Stam that are sold," Rabbis Yaacov Schwei and Yosef Braun wrote.

They added, however, that, "without this, one must be careful to demand a test and proofread by an expert and G-d fearing sofer, and, of course, one who does not work for the seller."

How do I make sure that what I'm buying is 100% kosher without question?

Mezuzos are written by people, so naturally, they are subject to human error. And even if they were 100% kosher when they were purchased, weather and conditions can affect them. That is one source of the practice during the month of Elul to send Tefillin and Mezuzos to be checked, as mentioned in the Shulchan Aruch.

Any practical tips for making sure what I buy is good?

The best option is to buy your Stam directly from the sofer who actually wrote it and that you trust. Since that isn't always an option, here are 2 pointers:

1. Pay the price. Be ready to buy something more expensive and pay the full price that a Mitzvas Aseh from the Torah deserves. Mehudar Mezuzos can cost from $55 to $150. Crown Heights Rabbi Yosef Heller once commented that it is better to have an expensive Mezuzah on the front door, than low-cost ones all around the house.

2. Be specific about what you want and ask questions. When purchasing, ask who wrote it and say clearly that you want a mezuzah that was written k'halacha before the magia inspected it. Show the vendor that you care about what you are buying and that is is important to you.


RELATED ARTICLES:
+ Lone Crusader Riles Sofer Stams
+ Letter Forewarned Cheap Mezuzos
+ Reacting to Mezuzah Controversy
+ Open Event Will Educate on Stam


Most Read Most Comments
Moshe Dovid Wolf of Chicago presents the mezuzos of his research
Moshe Dovid Wolf of Chicago presents the mezuzos of his research
The certification produced by Shapiro Stam Center
The certification produced by Shapiro Stam Center
"Not enough," responded 2 Crown Heights rabbis
"Not enough," responded 2 Crown Heights rabbis
The 5747 (1987) Stam guidelines of Crown Heights
The 5747 (1987) Stam guidelines of Crown Heights
The 5754 (1994) Stam guidelines of Rabbi Marlow
The 5754 (1994) Stam guidelines of Rabbi Marlow
Page 2 of the 5754 (1994) Stam guidelines of Rabbi Marlow
Page 2 of the 5754 (1994) Stam guidelines of Rabbi Marlow




Opinions and Comments
1
Tznius
"he-said-he-said" hahaha just say it right
(1/9/2019 8:06:24 PM)
2
Agreed
It seems like this needs s bit more overview than what it has now.
(1/9/2019 8:11:44 PM)
3
Inaccurate , please correct!
7 of 8 vendors DID NOT bring this to Din Torah. Only 5 did, and collive posted it was all 7.
(1/9/2019 8:32:41 PM)
4
Come on now
Nobody can even try to say the Rebbe wanted us to go and give out a posul mezuzah just so someone at least has a 98% mitzvah. The Besht was saying his sukkah is equal to others QUESTIONABLE sukkahs, not POSUL sukkahs. Nobody can be so foolish to say that applies here in any way.
(1/9/2019 8:35:10 PM)
5
Please clarify
Rabbi Heller's words need clarification. I'm sure he didn't say that it's better to have an expensive mezuza on the front door than having cheap mezuzos all around the house, rather that at least the front door should have an expensive mezuza. Halachically there isn't much of a difference between the front door of the house and the other rooms, they are equally all chayev in mezuza
(1/9/2019 8:48:26 PM)
6
Sha'alos tinok not mentioned in shulchan aruch
just to put things into perspective, shaalas tinok is mentioned in shulchan aruch regarding spacing however that is only according to a specific shito (opinion) which nowadays is not followed.
So it is incorrect to say that it is not mentioned at all, it is just said regarding a specific shito.
Please correct the article or remove that part.
(1/9/2019 8:55:18 PM)
7
To # 5
He probably said that its better that only the front door should have a mezuzah that's definitely kosher, than all doors having mezuzahs who's kashrus is in question.
(1/9/2019 9:01:38 PM)
8
Embarrassed stores
Now these guys try to cover their tracks.
(1/9/2019 9:11:35 PM)
9
To # 5
By "cheap mezuzahs" he meant safek kosher
By "expensive mezuzah" he meant vaday kosher
Vihamayvin yavin
(1/9/2019 9:12:27 PM)
10
Ripe
Seems like the safrus industry is ripe for what the food industry did. Hechsher. OU, OK, CHK. Maybe they'll add a safrus component and certify the kashrus of a torah, mezzuza, etc. Item comes sealed, with the hechsher seal on the bag. Add to the cost. Unfortuately. Or of course, get directly from a sofer you trust, and then check it by another one you trust.
(1/9/2019 9:16:32 PM)
11
look at the positive
Something good is definitely coming out from this video. Whether it was done correctly or not. Sofrim and buyers are aware that mistakes can happen and will make sure the mezuzos are kosher.
(1/9/2019 9:47:11 PM)
12
To 5
I can't confirm Rabbi Heller said what's reported in his name, but the point is definitely true. As everyone can see in the pictures of the cheap mezuzos being sold in Crown Heights, most of them are clearly not valid for use lechatchila (and that's best case scenario). So it's definitely better to spend one's limited amount of money on one kosher mezuzah than on 10 or so mezuzos that in all likelihood are not kosher.
(1/9/2019 9:59:07 PM)
13
the big problem with these mezuzoz
lets say they are kosher after going through being muga.. if a sofer writes like sloppy Joe and sends it from Israel with all these l questions, and only becomes kosher after magim fix it. .He does this from morning till night ,day after day. this sofer has no yirras shomayim. You could be sure no one gave him authorization to be a Sofer. He is also a total ignoramus in all the laws. By the way it is known that arabs are writing.
. no one should be bringing in mezuzoz and tifflin into America unles they were checked by the border. I agree we need a wall what ever the cost.
(1/9/2019 10:05:56 PM)
14
Toxic Embarrassing
After an extravagant video production based on one Sofer and so many negative commentators it may just be in the end that the Mezuzos are kosher after all.
(1/9/2019 10:12:22 PM)
15
Money money money!
Its amazing how blind god fearing Jews can be when it comes to money
(1/9/2019 10:20:48 PM)
16
only kosher mezzuzoz
If the Alter rebbe paskins clearly possol such Stam should not brought into Crown Hights. For example if a yud is missing the kotzo hasamoly on the bottom, the Alter rebbe says it is posul. The rebbe does not bring two views. THe note that was written on the new Alter rebbies shulchan aruch is a big mistake, see simun 36 etc. etc.


(1/9/2019 10:27:06 PM)
17
Rav heller
I was by a speech he said. What he said was, it's better to have less mezuzos but vadai kosher, than all mezuzos safek kosher
(1/9/2019 10:39:14 PM)
18
@ #13
I loved your comment, until you mentioned the wall.
Why mix in such stupidity in such good wisdom??
(1/9/2019 10:46:38 PM)
19
Beis Din
Brilliant idea but a neutral Beis Din
A Beis Din like you had in der heim
Everything is commercialized today even Rabbonim
Look at CH Secular court is still not over
(1/9/2019 10:54:35 PM)
20
Chicago mitzva campaign
Im not sure this is clear to people. CMC or Chicago Mitzvah Campaign is not a business. Its a non-profit organization that relies on donations to stay in business. Checking mezuzas and tefillin is only part of what they do. Just check out their website and youll see.. They help in areas that tend to get overlooked or swept under the rug. One example being good, personal care for the elderly
(1/9/2019 11:12:47 PM)
21
speed
Lower cost mezuzos or "chines mezuzos"are written very fast by sofrim that are more on the business to make more money. They get pay 25$ to 27$
Do you want a Lamborghini mezuza for the price of a Ford ?
They can't spend on top of that more money paying a sofer to check it because cost would go to the roof, I mean to really check it, they just look it at quick kook
IOW ,just as the written part is a poor quality, the checking also.is
If you really care to be kosher you should pay the difference and bring it to your sofer that you trust to check it
(1/9/2019 11:25:12 PM)
22
A wake up call
I had my mezuzas checked and there were missing many crowns amd some letters touching! I didnt buy cheap mezuzas!
I was very disappointed.
Lousy standards are lousy standards across the board. It isn't just mivtzoim mezuzah's!



(1/9/2019 11:25:42 PM)
23
According to the Baal Shemski story,
you can then, justly sell, slightly questionable mezuzahs, only if you use the same quality mezuzahs in your own home as well!
(1/9/2019 11:28:23 PM)
24
#15
You seem very blind to how judgmental you are. Can you imagine people speaking like this about you? Can you imagine having kids hear such things being said about their parents?

The way people believe things so easily and judge others so easily, is what I find most concerning in all of this. We judge and completely tear people down from watching a video.

You would think with all the lies and some terribly sickening lies going around on the news (especially about Israel) people would be a little more aware and less believing and reactive. Apparently and sadly that's not the case.

Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see, was always true, today it's so much more true. And yet people don't realize this

In the Tshura by the Rebbe's wedding there's a letter from the Alter Rebbe that most of the Tzoros that come upon the Yidden in the times of Galus are from Machlokes that's Lshem Shomayim. So that's what this stuff is

It doesn't mean that in order to avoid Machlokes one should just not worry about Kashrus of STAM and other areas. One should be aware and careful and keep the rules for buying STAM (like know the Sofer who wrote it, he should firstly be a Yarei Shomayim and secondly know the Halachos). But this is not what should be happening

Unfortunately it's either attack everyone or just leave things as they are. So much of this is because people don't have their own Rov that they consult with and listen to. Instead we do what we want and then react whenever there's an issue. It's very sad that this is what's happening in our community
(1/10/2019 12:17:42 AM)
25
To #10
The idea already exists only slightly different instead of every mezuzah having a hechsher every Sofer is supposed to have a certification from a rav ( ) certifying that he is a valid Sofer that knows and keeps to all halochos about safrus and that he is a trust worthy person
So before buying from a Sofer find out if he is certified and who certified him
(1/10/2019 12:28:13 AM)
26
Can Rabbi Gad Sebag of Oraita please explain....

Can Rabbi Gad Sebag of Oraita please explain why he wrote in his statement that asking a tinok (child) for spacing issues is not mentioned in Shulchan Oruch. Not only is it mentioned, the Alter Rebbe rules like that in Shulchan Oruch (32:46 - the yesh omrim at the end is only negating the requirement of large spacing between the lines).

This is basic, basic stuff. It does not make sense that any sofer, especially an experienced one, whom many people rely on, would be ignorant of such a basic halocho. Could Rabbi Gad Sebag please issue a statement explaining his position, and why he holds what he does? Many people are confused.

Since this statement was sent around the world, and now re publicized in this article, people have the right to ask...

(1/10/2019 1:26:56 AM)
27
Sadly rabbi wolf is right
I bought $120 mezuzos from one of the above mentioned sofeim, and all 30 of them had an issue which the Sofer who checked them (whom I personally know and who had no agenda) said was problematic according to alter rebbe and had issue with the tagim... so go and figure. We think were getting top notch and turns our.....
(1/10/2019 1:37:59 AM)
28
Chabad Mezuzos with a Hechsher
Chabad's own Institute of Otzar HaSTam (in Tzefas) employs dozens of professional Sofrim engaged in the production of Sifrei Torah, Tefillin and Mezuzos spanning different Kesovim and quality levels and working in full transparency under close rabbinical supervision. It is under the supervision of the OK and worldwide the only STAM center under their supervision. As I have seen for myself, each product undergoes a complete, documented and computerized control process from parchment purchase to final kashrut approval of the product. It also has special low prices for Shluchim and there are no questions as to if their Mivtzoim Mezuzos are kosher. https://hastam.co.il/en/scribes-institute
(1/10/2019 2:09:50 AM)
29
" "
" " that's what the Rebbe wrote about "Vaad Rabbonei Lubavitch" (this Beis Din was established to be a alternative to the C H Beis Din (which is well known how the Rebbe held of the C H Beis Din))

PS Rabbi Yitzchok Mishulavin said he never joined this "Hazmana" (that's makes the whole Hazmana very questionable
(1/10/2019 2:52:09 AM)
30
to # 6 - re: asking a tinok on spacing issues

What you are saying is incorrect.

We DEFINITELY follow that which is brought down in the Alter Rebbe's Shulchon Oruch about asking a tinok (child) on spacing issues!

You obviously did not learn it well. The conclusion at the end, that this applies only to a Sefer Torah, is only going on spacing between lines, not between words and letters. Between words and letters you most certainly ask a child on questionable spacing issues.

If you are in doubt you may ask your local rabbi or look up the makor hadin in the Magen Avraham!
(1/10/2019 3:06:06 AM)
31
Independent Hashgocho
This problem with Stam is no different to the standard of Hashgocho on food, restaurants and any other item that needs it in the US, the fact that a Mashgiach is employed by the owner/seller makes him Nogeyah B'dova, and you will NEVER have good Hashgocho. I live in the UK where there is no such thing as private Hashgocho, weather it is food or Stam, it is all undertaken by each Kehillah, there might be 3 Hashgochos within a Kehillah, but that would be to satisfy all it's members (Orthodox, Charedi, Chassidic etc.) The agenda of these Hashgochos is NOT to make money, rather to ensure that the Kehillah has guaranteed kosher food, Stam etc. Most of them actually lose money and have to be proped up by generous members of the Kehillah. I have a son who was working as a Mashgiach in a restaurant in Boro Park, although he did his job as conciensously as possible, the "Rav" giving the Hechsher used to come in once a month, get a check from the owner and sat down for a free meal!
(1/10/2019 3:58:48 AM)
32
Zablo sofrim mumchim
Each side should choose a sofer and both of those choose a third ... then together the 3 of them should inpect the 80 mezuzahs and paskin kosher or not ... too many opinions otherwise
(1/10/2019 4:33:15 AM)
33
To #15
To clarify, it's way more profitable to only sell high-end mezuzos, the reason why they offer cheaper mezuzos are for people who want cheaper. I know of many cases when hasofer and hamafitz gave mezuzos for free to people who couldn't afford. The only ones after the money are the fast paselling sofrim trying to sell their own products.
(1/10/2019 4:59:43 AM)
34
Absolutely true
The comment that Gad Sebag made about similar spacing issues seen in the mezuzuos of the "kosher vendor" which were overlooked and were all miraculously kosher is definitely on target. I was surprised to see letters which looked the same as in the previous vendors but no mention whatsoever of its "questionable" or even "non-kosher" status.
In short to label so many mezuzuos as Posul based on questionable issues is not a simple thing and this magiha and Wolf have the responsibility now on them since they went public with it.
(1/10/2019 5:05:05 AM)
35
The real problem
Is everyone running around asking sofrim, asking people on collive but nobody asking rabbonim who can give a psak halacha.
(1/10/2019 5:30:26 AM)
36
English translation from the Chabad.org website
For those inquiring about asking a tinok (child) with regards to spacing issues, here's what the alter rebbe says -

21:46 - "The initial and preferred option is to be careful to leave a space the [width] of a small letter, i.e., of a yud, between words. After the fact, however, one should not disqualify [a passage] unless [the two words] appear as one word to a young child who is neither bright nor slow, as is stated in Yoreh Deah 274[:4] with regard to a Torah scroll.

Similarly, the initial and preferred option is to be careful not to leave more than a hairsbreadth between letters. After the fact, however, [the passage] should not be disqualified unless the word appears to be divided in two to a young child who is neither bright nor slow, as is stated (ibid.) with regard to a Torah scroll.

Some authorities maintain that one must leave an empty space the [height] of a line [of script] between the lines [of a passage], as [is necessary] with regard to a Torah scroll. Others maintain that one must make a point of doing this only [when writing] a Torah scroll. In fact, the common practice of scribes is [to follow the latter view] and not make a point of doing this [when writing] tefillin and mezuzos."

To clarify the above: Showing a child for spacing issues is done for tefillin and mezuzos. Leaving a space of an empty line between the lines, although there are two opinions, this is done only for a Sefer torah.

Why are so many people umm-ing and err-ing about a basic halocho.

Hope the English helps clarify this...
(1/10/2019 5:50:48 AM)
37
Not nice
He didnt have to embarrass these stores as it is said one is not suppose to embarrass someone in public. He could have said check your mezuzos after purchasing. Or mention his findings but not even embarrassing Chabad. We represent the Rebbe, he just embarrassed the Rebbe by embarrassing Chabad and himself. How dare he embarrass certain Rabbis who we all should greatly respect.
(1/10/2019 5:58:39 AM)
38
Method in Question
At this point the issue of the kashrus of the mezuzahs themselves is not something the community at large can resolve. That must be left to the rabbonim/sofrim/mumchim.
What the community should consider is the method and motive of this self-proclaimed investigator. Are we okay with standing by and watching this unfold in this fashion. ? Sofrim and stores of tashmishei kedushah are being maligned in public by someone whose motives are still unclear. Certainly the tone of the tape is that of someone who thinks he is now an undercover investigative reporter and his comments and article here further call his motives or pre-investigation state of mind into question. Did this really have to be done b'rabim ? Maybe it would have been better to take his "findings" to the Badatz of CH privately and let the rabbonim deal with it
(1/10/2019 6:49:01 AM)
39
Damage control
Now it's damage control time. The fact is the vendors don't make sure their products are kosher -
What a !
(1/10/2019 7:06:29 AM)
40
Thanks for the update
I'm still not convinced that Wolf was right in saying these mezuzos were 100% non-kosher according to all major opinions. He was stupid to name names and for that alone I am glad that he is being taken to beis din. He should be held accountable for bad mouthing specific stores and potentially ruining some of their parnassa.
(1/10/2019 8:39:48 AM)
41
Mezuzos Tefillin Checking
The point is. Not just the mezuzos
What about the Tefillin?
What about the checking of
Mezuzos and Tefillin ? If the stores say that they checked and according to 2 sofrim
They have 9 on 10 or 10 on 10 Posul , who wants to buy there ?
(1/10/2019 8:54:09 AM)
42
Sofrim Baal Gaivas a lots of EGO
instead of rectifying the situation with your customer you take him to court, Rabbi Wolf bought this Mezusas legit and he paid you money for it and Rabbi Wolf trusted you SOFRIM that he is purchasing KOSHER Merchandise since he bought it in retail the FIRST SALE DOCTRINE APPLIES you have no right on the merchandise any more he owns it, he can burn it trash it put it in Shaimas go to a SOFER and check those mezusahs.

He can print publish write any reviews and he did it professionaly with witnesses etc. by any means.

Its your burden WHY YOU SOLD HIM PASUL Mezuzas AND YES THIS WOULD BE CONSIDERED FRAUD and SPIRITUAL HARM TO RABBI WOLF because he trusdted YOU SOFRIM TO GET AT MINIMUM KOSHER MEZUZAS

This reviews of Merchandise applies every where in the world check Amazon.com or any other marketplace people rely on reviews.

So let put your EGO aside and see how you can help your customer and what are you going to do to remedy the situation and going forward what are you going to do that this will not happen anymore.

Instead of court present your Plan what will change and solve this situation,

If you don't have a plan you are done, as simple as that.
(1/10/2019 9:00:14 AM)
43
Important
In many cases if a mezuza needs fixing and is fixable , it is not considered possul. We need to fix it but it is not ok to label it as possul. Labeling a mezuza as possul is a huge and extreme responsibility, let alone 50 of them at once
(1/10/2019 9:23:05 AM)
44
Rabbonim
When Rabbonim develop. Platzos then we shall ask Rabbonim
Let them pasken second chelek SA kehalocho for one
Chumros are easy
To pasken as the rishonim the acharonim intended needs much more involved in depth insight and there is no money in that
(1/10/2019 9:34:26 AM)
45
Its either kosher or not
The cheap Mezuzahs are kosher but maybe not of the highest standard. To declare it is posul instead of saying there are questions is a serious aveirah. What is not kosher is to hire one Sofer and spread a rumor and receive praise from so many ... this is why moshiach isnt here.
(1/10/2019 11:03:24 AM)
46
@ Number 16 and 6.
About spacing I think we are speaking about between a letter itself not with a letter next to it.
As regards to number 16 and the kots on the left of a yud the main argument is what is considered a kots is a sharp corner considered a kots this is based off of an opinion in beis yosef and the chasum sofer paskened like this so does Rabbi Moshe Finestein and Rabbi Zurkin. If someone has a strong basis for there opinion we do not have a right to pasul it based on a different opinion many lechatchelah stam is written this way.
(1/10/2019 11:05:04 AM)
47
Zirkind already clarified they are Kosher
if you want the Alter Rebbe ksav you are welcome to have it
(1/10/2019 11:46:21 AM)
48
Wrong wrong
Those mezzuzah were bought "ready to go up on a door."
No label said after you buy it it will need fixing and to be rechecked. The stores are 100% in the wrong selling low quality and passul parshas. Their own checkers misses all those
problems. I now do not wonder why so many muggings and fires in homes. The mezzuzah and all STaM which acts as a partzuf protecting the Yid and his home likley needs fixing or is damaged or passul.
(1/10/2019 1:12:55 PM)
49
I was on Wolf's side. Until I opened a Shulchan Oruch.
I assumed that when Wolf said it's possul, that he was presenting the whole picture. I assumed touching letters for eg. Are possul. But when I saw in Shulchan Oruch (32:5) that touching letters, there are 2 opinions and the stricter opinion is it's better to fix, but another opinion that it's fine without fixing, I was very upset. Why call the sofrim "frauds" when these mezuzahs are perfectly kosher according to Shulchan Oruch, albeit not the most mehudar? Why not clarify that there are different opinions in Shulchan Oruch?
It's like saying OU are frauds if they follow a more lenient opinion in Shulchan Oruch than a stricter hashgocho.
(1/10/2019 2:25:23 PM)
50
Thank you
Very informative
(1/10/2019 2:42:01 PM)
51
45 speaks truth!
I agree with 45, it doesn't sound like these mezuzas are pasul, just not hiddur.
(1/10/2019 2:45:38 PM)
52
from Rav Braun
How to Choose a Sofer

When purchasingSTAM(Sifrei Torah,Tefilin,Mezuzos,Megilos), we must heed the words of theShulchan Aruch, Tzarich lihiyos meoid yarei Shomayim vchoraid lidvar Hashem hamisasek bekesivas hatefilin vtikunon.One involved in writing and fixingSTAMmust have a high degree of fear of Heaven and tremble at the word of G-d. Before we choose a sofer it is crucial to inquire whether he has high standards and is careful to abide by all thehalachosscrupulously, that he has a sterling reputation, as well as aksav kabbalahconfirming thatrabbonimhave attested that he is qualified to do his job and is known to be ayerei Shomayim. When we hire a car mechanic, a brain surgeon, or anyone else to perform a very important service for us, we look for the very best. How much more vigilant should we be when it comes to adavar shebikdushah, a holy matter! In addition, it is a good idea to have anothersofercheck the item before we purchase it.

There are manyparashiyosoftefilinandmezuzoson the market written bysofrimwho do not abide by certainhidurim, are kosher onlybedieved, after the fact, or are unfortunatelypasul. This is even more pertinent when purchasingSTAMfrom a commercial vendor without knowing firsthand the identity or standards of thesofer. Those who selltefilinandmezuzosthat are not kosher aremachti es harabim, cause the masses to sin, and it is the equivalent ofchas vesholomselling non-kosher food to Jews. The Levush writes that it is crucial not to take the word of just anysoferat face value; rather, a special group of uprightsofrimshould be appointed in every city who are knowledgeable in Torah, truthful, hate money, are G-d fearing, and tremble at His word, similarly to the requirements forshochtim, ritual slaughterers.

[ ].

Please note that these halachos apply in general situations. In unique circumstances, a different halacha may apply. If you are unsure whether the halacha applies to your particular situation, please consult a Rov.For moreHalachoslog ontowww.halacha2go.com
(1/10/2019 2:45:39 PM)
53
#6 stop lying.
Everyone can look up the Shulchon Oruch, 32:46, and see clearly that your claim is false. The Alter Rebbe clearly says that the determination of whether a too-large space within a word, or a too-small space between words is kosher or possul depends on a tinok, and he cites NO OTHER OPINION. You are just making things up, so you have no credibility.
(1/10/2019 3:04:50 PM)
54
#52 Rav Braun
Why are you not putting in context that most of the "pesulim" found are kosher according to some opinions in Shulchan Oruch? For example, touching letters, there are 2 opinions in Shulchan Oruch. Calling this possul and fraud etc is very wrong, especially as we are dealing with cheap mezuzahs or mivtzaim mezuzahs.
I am so happy I don't live in Crown Heights. Real sins such as Mitzi Shem Ra etc are ignored and we are willing to call people frauds because of touching letters, in cases that there are more lenient opinions in Shulchan Oruch.
The Rebbe was all about ahavas yisroel, (which Chabad do well for non frum Jews) but when it comes to frum Jews ahavas yisroel and being menshlich and poshut fair is out the window. I'm sure the Rebbe is very proud of yet another machlokes in Lubavitich, over cheap mezuzahs which most are kosher but not at the highest standard.
(1/10/2019 3:58:24 PM)
55
To number 49 . A negiya is possul until fixed

I think you should get some rabbinic counselling. The practical halacha ( halacha lemayseh) is that a negiya is not kosher until fixed. Not even kosher bedieved. However, you can stretch it to say that if someone had a negiya, it was not necessarily a brocha levatolah because in some circumstances there are minority opinions to rely on. But we do not pasken like them
(1/10/2019 4:03:29 PM)
56
Omg
This is so disgusting!!! Again it wasnt done properly. Making a Youtube hit? I dont understand his purpose does he care or does he want to shame the stores. Loshen Hara,
Ask a Rov before you make your video!!!
(1/10/2019 4:05:57 PM)
57
#52
these are the cheapest mezuzahs we are talking about
The people who buy these mezuzahs are people who will be happy with the cheapest quality. They are not for Anash. To say it's possul and fraud and not mention that there is a clear opinions in Shulchan Oruch that it's kosher and not necessary to fix is mamash disturbing. Moitzi Shem Ra is much worse than following a more lenient opinion about touching letters for people who want the cheap mezuzahs and would otherwise not purchase the more expensive mezuzah.
(1/10/2019 4:07:20 PM)
58
#52
This is good approach for Anash. But we are talking about mivtzoim mezuzahs. They are cheap for people who would otherwise not buy mezuzahs. Saying they are frauds when they are kosher but not mehudar is very wrong. Touching letters, for example, see AR 32:5 that there is room to say they don't need to be fixed.
Would you rather that not frum people not purchase mezuzahs because they are too expensive? These mezuzahs are mostly kosher although for Anash not recommended.
(1/10/2019 5:37:29 PM)
59
I am very disapointed with Rabbi Braun
Your advice is well and good for Anash, get the most hidurim and have a vaad etc. All good.

But we are NOT talking about mezuzhas for Anash. We are talking about mivtzoim mezuzhas. About people who would otherwise not buy a mezuza. These mezuzhas are mostly kosher according to more lenient poskim, as multiple mumchim have already pointed out. To call them "fraud" and "machti es horabim" when all they are doing is trying to service a need for non frum Jews who wont pay more, and rely on more lenient opinions in shulchan oruch is wrong. (take for eg. touching letters AR 32:5)


For example, for Anash public events normally have a mechitza. But most Chabad houses hold public events without any mechitza, does that mean they are "machti es horabim" for holding events for non-Anash without a mechitza, or do we say that there are different standards for different crowds?

BTW the Raskin Mezuzahs had the same issues, such as spacing issues, as anyone who looked at the slides can see. So ALL the surveyed sofrim are ALL in the same boat. So are you saying that ALL the sofrim without exception are "machti es horabim"?!? Amazing!

(1/10/2019 6:15:57 PM)
60
#55
Yes according to the Alter Rebbe you should fix negios, but not according to all. To say that its "fraud" to sell cheap mezuzhas because it doesn't follow the Alter Rebbe is like saying those (non Anash for eg) who use an airuv that is not kosher according to the Alter Rebbe are mechalel shabbos.

If we want all mezuzhas to be kosher only according to the Alter Rebbe they will need to cost around $100 - out of reach of non Anash yidden.
Is that what you want?

Yes maybe these should be considered posul for Anash who follow the AR, but not all Yidden are Anash, and happy to spend $100 for a mezuzah, you know that? So we should call cheaper mezuzhas "fraud" when they have other poskim they rely on?
(1/10/2019 7:35:25 PM)
61
To 59
Where did Rabbi Braun call out anyone with these alleged names of machti es Horabim etc

Please read more carefully before passing judgment on anyone how much more so for a Gaon like Rabbi Braun
(1/10/2019 8:07:22 PM)
62
Asking a child in problematic spacing
Yes it is brought down in shulchan Aruch.
But a typical shalos tinok is when a letter is too long, too short, too wide or too narrow and it cannot be fixed without asking the child.
However if there is a spacing issue yes you can ask a child if you want to know if it is a problem, but you do not NEED to ask a child, you can just fix it by adding ink to the surrounding letters to bring them closer together or scrape a little bit to make them further apart.

So technically speaking you do not need to ask a child you can just fix it

I don't know how this was interview is done but I have been misquoted before and I wouldn't put it past anybody to do that
(1/10/2019 8:27:36 PM)
63
A negia is possul?
The only one with a negia is the one who made this video!

Why the double standards? Are these pesulim really posul or not, make up your mind.

If they are mamesh posul as you say come out and make a correction updated video that machon stam also had the same issues in their mezuzahs and BUYERS BEWARE!

You are potentially causing thousands of people to buy mezuzahs that are posul!!!!!

Truth is truth is truth. What is going on?!?
(1/10/2019 8:36:07 PM)
64
All the stores/sofrim had issues. Including Michonne Stam
Either ALL sofrim in Crown Heights are frauds and machti es horabim in the words of Rabbi Braun (#52), OR they have more lenient poskim who they rely on for mezuzahs for mivtzoim.

Calling people fraud etc without clarifying that there are more lenient poskim is very wrong.

Why is this happening? Are the accusers trying to make a name for themselves, or do we not have a single Sofer in Crown Heights that is honest? It's either one or the other.

Sad situation.
(1/10/2019 10:31:55 PM)
65
#61
Read #52

He calls those who sell possul mezuzahs machti es horabim.
From #59
(1/10/2019 10:58:55 PM)
66
A negia is posul. According to ALL opinions.
Theres one scenario according to the rashba that it is kosher however its not a common case.

The vendors are trying to cover for themselves.

And its not just MIVTZOIM mezuzas. ALL mezuzas being sold on kingnston from most of these vendors have tons of problems with them. Wake up yidden!

An Out of town sofer who sees this too often
(1/12/2019 6:26:27 PM)
67
Ask the sofer to check your mezuzah before you buy it.
Every Mezuza must be checked letter by letter. The owners of the stores very often over work their magihim and its a big problem. Proper effective hagaha take 5 minutes to read through the entire mezuzah twice and fix any minor issues. I dont think theses magihim spend more than 30 seconds. As well meaning as the store owners might be and as well as their magihim know Halacha a 30 second scan of human eyes just doesnt cut it. What you need to do when you buy a mezuzah is ask the sofer to check the mezuzah in front of you and make sure it takes him atleast 5 minutes.
Watch them chicken out and bring you a better mezuzah.
Very unfortunate its referred to in chasidus as .

A store in crown hieghts that sells probably hundreds of mezuzahs daily it doesnt matter if you buy a 3000 dollar mezuzah without hagaha it might not be kosher at all.

Also a regular eye check for all magihim is a good idea to make compulsory.

In general as big of a fan as I am of chabad we lack strong rabanim. I respect our friend in Chicago for finally standing up to real life issues and lets hope that the stores get the message.

Like any business if you cant do your job properly you need to slow down if it means you make less gelt than tough. Every one wants to be rich but you need to buy honest with yourself and all your customers.

Moshiach now
(2/27/2019 4:07:23 AM)
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