Many people call me to check their mezuzos because a mekubal told them to get their mezuzos checked. Usually the mekubal tells them unbelievable things about them that nobody could know. Sometimes he tells them there is a problem with a certain mezuzah in their home (usually a bedroom). Here is where the story starts to get tricky. Sometimes he will give them a mezuzah and tell them where to put it up. One of my customers told me that the mekubal gave him a mezuzah and told them to put it up on their bedroom door. Since I checked their mezuzos in the past, he asked me if I could make the switch. I took down the mezuzah from the bedroom, and looked at it. It was an absolutely stunning mezuzah. The writing was beautiful. On the other hand, the mezuzah that the mekubal gave him was way below average. I told this to the customer, and he said, “But the mekubal gave it to me for free!” In other words, since the mekubal wasn’t even making any money from the mezuzah, it must be that he is giving him a very holy mezuzah with no alterior motives. I asked him if he gave money to the mekubal and he answered that he did. So the customer probably gave him $200, and the mekubal gave him a $20 mezuzah. Could it be that his twenty dollar mezuzah was written by a very holy sofer and I just couldn’t see the kidushah (I’m not a mekubal so I can’t see kidushah, I can only see when mezuzos are written according to halachah), and the beautiful one hundred and fifty dollar mezuzah that he was using while beautiful to look at, was written by someone who had improper thoughts or some other problem that can’t be discerned by an examination? I guess it could be. I told the customer to ask his rabbi, or someone else that he trusts. My opinion is that there are real mekubalim out there, but they are quiet people who aren’t running a ‘business’. I am definitely not qualified to tell you who is real and who is not. Ask your rabbi if he knows the person you want to speak with (he doesn’t, trust me). Don’t be impressed because he told you something nobody knows but you. Don’t be impressed with white beards, and long lines of people sitting in a waiting room (looking like they are carrying the world’s problems on their shoulders). Most importantly, don’t assume that he is real because he seems real (he’s got the right look and voice, etc.) One final thought: The Vaad Mishmeres Stam does not require or encourage soferim to be versed in the kabalah seforim that deal with tefillin and mezuzos, but they require thorough understanding of the large body of halachos that deal with these topics.