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Author:  Seen too much
E-mail:  not available
Date:  12/2/2003 8:35:00 AM
Subject:  Sifrei Torah
Message:  Unfortunately, the one issue that is forgotten here is that sofrut has become a business just like any other business. It is impossible for the average Jew to shop Sofrut as thoroughly as should be due to the gravity of the consequences of using non kosher or possul STAM (Sifri Torah, Tefillin and Mezuzot).

Once I took a newly religious couple to the most respected and prominent sofer in our city to purchase mezuzot. As he was rolling them, I, a mere simple Jew, noticed a couple of glaring errors. When I pointed them out, he said "oh yeah" and got another mezuzah, and another and another. I checked them, he checked them, and finally we found enough that appeared not to be possul to sell to them. To be sure I sent the 8 of them to another sofer whom I trusted who found them all to be possul, corrected them and hopefully they were okay.

We have a sofer here who was convicted twice of molesting young girls in the school in which he taught. It was fairly public and yet it does not disqualify him as a sofer. None of the Rabbis dare to deny him his business, they all know the story because the Av Bet Din of the city he resided in previously called each of them to inform them. disqualifies one as a sofer". (this was from a Rosh Kehilla).

I went to visit the home of another prominent sofer (not for sofrut) and saw Sifrei Torah on his kitchen table, open, falling onto the floor and lunch was all over the place, as well as what looked like last nights dinner dishes, garbage etc. Since he was not fazed at all that I was seeing this, I guess that I can assume that this was not an abnormal working situation for him!

Is it a shock that most of our tefillin, mezuzot and Sifri Torah are not kosher??? I really don't think that it is due to lack of money. Tons of money is spent, it just does not seem as though many Sofrim themselves believe in the importance of their work.

We are seeing the truth about the kashrut certification of our food, many of us know the truth about too many of our supervised mikvoth, many of us know firsthand the nonsense in the schools and so many of us see the widespread disregard for Sabbath observance (virtually discarding at convenience issur d'Rabbonim) among self proclaimed "religious" leaders.

Is it such a shock that for many, sofrut is a business, no different than any other?

   
Reply:  we got to a pretty sorry state....
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