May 8, 2007

The Problems with Soferous Today

Filed under: Blog Torah — Reb Moshe @ 2:23 am

mezuzaq.gifI  want to get back into soferous but orders don’t come in so frequently. People are also always looking to buy a cheap set of tefillin which I try to avoid selling as I don’t trust work done at these prices. I wish people understood that cheap tefillin is sold today in the free world that are barely even kosher. Someone who takes their writing seriously would never sell their work for under $10 an hour. Cheap tefillin means parshios that are sold for less because the writer is simply not up to standards spiritually and in his craft. Also, I can buy batim for as cheap as $15 and many of you purchase these from religious people. Do you know what happens when the scribe that closes these batim puts in the parshious? They tear the weak housing and it puts a little whole inside which makes the tefilin not Kosher. Why are these things sold by people who have certificates from stam? Soferim are simply not taught any better by their teachers. Soferous is a tradition handed down from one scribe to the next through Yiras Shamayim, G-D fearing teachers. Today, most teachers will teach anyone who enters the door soferous, without really knowing them. People are tested by stam and pass because they are good at studying but many never even review the laws regularly. The greatness of a sofer is his knowing when to ask a shila and realize his own faults. It is his understanding of the true holiness and importance of his work. For some, the writing is all about the look and their is no heart inside. For others, it has lost its true meaning and is simply a way to support their family. I think many soferim are simply in denial of the responsibility that lies on their shoulders. Also, it is the bargeners who have brought prices so low that even those skilled workers rush their writing in order just to keep up with the market that doesn’t want to pay them the true worth of their trade. Dealers are crewl to soferim in order to make a good enough profit for themselves and for some reason, people would rather buy from a dealer then directly from the scribe. Many dealers know almost nothing about writing and when I questioned one about a mistake, I was simply told, “I had it checked so its not on my head and I trust my checker.” Most Mezuzos and Tefillin are either Posul, not kosher or simply written with little heart.

I was always questioned by other scribes as to why I am so machpid on nice gasos batim. They say, tell the person to put their money in the parshious, not the batim. Well, I think that is like someone putting in a sweet new V8 into a old colt that is rusting out. It is the body that has to sustain the power of the beautiful engine and help it to shine.

Please note that all prices on my soferous site are no longer valid. I have raised my standards to try to only buy from scribes I know personally and Batim manufactures that are checked over.

I am currently still ill with flu like symptoms. I go out each day for about two hours with the family and about an hour to tend different things. Then I return home and try to care for the site. I spend some time answering emails, talking to myspace friends about Judaism and then go to sleep.

Today I visited Meron. It is said that 3 days before the Tzaddik’s Yirtzite his soul is near the gravesite in a very intense way. Also, 3 days after. So I enjoyed a few uplifting moments in Meron.

1 Comment

  1. I agree 100%

    I want to learn soforus, but not as an income, I wanted to do it since I was 7.

    Comment by Asa Yitzchak — May 8, 2007 @ 5:09 am

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