Author Topic: Mezuzah Fraud  (Read 18483 times)

Offline gozalim

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Re: Mezuzah Fraud
« Reply #300 on: June 17, 2020, 05:52:19 PM »
And to those that haven't ever tried to get as many yidden as possible to put up as many kosher mezuzos as possible, please reserve judgment until you've done just that. The approach is always to get the person to get the best (though I doubt many would try to convince someone to pay $1,150 just for Rashi parshios, not considering the battim, retzuos, and Lehavdil bags), putting up 10, 15 or more mezuzos on a house sometimes gives a person sticker shock, so they might opt for 1 or possibly 2 or 3 better mezuzos with the rest being kosher but basic.
you make an important point that many not directly involved will not understand.


to partially counter this:
during the first round of shenanigans, there was one 'sofer' wholesaler who 'came out clean'. I know him from before he went into business. he created for himself a 'floor'; certain 'hidurim/dinim' that he would not negotiate on. as a result, his 'bottom tier' products are 10-20% more expensive than the competition.
personally, when I'm pushing someone to buy a Mezuzah, i'll send them specifically to him, for that reason. I have heard the same from many Shluchim.
(but that's people that I know can afford $42 for a mezuzah, over the $28 elsewhere. to expect the same from, say, a recent Russian immigrant, may be to preclude them from putting up a mezuzah).

the question remains whether what wolf maintains as absolute posul, is indeed as irreconcilable as he maintains, or is he exaggerating/overreacting (as many of his victims have claimed)

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Re: Mezuzah Fraud
« Reply #301 on: June 17, 2020, 06:41:08 PM »
you make an important point that many not directly involved will not understand.

Indeed. Know your audience.

...
..during the first round of shenanigans, ...

the question remains whether what wolf maintains as absolute posul, is indeed as irreconcilable as he maintains, or is he exaggerating/overreacting (as many of his victims have claimed)

You are feeding trolls by using certain language and even suggesting that this is up to online discussion. There are proper ways to do things. I don't believe that what was done and the way it was done is appropriate. But anyone can and should ask their own LOR or Mashpia.
I've been waiting over 5 years with bated breath for someone to say that!
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Offline yfr bachur

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Re: Mezuzah Fraud
« Reply #302 on: June 18, 2020, 03:18:24 PM »
... putting up 10, 15 or more mezuzos on a house sometimes gives a person sticker shock, so they might opt for 1 or possibly 2 or 3 better mezuzos with the rest being kosher but basic.

If someone has that many doors it is very likely that some of of them are only chayav m'drabanan.
When counting the doors in the house for mezuzos, it's a good idea to count how many need Mezuzos Deoraysa, how many Drabanan, and how many are chumra. These are how many level one, two, and three mezuzos you need. Better ones for the deoraysa...
Many peoples front door may only be chayav Drabanan!!! (If it's to an entryway that is smaller than 4x4 amos)

The best english resource i know of, is "Inside Stam" by R Reuven Mendlowitz from ?Beit Shemesh. It can be found in most judaica stores.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1600912133/?tag=cl03f-20&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

I apologize for feeding the trolls, that was not my intention.
I don't know what the backstory is with R' Wolf; if he first tried to go to the stores directly or through rabbanim to get the stores to upgrade their standards or he hit them with his "Expose" out of left field.

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Re: Mezuzah Fraud
« Reply #303 on: June 30, 2020, 03:05:37 AM »
Understanding the Mezuzah Debate


Dovid Leib Silberstein from Rodal’s Judaica debunks two myths regarding the status of cheaper, fast-written mezuzos.

As someone who supplies many shluchim worldwide with all levels of sta”m, I have been fielding many questions from customers regarding the question of lower end, fast written mezuzos. I am not a sofer nor do I wish to tell anyone what their personal approach should be, but as someone who’s been in the business for years, I hope to provide clarity what is going on here so the consumer can make an educated decision.

Let me first state that the mezuzos in question generally have a din of kosher l’chatchila. I’ll explain why in a moment but first let us clear up two misconceptions:

1. That there is a unified, objective standard by which to be machshir or passel a mezuzah.

There is not. The way it actually works is that a sofer develops what is called a tviyas ayin, an instinct of sorts that after a couple of years will guide him while checking. Tvias ayin is subjective in nature and – this is crucial –  no two tvias ayins are alike.

2. That all magihim pasken according to the same set of rules.

They don’t. As with every area of halacha there are myriads of poskim whom to follow and every sofer has his own mesorah of how to pasken. In my years in the business I have noticed that generally, the older generation of sofrim follow the tradition to rely more on meikilim and are machshir in many more situations.

Whereas many of the younger sofrim tend to rely on more contemporary poskim who are machmir and passel.
What this means in simple terms is that A. No two sofrim will necessarily find the same shailos and B. Even if they do one will be machshir and one will not. 

Here’s the thing though: Being meikil doesn’t make one an unreliable sofer. Just as being machmir doesn’t make one a more reliable sofer. Again, this is not a judgement call as to which is better, I am merely explaining why we have this range of opinion from one sofer to the next.

A Tale of Two L’chatchilas

So now you’re saying OK fine, they’re kosher mezuzos. But how can you say they are kosher l’chatchila? These mezuzos have real shailos in them and are written in a way that the Shulchan Aruch says l’chatchila not to write like that?

There are two l’chatchilas here: First there is the l’chatchila of writing. That is to say the way a sofer should write l’chatchila. And then there is the l’chatchila of fulfilling the mitzvah of mezuzah. That is to say that now that the mezuzah is before us can I put this mezuzah on my door?

To be clear: the question before us is not ‘should I take it down if it is up already.’ The question is ‘can I put it up with a bracha to begin with?’ And the answer is yes.

Why? Because they were checked by a highly qualified sofer, a yerei shomayim who determined that they were kosher. And now that we have determined that they are kosher – even though we were soimech on a meikil – one can certainly put it on their door l’chatchila.

So, to recap: it should have been written like this originally but now that it exists you can l’chatchila use it.

What is lacking here is hidur. But as far as kashrus is concerned it is kosher l’chatchila. Much the same as Manishewitz matzah lacks hidur but is without a doubt kosher l’chatchila and those who eat it fulfill the mitzvah of matzah l’chatchila. Yes, one can mehader and have shmurah but that is a function of hidur, not kashrus.

So that’s what we have here: You have (usually older) sofrim yirei shomayim following the old tradition of relying on more lenient poskim and looking for ways to be machshir vs. the (usually younger) sofrim yirei shomayim who follow the newer model of not delving into difficult shailos and just rely on the machmir. They are all reliable and G-d fearing, and it is up to the consumer to decide.

As with all areas in halacha there is much to be said for hidur and the less shailos the better. If you are able to maintain a higher standard for the Jews you come into contact with it is certainly to be admired and even encouraged perhaps.

Just tell your vendor that you want more mehudardike mezuzos with no shailos that required reliance on only certain poskim and we will gladly supply you. But rest assured that if you want a Jew to fulfill the mitzvah of mezuzah l’chatchila, then you can still go with the cheaper one.

And now that you know, it’s up to you.


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Offline Moshe123

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Re: Mezuzah Fraud
« Reply #304 on: June 30, 2020, 06:25:11 AM »
Ouch. This article makes them look much worse.
Literal definition of twisting oneself into a pretzel.

Offline yfr bachur

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Re: Mezuzah Fraud
« Reply #305 on: July 01, 2020, 04:18:40 AM »
Understanding the Mezuzah Debate

1. That there is a unified, objective standard by which to be machshir or passel a mezuzah.

There is not. The way it actually works is that a sofer develops what is called a tviyas ayin, an instinct of sorts that after a couple of years will guide him while checking. Tvias ayin is subjective in nature and – this is crucial –  no two tvias ayins are alike.

2. That all magihim pasken according to the same set of rules.

They don’t. As with every area of halacha there are myriads of poskim whom to follow and every sofer has his own mesorah of how to pasken. In my years in the business I have noticed that generally, the older generation of sofrim follow the tradition to rely more on meikilim and are machshir in many more situations.

Whereas many of the younger sofrim tend to rely on more contemporary poskim who are machmir and passel.
What this means in simple terms is that A. No two sofrim will necessarily find the same shailos and B. Even if they do one will be machshir and one will not. 

Point one is hogwash. Period. Tvias Ayin for what exactly??? how beautiful it is? how much he can charge for it???? Hogwash.
He is right that there is no unified standard, but that is because different communities can consider different achronim, posek achron. Mishna Berura vs. Shulchan Aruch HaRav vs. Aruch Hashulchan vs Yalkut Yosef etc. (but this is his second point!)
Within one community there should basically be a standard what is Leikuva and pasels, and what is bedieved, and what is lechatchila.

There are a number different areas a person must master to become a magia.
1) He has to learn the relevant halachos well - and remember them! Mukaf gvil, kesidran, Chuk tochos, Tzuras Haosios. What can be fixed, should be fixed, should not be fixed, what is Pasuk, bedieved, hidur, what can be a shaylas tinuk, how to do a shaylas tinuk etc...
This is the Standard. Each kehilla has its seforim that it regards as the posek achron. In the litvishe world its generally the Mishna Berura,and Keses Hasofer (Rav Shlomo Gantzfried - author of the Kitzur SA). Every magia in a particular Kehilla SHOULD be checking to his kehillas standard.
2) learning how to SEE the issues in a parsha. practice, practice, practice. how to look closely, pay attention to the fine details. See touching letters, shinuy tzuras haois, writing off the sirtut, missing/extra letters.... Every would-be magia gets tested with parshios that have known issues on them to see if they find them ALL.
3) Learning the Grey areas. THIS is where tevias eyin comes in to play. For example, the letter VAV. If the leg is too short it looks like a YUD, if its too long it can look like NUN Sofit or KAF Sofit. If the head is too long, it becomes a RAISH. A magia sits with a more experienced magia to get shimush, what is too long, what is too short... After a while he gets a tevias ayin in this shayla.
When I was learning Tzuras Osios from a master Magia in Yerusholayim, he told me that you can find shinuy tzurah shaylos in the  letter YUD where it can appear like most other letters. Figuring out when has the tzura has changed, is also a skill learned with shimush, . He showed me a YUD, and told me that it was pasul because the KUTZ on the left side was too long and it now appeared to be a CHES.

With regards to his second point, It is true that there is an evolution in the way the shaylos are decided and even in the proper tzuras haois, but I have no way to comment on his experiences.
However  the statement  "No two sofrim will necessarily find the same shailos" is problematic for us all. How could it be that a magia will miss a shayla??? what is he doing??? his job is to find every shayla!!! If a magia ever discovers that other magiim are consistently finding shaylos he missed its time to find a new job! He may pasken that its ok, with no need to mention it on the report of the check, but not to find it at all??!!

Quote
Here’s the thing though: Being meikil doesn’t make one an unreliable sofer. Just as being machmir doesn’t make one a more reliable sofer. Again, this is not a judgement call as to which is better, I am merely explaining why we have this range of opinion from one sofer to the next.
I'll fix it for him
Quote
Being meikil and not telling me about it makes one an unreliable sofer.
We have two shaylos here. One is the Kashrus of a particular mezuza/tefillin, a shalya in Orach Chaim. The second is is it approprate to market this mezuza as being a particular standard, a shayla in Choshen Mishpat.
In my opinion, someone who is machmir in the Choshen Mishpat shayla is reliable, someone who is maykil in the CM shayla is unreliable.

His next point is incomprehensible.
Quote
A Tale of Two L’chatchilas

So now you’re saying OK fine, they’re kosher mezuzos. But how can you say they are kosher l’chatchila? These mezuzos have real shailos in them and are written in a way that the Shulchan Aruch says l’chatchila not to write like that?

There are two l’chatchilas here: First there is the l’chatchila of writing. That is to say the way a sofer should write l’chatchila. And then there is the l’chatchila of fulfilling the mitzvah of mezuzah. That is to say that now that the mezuzah is before us can I put this mezuzah on my door?

To be clear: the question before us is not ‘should I take it down if it is up already.’ The question is ‘can I put it up with a bracha to begin with?’ And the answer is yes.

Why? Because they were checked by a highly qualified sofer, a yerei shomayim who determined that they were kosher. And now that we have determined that they are kosher – even though we were soimech on a meikil – one can certainly put it on their door l’chatchila.

So, to recap: it should have been written like this originally but now that it exists you can l’chatchila use it.

So if I have a piece of meat that almost every Rishon and Achron says is treif, the tur and Rema, Shach, Taz Bach GRA Knesses Yisroel, Rashba Ritva Rif Rosh Riaz Rid Issur Veheter Haaruch, SA Harav, etc, etc... says is treif, and someone who is "highly qualified...a yerei shomayim" finds a shita in the back of a sefer from Rav Eliyahu Bachur who writes a snif lehakel beshas hadchak and therefor paskens that the meat is kosher based on that...You want to tell me that the meat is Kosher Lechatchila??? What are you talking about???
So anything that is bedieved, once the Rav says that it's ok bedieved, It's Lechatchila???????

Lets say this differently. Lechatchila means that it's first choice, the correct way to do something from the start, from the shoresh "TECHILA". Bedieved means since it's already done, we won't make you change it, its good enough , from the shoresh "AVAD".
Lechatchila, you buy and put up a mezuza that is kosher lechatchila. Bedieved, once it's up, we dont make you replace a mezuza that is kosher bedieved.

Of course you can say a bracha when you put up a bedieved mezuza, it's a kosher mezuza! But it's not Lechatchila to buy it in the first place! It's Bedieved.

I dont know the author at all, but he seems to be a Mocher who has written a piece defending their business practices. It appears that he may have never studied the halachos, which is another issue entirely. Opening a Judaica shop does not grant one any amount of halachic knowledge, and def not smicha in anything. The proprietor is at the mercy of his suppliers, and just parrots "this is kosher lechatchia, this is hidur level one, two, three..." the same way he sells silver.

also @Mtrasb it would be nice if you credit where you copied from...
« Last Edit: July 01, 2020, 04:56:03 AM by yfr bachur »

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Re: Mezuzah Fraud
« Reply #306 on: July 01, 2020, 01:44:17 PM »
also @Mtrasb it would be nice if you credit where you copied from...

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