By COLlive reporter
Otzar Hastam in the holy city of Tzfas, the largest center that produces Torah scrolls, tefillin and mezuzahs, was contacted to create “the most special Tefillin in the world.”
The person, an American Jewish businessman and philanthropist, specified that he wanted each item in the Tefillin to be created from another kosher animal and that it should all be strictly mehudar.
The man became close to Yiddishkeit through his involvement with Chabad Shluchim in Alpharetta-Georgia, Aspen-Colorado and Chattanooga-Tennessee, cities in which he lived in recent years.
“One of the Mitzvos that particularly meant a lot to him was Tefillin and he wanted to honor this mitzvah as best he can,” said Rabbi Shaul Perlstein of the Chabad Jewish Center of Chattanooga.
“We called multiple safrus places but none were able to do what we were looking for until we reached out to Otzar Hastam,” Rabbi Perlstein told COLlive.com.
Rabbi Chaim Kaplan, Director of Chabad in Tzfas who founded Otzar Hastam, admits that “We were surprised by this unusual request.”
To pull this off, Rabbi Kaplan said, “We had to obtain unconventional materials available in the market of Stam (Sifrei Torah, Tefillin and Mezuzahs).”
Otzar Hastam, located on the summit of Mount Canaan, employes some 35 people who are certified and dedicate their lives to writing holy scrolls. Each item undergoes an advanced review and is under the supervision of the OK Kosher Certification from New York.
It took a full year for them to create this rare custom-made pair.
The retzuos (straps) were made from sheepskin, the gidim (tendons) was made of lamb tendons, the klaf (parchment) was made of deer leather, the batim (boxes) were specially prepared from bull leather and the box covers were handmade from olive trees.
“The process was complex,” Rabbi Kaplan says. “But even we were amazed by the beauty of the final result.”
Rabbi Perlstein adds, “It is wonderful to see how much this special person loves this mitzvah and through his beautiful new pair inspires many others.”
A pair of Tefillin from Otzar Hastam ranges from $672 for a Sefardi pair to $1,358 for a Chabad pair written in the Alter Rebbe’s ksav (script).
The cost of this custom-made pair? $6,000.
For more info, visit hastam.co.il/en