Inferior mezuzos story


Recently I was checking mezuzos at a home in Bergen County. The customer had eight mezuzos of which one of them is in the below picture.

A few points are in order. First, they all had the little sticker which you can see in the picture. This sticker says, “Checked By An Expert Sofer and found Kosher In The Holy City Of Jerusalem, Not Written On Coated Parchment”. Take a look two lines up from the sticker at the word בכם. In particular, look at the last letter, which is supposed to be a final mem, ם, but which is so distorted that it takes on the form of a samech ס. Since tefillin and mezuzos must be written in order,  כסדרן, it is forbidden to change the samech into a mem. That makes this mezuzah, with its sticker of certification attesting as to it’s kashrus, completely posel. It also makes a joke out of the part of the sticker which says, “Not written on coated parchment”. Coated parchment is a type of parchment which is coated with a substance which makes it easier to write on but lends itself to a host of problems. Firstly, there is a discussion in the halacha as to whether coated parchment is kosher at all, and as a result, it is accepted across the board not to use it. Secondly, the letters on coated parchment tend to get small cracks in them making the tefillin and mezuzos not kosher. So saying, “Not written on coated parchment”,  is kind of like saying, “Your poison ivy crop is organically certified.”