Mezuzah Fraud? Targeted Sofrim Fight Back
Following a viral video made by a Chicago Rabbi claiming that Crown Heights Sofrim were selling Posul Mezuzos, the establishments targeted are firing back. An analysis of the methods and Halochos point to a different story, say the sofrim, and now its going to Beis Din.
A Chabad Rabbi in Chicago released a video of what he coined Mezuzah Fraud. Having purchased 10 mezuzos from eight different establishments, he brought them to two different sofrim, whom both he claimed found the same issues.
The outcome of the experiment was astounding. Three establishments had not a single kosher mezuzah, while some others had only some kosher. Only one location was certified all around kosher, while one got good marks, but not perfect.
The entire episode was released in a video that showed the entire process, seemingly foolproof.
Yet a response by Gad Sebbag of Oraita fired back at the video, stating the claims as baseless. Similarly, in a phone interview with Rabbi Moshe Klein of Hasofer, who is a veteran sofer of Crown Heights, he stated that he stands behind any mezuzah sold by his establishment, and that these claims are false.
In a strong response, seven of the sofrim and establishments have gone to Beis Din in a hope of settling this issue according to Halocha.
Read below the response made by Gad Sebbag of Oraita following the recent allegations:
In light of the latest video that was published I was asked to respond. In my 26 years being a sofer I tried very hard to stay away from מחלוקת especially one that is not לשם שמים. However in this case….. I have to respond to clarify.
I would like to mention that each mezuzah sold by Oraita is carefully checked by one of our certified magihim in our office. And while we try our very best שגיאות מי יבין And There is always room for improvement.
And to the report. I showed to many magihim in the US and Eretz Isroel the issues mentioned by the report and they were puzzled. The letters צ 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 ניכר להדיא (visible enough) and therefore kosher as is even without repair. As for the spacing between letters in the same word a couple of them could have be been closer but not posul. I do have to notice that those same issues appear in the others report that for some reason was kosher there. I also notice new concepts in halocho such as שאלת תינוק in spacing issues….? Not mentioned in shulchon oruch.
And that brings me to one conclusion. A good כוונה might have been there perhaps but ניקיון ידיים איו כאן. Relying on a single unknown magiah to do a character killing of many people and peoples livelihood is wrong. The poor choice of how to do this and the public shaming of sofrim is wrong. The refusal to have a multiple neutral hagoho performed of these mezuzos and then review the outcome is screaming foul. Putting the rebbe’s name and mivtsoim as a preface to this is unacceptable. Saying that hundreds of thousands of mezuzos used by yiden around the globe are posul is wrong. Taking this to YouTube and out to the world with whatsapp is so wrong. What yeshiva and which mashpia or parent taught you that. The bitterness and anger of this individual and lack of בנחת נשמעים…. is disturbing.
The purpose here was not to educate customers and to have sofrim improve.
It’s wrong to hide behind איצטלא דרבנן and Holy causes when הידיים ידי עשו.
I see a קנאות but no pinchus. However korachs name and his מחלוקת is all over the place. The damage caused by these individuals is irreversible and may hashem have rachmunus on them and forgive them.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the dozens of customers that contacted me in past day showing their support and love. It’s heart warming and I thank hashem for such great clientele. No infomercial or money can buy that.
We all the sofrim are unified (a miracle) and will do everything to protect ourselves and families.
I will conclude with hope and pray of ברכינו אבינו כולנו כאחד With achdus. And we should be zoche to the coming of moshiach speedily in our days.
Rabbi Gad Sebag
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