Tefillin & Mezuzos on Ebay: I’ll Teach You Why You Should Stay Away! 3


  1. I know what you mean about people who don’t know the first thing about what they are selling. I sell mainly talleisim and I know from experience that there are a lot of non-observant tallit sellers out there selling high-end, handmade tallits though they don’t know the first thing about the mitzvah of tzitzit (which, of course, is the essence of the tallis). If a customer were to ask them, “Is wool considered better, from a halachic standpoint, than cotton or silk?” they would have no idea what to say, and certainly have no inkling about the machlokes between the Mechaber and the Rema. And although they may have been selling talleisim fulltime for over a decade, if someone’s tzitzis were to come loose they couldn’t tie them to save their life.

    As irksome as this may be, I’m unconvinced that someone must be as conversant as you are in order to be adequately qualified to sell STaM. I could state my own argument, but instead let me bring a proof from the Gemara: כותבי ספרים תפילין ומזוזות הם ותגריהן ותגרי תגריהן וכל העוסקין במלאכת שמים.

    1. Certainly someone could sell tefillin and mezuzos with the help of a trained sofer, but if he is on his own, sooner or later he will make mistakes that an experienced sofer wouldn’t make. If you spend a lot of time on this website you will see that I deal with many many different situations. How is someone who is not a sofer supposed to handle all of them? Lets say you are just selling mezuzos. How do you know what mezuzos are good? Its not like you can find a good mezuzah, and just keep buying it forever. Sometimes a mezuzah from a particular sofer may be available for a few months and then that sofer may start writing a megillah. How will you find a new sofer who writes a similarly priced mezuzah? I can only make a final judgement on the quality of a mezuzah after I have spent time checking several mezuzos from the same sofer. If you are not a sofer, you can’t check mezuzos. That means you have to rely on someone else and you must take his word as to what the real quality that a particular set of tefillin or mezuzos is. Any sofer will tell you what happens to the mezuzos that just are not up to par. They get sold to Judaica stores. There are very few people that I can rely on to check a mezuzah in such a way that I will have the peace of mind to sell that mezuzah to one of my customers. Not only that, but how is a customer supposed to know which non-sofer is following all the correct procedures and which one is not? What it really comes down to is that it’s not that you are wrong, rather, what you are saying is impractical.

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