Author Topic: Mezuzah Fraud  (Read 31688 times)

Offline chevron

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Re: Mezuzah Fraud
« Reply #260 on: January 08, 2019, 08:32:03 PM »
That may have been me. (I know I mentioned it, I don't whether or not you did as well.)

Someone mentioned #1 mashgichim in pesach programs eating chometz (bread?) Someone definitely mentioned vodka.


Offline ExGingi

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Re: Mezuzah Fraud
« Reply #261 on: January 08, 2019, 09:02:31 PM »
Someone mentioned #1 mashgichim in pesach programs eating chometz (bread?) Someone definitely mentioned vodka.

You didn't answer the question:

You mentioned mashgichim of pesach programs that ate chametz on pesach.
I did?

Vodka can be 100% Kosher L'Pesach.
I've been waiting over 5 years with bated breath for someone to say that!
-- Dan

Offline whYME

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Re: Mezuzah Fraud
« Reply #262 on: January 09, 2019, 06:33:45 PM »
You didn't answer the question:


Vodka can be 100% Kosher L'Pesach.
In the context of the post it was clearly chometz (iirc vodka was not the word used but I'm not 100% sure on that)

Offline yesitsme

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Re: Mezuzah Fraud
« Reply #263 on: January 10, 2019, 01:23:26 AM »
Torah is not a Litvish thing , or a Sefardi/ Chasidic thing .
Itís Hashems Torah !!
Besides The word Hashem is being removed and replaced with Lubavitch . Itís shocking.
Take your hashkafos, and go to JS !!! stop clogging a nice, beautiful TR.......
Done
["-"]

Offline yakrot

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Re: Mezuzah Fraud
« Reply #264 on: January 10, 2019, 03:23:30 PM »
Coincidental choice for Halacha of the day email?

Offline ExGingi

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Re: Mezuzah Fraud
« Reply #265 on: January 10, 2019, 03:42:10 PM »
Coincidental choice for Halacha of the day email?
Not one bit of a coincidence. I also saw their letter. People like to suggest solutions that sound grandiose when the solution lies in plain view!

If EVERYONE, starting from the merchants, and continuing through the consumers, would insist on having the NAME of the sofer that wrote whatever they are buying, 99% of problems would never exist in the first place. (A similar solution applies to many other areas ואכמ"ל). But unfortunately, that requires a drop more sense of personal responsibility, and since עולם גולם, as long as we can show a certificate, and the person behind the certificate has the right look, everything is OK.

I am quite friendly with a few of the merchants/sofrim in the "expose". I spoke to one of them, and he told me that he thinks it's a good solution to have every Mezuzah inspected by an independent sofer right after purchase. I asked him if he knows the names of the sofrim that write every Mezuzah he sells, as required by the letter from 32 years ago. He said that he generally does for Mezuzos $50 and higher. I then proceeded to ask him how much he charges to check a Mezuzah. $6 was his response. So why buy a Mezuzah from an unnamed Sofer for $42 and spend another $6 checking it for a total of $48, when one can spend $50 and get presumably a nicer Mezuzah with a named source?

People have to wake up, see through the marketing smoke and mirrors, and just ask simple questions that require simple answers. All of the sudden things will fall into line.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2019, 03:48:24 PM by ExGingi »
I've been waiting over 5 years with bated breath for someone to say that!
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Offline skyguy918

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Re: Mezuzah Fraud
« Reply #266 on: January 10, 2019, 05:11:30 PM »
Not one bit of a coincidence. I also saw their letter. People like to suggest solutions that sound grandiose when the solution lies in plain view!

If EVERYONE, starting from the merchants, and continuing through the consumers, would insist on having the NAME of the sofer that wrote whatever they are buying, 99% of problems would never exist in the first place. (A similar solution applies to many other areas ואכמ"ל). But unfortunately, that requires a drop more sense of personal responsibility, and since עולם גולם, as long as we can show a certificate, and the person behind the certificate has the right look, everything is OK.

I am quite friendly with a few of the merchants/sofrim in the "expose". I spoke to one of them, and he told me that he thinks it's a good solution to have every Mezuzah inspected by an independent sofer right after purchase. I asked him if he knows the names of the sofrim that write every Mezuzah he sells, as required by the letter from 32 years ago. He said that he generally does for Mezuzos $50 and higher. I then proceeded to ask him how much he charges to check a Mezuzah. $6 was his response. So why buy a Mezuzah from an unnamed Sofer for $42 and spend another $6 checking it for a total of $48, when one can spend $50 and get presumably a nicer Mezuzah with a named source?

People have to wake up, see through the marketing smoke and mirrors, and just ask simple questions that require simple answers. All of the sudden things will fall into line.
How does the name alone help? I can know the sofer's name and have no idea if he does good work or not - and more importantly, whether what I'm buying is a rare instance of that sofer not doing good work. If the seller is not doing their own checking, and the buyer is not bringing it to be checked immediately, why does a name help?

Offline ExGingi

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Re: Mezuzah Fraud
« Reply #267 on: January 10, 2019, 05:16:53 PM »
How does the name alone help? I can know the sofer's name and have no idea if he does good work or not - and more importantly, whether what I'm buying is a rare instance of that sofer not doing good work. If the seller is not doing their own checking, and the buyer is not bringing it to be checked immediately, why does a name help?

Try it, and you'll see it works wonders. Let me know the next time you buy STaM of a NAMED sofer that is found posul (in a way that didn't happen after purchase, such as letter cracking due to weather or folding).

It creates accountability and a level of transparency.

The fact is that all the "problems" turned up in Mezuzos where the Sofer who wrote them cannot be immediately named.
I've been waiting over 5 years with bated breath for someone to say that!
-- Dan

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Re: Mezuzah Fraud
« Reply #268 on: January 11, 2019, 09:33:50 AM »
I am quite friendly with a few of the merchants/sofrim in the "expose". I spoke to one of them, and he told me that he thinks it's a good solution to have every Mezuzah inspected by an independent sofer right after purchase. I asked him if he knows the names of the sofrim that write every Mezuzah he sells, as required by the letter from 32 years ago. He said that he generally does for Mezuzos $50 and higher. I then proceeded to ask him how much he charges to check a Mezuzah. $6 was his response. So why buy a Mezuzah from an unnamed Sofer for $42 and spend another $6 checking it for a total of $48, when one can spend $50 and get presumably a nicer Mezuzah with a named source?

The short answers to this question:
- People are pennywise and pound foolish
- If someone is buying one mezuzah, it's a no brainer, but if someone has moved into a new home (or has just become frum, and wants to outfit their existing home) - they could be buying 5-10 mezuzos - so that $6-8 dollar difference is one or two extra mezzuos - a hard sell, especially when you're selling someone on becoming frum. I imagine that a fair amount of sluchim get the mivtzoim mezuzos for their mispallelim knowing that they can only get them to commit so much and under the assumption of being kosher l'chatchila, even to a lower standard.


Offline Ergel

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Re: Mezuzah Fraud
« Reply #269 on: September 01, 2019, 02:28:32 PM »
What happened with this din torah?
Life isn't about checking the boxes. Nobody cares.

Offline Mo2

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Re: Mezuzah Fraud
« Reply #270 on: May 31, 2020, 07:42:51 PM »
Common sense is not a gift, it is a punishment.
Because you have to deal with everyone who doesn't have it.

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Re: Mezuzah Fraud
« Reply #273 on: May 31, 2020, 08:32:35 PM »
Quote from: ExGingi
Yehuda57 needs to spew a certain amount of sarcasm in order to survive through the day.

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Re: Mezuzah Fraud
« Reply #274 on: May 31, 2020, 08:34:58 PM »

Wouldn't all of those reasons mean that now is precisely the right time for it?
Mezuzos are meant to protect us from this stuff

Offline El Capitan

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Re: Mezuzah Fraud
« Reply #275 on: May 31, 2020, 08:56:12 PM »
Wouldn't all of those reasons mean that now is precisely the right time for it?
Mezuzos are meant to protect us from this stuff
I think he means not to do it the way this rabbi wolf seems to like doing things...
Still looking for a good MS method :)

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Re: Mezuzah Fraud
« Reply #276 on: May 31, 2020, 09:01:17 PM »
I think he means not to do it the way this rabbi wolf seems to like doing things...
Hey, an exposť is an exposť.

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Re: Mezuzah Fraud
« Reply #278 on: June 15, 2020, 07:40:37 AM »
Sofer Responds to Wolf:

Chof Sivan 5780

Dear Anash Sheyichyu,
 
Sholom U'Brocha,
 
 My name is Menachem Moskowitz, the son in law of the Sofer, Rabbi Eliezer Zirkind zl, who succeeded Rabbi Shaye Matlin zl, as the personal sofer of the Rebbe.  I generally do not speak, however, I feel that due to the new STAM video scandals that recently came out by Rabbi Yisroel Wolf of Chicago, I want to clarify some matters for my shver's kovod. 

My occupation is a sofer, Bal magiah for over 30 years and I had shimush under Rabbi E. Zirkind for over 28 years until his passing. Day in & day out asking him shailohs on Stam. Since I lived in the apartment above him, I had plenty of access to him whenever possible for shimush and shailohs.  I was checking tefillin and  mezuzahs  during the t'kufa in which the Rebbe was frequently giving out answers "bedikas tefillin and mezuzahs".  Many times the Rebbe requested a duch on the checking and to enumerate any issues.  I was present when shailohs regarding STAM were called in or brought in from other sofrim or from balabatim.  I was also there when Rabbi Wolf from Chicago (the father of the Rabbi Yisroel Wolf that posted the videos) would call my shver frequently with shailohs.  Being that I worked in his apartment I was privy to these shailohs and their teshuvos.
 
Rabbi E. Zirkind has lots of talmidim most of them Lubavitchers living in Crown Heights & some are not Lubavitchers. He taught his talmidim to be  good and ethical sofrim and to have responsibility to their clients.  For 50 years he gave a weekly shiur in safrus until his passing.  This shiur continues to the present.

Rabbi Zirkind has instilled in his talmidim his derech hachayim, especially in safrus and they carry it out to this very day. One of his drochim is to be a maykel  especially in safrus.  He always said "To be a MACHMER is no kuntz."   But to be a "MAYKEL, that you gotta know the books (seforim)".   Those seforim he knew backwards and forwards!  Rabbi Heller would often send people to Rabbi Zirkind to Pasken shailos on their Tefillin & Mezuzos.  When Rabbi Zirkind received these shailos from Rabbi Heller, he would stop what he was doing and would attend to these shailos immediately in the the Rov's honor.  The reason for his being MAYKEL on STAM is because it is brought down in seforim that every Shem Hashem is counted for.  If a sofer is eager to put STAM in shaimos, after 120 years the shaimos hakdoishim ask lemalah for din vcheshbon why it went to gnizah (burial) instead of being used & it is considered like being Moichek Shem Hashem (erasing Hashem's name). That's where the concept of using a krias tinok is crucial, of course, where allowable, in order to save the STAM item.  If a parsha in Tefillin or a Mezuzah is written according to halacha, with all the taggin and proper points in the letters it is 100% kosher regardless of the beauty of the ksav.  Unfortunately some sofrim are MEHADER to PASEL the STAM to make a  fast buck by selling the customer a new item rather than taking the time to fix it.  Perhaps they didn't have the proper shimush of how to judge and fix the letters.

On that note another ethical item Rabbi Zirkind instilled in his talmidim, that if a sofer paseled an item he CAN'T SELL HIM A NEW ITEM.  Mezad veheyisem nekiem, it's a conflict of interest.  Then the sofer has no vested interested in making the item posul in order to sell a replacement.

Another lesson that was taught and frequently reiterated  "IF IT AINT BROKEN, DON'T  FIX IT "!  There is a rule called kol hamoisef goreah, if the letter is kosher the way it is, adding more ink won't always make the situation of the letter better.  A Sofer has to use his shikul hadaas (judgement) to fix it or not.

With all the above mentioned in mind, I want to clarify some of the differences between what Rabbi Yisroel Wolf showed in his second video and what I actually saw and how I made my decisions.  According to the teachings of Rabbi Zirkind, the chof in the word "Uv'lechtecha" was kosher the way it is and did not need to be touched up.  The zayin in the word "mezuzois" that was posted on the chart by Rabbi Yisroel Wolf is not what I saw.  The mezuzah was switched to another mezuah that was not shown on the deceitful video chart.  According to  Rabbi Zirkind's teachings, it's brought down in seforim that once the head passes the foot oiver mebain shnei zedodim even a mashahu it's called a zayin.  And that was the Zayin of the mezuzah that was sent to me.
 
In the video of Rabbi Yisroel Wolf, he states that he took the mezuzos from shaimos that had particular issues and he sent them to various sofrim to check.  When receiving the mezuzos back from each sofer, he tampered with the mezuzos to bring them back to their original questionable state.  There are problems with this method: 1) If a Sofer kashered it according to his knowledge, then how can Rabbi Wolf make it posul again thereby destroying kisvei kodesh and it is a kin to burrying Hashems name in the earth.  2) By retampering it each time, it will not be the same original shailoh.  3) Today a lot of mezuzos and parshios which are kosher are put into shaimos in order to sell more beautiful ones.  Therefore, it is questionable if such mezuzos should be used in such an unscrupulous manner for this test.  Once a mezuzah is fixed, it's kosher k'din and should not be tampered with.  And when the Rebbe commented on someone's Tefillin or Mezuzos, he emphasized with the terminology "Kosher K'din".   Furthermore, nothing in STAM is black and white; i.e. kosher or posul.  The judgement of STAM depends on the shikul haddas of the einei hamorah or sofer. 

Rabbi Zirkind required that anyone learning safrus under him needed a minimum of 2 years of shimush, "NOT to learn for 2 weeks or 2 months" and then put out a sign that he is a Sofer.  I'm sure you wouldn't eat from a shochet or go to a doctor who learned medicine in that same manner.

We find ourselves now in very trying times.  Sadly, some people want to expose and undermine the righteous people who are trying to do their best, especially the righteous sofrim. These sofrim have proper shimush under the teachings and guidance of an expert sofer who the Rebbe picked to be his personal sofer and ordered tefillin through him.  Even the day of my Chasuna, the Rebbe called my shver in to his office and ordered Tefilin.  To frame and slander honest  and experienced sofrim is unacceptable and deserving of a "MACHO'AH" (protest)! 
 
May we be zoicha for true achdus especially at this time with all that's going on in the world.  We don't need this machlokes to continue.  WE need peace and be zoicha for Moshiach to come now! 
 
I want to take this opportunity to mention that the yahrtzeit of my Shver, Rabbi Zirkind, is in this month, כה סיון.  May his neshamah have an aliyah and may he be a maylitz yosher for his family, talmidim and klal yisroel.

Menachem Moskowitz

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Re: Mezuzah Fraud
« Reply #279 on: June 15, 2020, 05:58:13 PM »
Sofer Responds to Wolf:

Chof Sivan 5780

Dear Anash Sheyichyu,
 
Sholom U'Brocha,
 
 My name is Menachem Moskowitz, the son in law of the Sofer, Rabbi Eliezer Zirkind zl, who succeeded Rabbi Shaye Matlin zl, as the personal sofer of the Rebbe.  I generally do not speak, however, I feel that due to the new STAM video scandals that recently came out by Rabbi Yisroel Wolf of Chicago, I want to clarify some matters for my shver's kovod. 

My occupation is a sofer, Bal magiah for over 30 years and I had shimush under Rabbi E. Zirkind for over 28 years until his passing. Day in & day out asking him shailohs on Stam. Since I lived in the apartment above him, I had plenty of access to him whenever possible for shimush and shailohs.  I was checking tefillin and  mezuzahs  during the t'kufa in which the Rebbe was frequently giving out answers "bedikas tefillin and mezuzahs".  Many times the Rebbe requested a duch on the checking and to enumerate any issues.  I was present when shailohs regarding STAM were called in or brought in from other sofrim or from balabatim.  I was also there when Rabbi Wolf from Chicago (the father of the Rabbi Yisroel Wolf that posted the videos) would call my shver frequently with shailohs.  Being that I worked in his apartment I was privy to these shailohs and their teshuvos.
 
Rabbi E. Zirkind has lots of talmidim most of them Lubavitchers living in Crown Heights & some are not Lubavitchers. He taught his talmidim to be  good and ethical sofrim and to have responsibility to their clients.  For 50 years he gave a weekly shiur in safrus until his passing.  This shiur continues to the present.

Rabbi Zirkind has instilled in his talmidim his derech hachayim, especially in safrus and they carry it out to this very day. One of his drochim is to be a maykel  especially in safrus.  He always said "To be a MACHMER is no kuntz."   But to be a "MAYKEL, that you gotta know the books (seforim)".   Those seforim he knew backwards and forwards!  Rabbi Heller would often send people to Rabbi Zirkind to Pasken shailos on their Tefillin & Mezuzos.  When Rabbi Zirkind received these shailos from Rabbi Heller, he would stop what he was doing and would attend to these shailos immediately in the the Rov's honor.  The reason for his being MAYKEL on STAM is because it is brought down in seforim that every Shem Hashem is counted for.  If a sofer is eager to put STAM in shaimos, after 120 years the shaimos hakdoishim ask lemalah for din vcheshbon why it went to gnizah (burial) instead of being used & it is considered like being Moichek Shem Hashem (erasing Hashem's name). That's where the concept of using a krias tinok is crucial, of course, where allowable, in order to save the STAM item.  If a parsha in Tefillin or a Mezuzah is written according to halacha, with all the taggin and proper points in the letters it is 100% kosher regardless of the beauty of the ksav.  Unfortunately some sofrim are MEHADER to PASEL the STAM to make a  fast buck by selling the customer a new item rather than taking the time to fix it.  Perhaps they didn't have the proper shimush of how to judge and fix the letters.

On that note another ethical item Rabbi Zirkind instilled in his talmidim, that if a sofer paseled an item he CAN'T SELL HIM A NEW ITEM.  Mezad veheyisem nekiem, it's a conflict of interest.  Then the sofer has no vested interested in making the item posul in order to sell a replacement.

Another lesson that was taught and frequently reiterated  "IF IT AINT BROKEN, DON'T  FIX IT "!  There is a rule called kol hamoisef goreah, if the letter is kosher the way it is, adding more ink won't always make the situation of the letter better.  A Sofer has to use his shikul hadaas (judgement) to fix it or not.

With all the above mentioned in mind, I want to clarify some of the differences between what Rabbi Yisroel Wolf showed in his second video and what I actually saw and how I made my decisions.  According to the teachings of Rabbi Zirkind, the chof in the word "Uv'lechtecha" was kosher the way it is and did not need to be touched up.  The zayin in the word "mezuzois" that was posted on the chart by Rabbi Yisroel Wolf is not what I saw.  The mezuzah was switched to another mezuah that was not shown on the deceitful video chart.  According to  Rabbi Zirkind's teachings, it's brought down in seforim that once the head passes the foot oiver mebain shnei zedodim even a mashahu it's called a zayin.  And that was the Zayin of the mezuzah that was sent to me.
 
In the video of Rabbi Yisroel Wolf, he states that he took the mezuzos from shaimos that had particular issues and he sent them to various sofrim to check.  When receiving the mezuzos back from each sofer, he tampered with the mezuzos to bring them back to their original questionable state.  There are problems with this method: 1) If a Sofer kashered it according to his knowledge, then how can Rabbi Wolf make it posul again thereby destroying kisvei kodesh and it is a kin to burrying Hashems name in the earth.  2) By retampering it each time, it will not be the same original shailoh.  3) Today a lot of mezuzos and parshios which are kosher are put into shaimos in order to sell more beautiful ones.  Therefore, it is questionable if such mezuzos should be used in such an unscrupulous manner for this test.  Once a mezuzah is fixed, it's kosher k'din and should not be tampered with.  And when the Rebbe commented on someone's Tefillin or Mezuzos, he emphasized with the terminology "Kosher K'din".   Furthermore, nothing in STAM is black and white; i.e. kosher or posul.  The judgement of STAM depends on the shikul haddas of the einei hamorah or sofer. 

Rabbi Zirkind required that anyone learning safrus under him needed a minimum of 2 years of shimush, "NOT to learn for 2 weeks or 2 months" and then put out a sign that he is a Sofer.  I'm sure you wouldn't eat from a shochet or go to a doctor who learned medicine in that same manner.

We find ourselves now in very trying times.  Sadly, some people want to expose and undermine the righteous people who are trying to do their best, especially the righteous sofrim. These sofrim have proper shimush under the teachings and guidance of an expert sofer who the Rebbe picked to be his personal sofer and ordered tefillin through him.  Even the day of my Chasuna, the Rebbe called my shver in to his office and ordered Tefilin.  To frame and slander honest  and experienced sofrim is unacceptable and deserving of a "MACHO'AH" (protest)! 
 
May we be zoicha for true achdus especially at this time with all that's going on in the world.  We don't need this machlokes to continue.  WE need peace and be zoicha for Moshiach to come now! 
 
I want to take this opportunity to mention that the yahrtzeit of my Shver, Rabbi Zirkind, is in this month, כה סיון.  May his neshamah have an aliyah and may he be a maylitz yosher for his family, talmidim and klal yisroel.

Menachem Moskowitz
So the counter argument is that the rabbi in Chicago tampered with the mezuzos after getting them back from the sofrim to show that they really are no good. I think this writer and the various sofrim/stores should actually prove it by taking other random mezuzos that are clearly not tampered with and showing everyone exactly how they really are kosher.

I find one of his big arguments to be tenuous (although I am not a sofer - happy to be corrected if I am wrong). If one has a good reason to possul a mezuzah/tfillin, should he declare it kosher to prevent it being placed in Shaimos? Which is worse, placing something in Shaimos with the potentiality of it being kosher, or declaring it kosher with the possibility that the purchaser is now transgressing the mitzvah of tfilin and mezuzos?

Furthermore, one who makes a bracha on something passul (daily with tfillin) would be saying the shem Hashem livatalah which is an actually very serious transgression (aside from missing out on a biblical requirement). Isn't that much worse than merely placing kosher tfillin/mezuzah in genizah which is only akin to michikas Hashem, not actual michikas Hashaem. And if in fact it is pasul, isn't such profit gineivah?

Finally, if the findings out of Chicago are true, does that mean that many times the people who have tfillin put on them by Chabad are actually wearing passul tfilin and making a bracha lvatalah? It would seem that anyone active in putting tfillin on people should have the tfillin checked by an unafiliated sofer. It would be the prudent and reasonable thing to do.