Used Sefer Torah For Sale, No You Can’t Show it to Anyone Leave a comment

A customer called and told me that he was considering a used sefer torah. The seller told him the sefer torah is 100% kosher, but he would not allow the customer to take it out of the shul that it was in, except to show it to one particular sofer! Wisely, instead of taking it to that sofer, the customer asked me to come take a look at it. Well, I don’t have to tell you, but its cheap price was not without strings attached! Kosher? No way, not even close. There were cracked letters all over the place. I told the customer to go back to the seller and ask him, “Are you aware that there are many letters that have cracks? Have you seen them? Are cracked letters kosher?” I am certain that the seller would respond something like this,”So you aren’t interested?” Or, “I have another sefer that is in better condition.” The seller really isn’t concerned about doing the right thing, and he is not concerned about his reputation. He is only concerned about making the sale. It is very likely he doesn’t even know anything about safrus, and highly likely that he is not a sofer. Even if he is a sofer, it just doesn’t matter; he is only out to get your money. If you would buy it and go back to him after the sale and say there are hundreds (or even thousands) of posel letters, he will tell you to bring it to him and he will fix them. No he won’t! He will touch up a few things and return it to you and it will still be as bad as it was. Don’t buy used sefrei torah on ebay. Don’t buy used sefrei torah from anyone unless you show it to someone you trust. Believe me, the above story is not the only story I could tell you. A good rule of thumb would be if it is being sold for less than $10,000 you should be very wary. Even if it is being sold for more than $10,000 you should also be wary.

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