Beware: Non-Jewish “Scribes”

4 Adar 1 5771
February 8, 2011

Is it true that Arabs and missionaries are writing and selling mezuzot?

mezuzaYes! A Yeshiva student recently testified that he saw an Arab in Jerusalem’s old city writing a Megilas Esther, the Scroll of Esther read on Purim. For some reason the Arab wrote the Hebrew words of the scroll from left to right. According to the yeshiva student, the Arab’s writing was quite nice and someone was eventually deceived into purchasing that megilah for Purim.

Both missionaries and “Jews for J” write mezuzot that are now being offered for sale on the Internet at a messianic web site. On their web site they state: “MS Arts is a small group of believers in … who have been commissioned by … to produce hand-scribed scripture in the form of mezuzah, tefillin, and sefer torah.”

Isn’t it enough that the person selling the mezuzot is Jewish, especially if he is an orthodox Jew?


What about my Temple’s gift shop in which our Rabbi himself oversees everything that’s being sold?

Even if the merchant is a reliable and trustworthy Jew, if he doesn’t take the necessary measures to verify the integrity and reliability of the scribes whose mezuzot or tefillin he is selling, you should not purchase from him unless you can do such checking yourself.

Who distributes such mezuzot?

There are several distributors, some of whom are situated in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. We recently had a disheartening conversation with one of them. This wholesaler emphasized that he does not accept any returns on the mezuzot and tefillin he sells and asked that they be resold only to non-orthodox Jews. “The items we sell are fine for them since they are not observant,” he claims. This individual also admitted that he never bothers to open and check any of the tefillin that he sells and would never wear them himself. He bragged about the fact that more than twenty-five hundred retailers nationwide purchase their tefillin and mezuzot from him!

Thanks to: The Mezuzah Gram, The Monthly Publication of the Chicago Mezuzah & Tefillin Campaign; Volume 2, Issue 1; Cheshvan 5761/Nov. 2000

missionary-mezuzah

4 Comments

  • Surie Ackerman
    February 8, 2011 - 09:50 | Permalink

    Is this whole item from “Mezuzah Gram,” i.e., from 10 years ago?

  • yechiel-admin
    February 8, 2011 - 13:46 | Permalink

    FROM A READER:
    Dear R’ Spira

    That last posting about the problematic Mezuzos and Megillas etc was simply awesome!

    Your writing about this is truly a Kiddush Hashem! It really is fantastic (if I can say that because of such dishonest people who produce these things) to see this information been published. We can only hope more people (in Israel especially of course) will get to see these things.

    We have a number of Mitzvah projects on the go (including assisting people to own Tefillin – see http://www.lovingkindness.co), and I have personally been through battles with people emailing me telling me that asking for thousands to purchase these items is not fair when one can so easily purchase a beautiful pair of Tefillin for some $200… But are they truly aware of just how much is involved in obtaining proper Kosher Tefillin – and hence the real cost involved?!

    I know that Israel is not the only country in need of such a service. It’s needed everywhere

    Yasher Koach again!
    Eliyahu Shear

  • Yaakov freed
    February 8, 2011 - 23:09 | Permalink

    Fantastic article!
    Keep up the great work!

    Yaakov Fried

  • Moshe Flumenbaum
    February 9, 2011 - 10:03 | Permalink

    The mezuzah shown was brought to me for examination a few months ago — I chose to reuse an old article written by someone to show that these are not new and still are real Unfortunately I have have been given mezuzot to check and have found crosses marked on the mezuzah as well as “J” saves written under G~D ‘s name shin + dadel + yud

    There are those that believe I am here to make everything pasul my purpose is to see that everything is kosher

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