Jan 6, 2019
Reacting to Mezuzah Controversy

Chassidus Applied with Rabbi Simon Jacobson: How should we react to the recent Mezuzah controversy?

MyLife: Chassidus Applied Episode 243, with Rabbi Simon Jacobson
Sunday, January, 6 2019 / 29 Teves, Erev Rosh Chodesh Shevat 5779 Ė 8:00-9:00PM EST

* Chassidus Applied to Shevat and Parshas Bo
* How should we react to the recent Mezuzah controversy?
* Is there an intrinsic value to keeping Chassidus in its pristine state and not trying to apply it to specific situations?
* What did the Rebbe mean by calling someone a ďplain-clothed chassidĒ?
* Mazel: Do Jewish people have luck?
* Why is 770 not kept neater?
* Request: References for mental health specialists

Follow-up (episodes 241-242):
* Emulating Yaakov
* Singing in the restroom
* What defines a Chabad Chassid?
* Government intervention in our schools
* Chassidus question: Is G-d inside or outside of us?

My Life 2018 essays:
* The Value of Our Constant Struggles, Sara Schwartz, 32, Granada Hills, CA
* Transcendental Mediation in Light of Chassidus, Dovid Bressman, 35, Los Angeles, CA
* Increase Motivation for Change after Repeated Failures, Tirtza Butman, 46, Ramat, HaSharon, Israel

This hour-long dose of insights, broadcast live every Sunday night 8-9PM EST, is meant to inform, inspire and empower us by applying the teachings of Chassidus to help us face practical and emotional challenges and difficulties in our personal lives and relationships. To have your question addressed, please submit it at meaningfullife.com/mylife.


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Opinions and Comments
I am glad it was brought to the for front. my son purchased mivtzoyim mezuzos and they were pasul. Than he purchased from Rabbi benshimon in montreal mivtzayim ones and they were good. What is the use of selling pasul mezuzos?
(1/6/2019 7:36:37 PM)
Thatís a ridiculous suggestion
Iím surprised. Reb Simeon, you are usually a well thought out Mashpia. Did you suggest that Anash should go to a store in CH and double check our purchases? Should we bring our own mashgichim to the deli? We go to these stores because we trust them if they are in our community then they need to have a standard. Your answer regards the mezzuzot that there are different opinions as to kosher and not kosher in between kosher is absurd. Do we have that in Kashrus/bris/Gerus mi Yehudi ? Please clarify
(1/6/2019 8:17:20 PM)
Great Episode
Thank you for a well thought out program. I really appreciated your levelheadedness.
(1/6/2019 9:01:46 PM)
Finally, a clear and composed approach based on Torah and halacha.

To #2 - What are you talking about? You have an obligation to ensure that your mezuzos are kosher. We would all love to trust the stores. But when that comes into question, we have no choice but to check with objective rabbonim and sofrim. Rabbi Jacobson hit it straight on. And yes, if you look in shulchan aruch you will see (not just regarding mezuzah, but regarding so many different halachos) that their are different levels of hidur and different opinions as to what is considered kosher l'ikuva and what not, l'chatchila and b'dieved etc.. Is this the first time you have heard this concept? With all due respect, it's quite absurd to call this "absurd"...
(1/6/2019 11:24:38 PM)
Morei mireinu HoRav
It is scary how people just rattle of ďlechatchilaĒ ďbedievedō ďleíikuvaĒ
That comes from giving semicha to boys who have no concept of how to interpret Chumash rashi or a blat gemorah with rishishonim and off they go with their pretty teudos and immediately get an Aliya morie mireinu HoRav
Ludicrous but these posts demonstrate the absolute danger .
(1/7/2019 3:44:59 AM)
"Kosher "....
Now that we have some CLARITY on mezuzos let's continue to the kosher food industry, starting with chicken and meat.
(1/7/2019 6:21:48 AM)
Mivtzoim mezuzas
1) the only mesuzas that are in question are mivtzoim mezuzos which none of us should be using for personal use anyway!

2) the Torah way to handle these matters is exactly how it is playing out: in a beis din.

I love him but I think Rabbi Simon missed the mark on this one.
(1/7/2019 6:23:13 AM)
To number 7
I'd hate to break it to you but if you're not checking mivtzoyim mezuzos youre not checking other stuff either.

Mehudar mezuzos (and tefillin) can have problems too. They still need to be checked slowly and carefully. In fact, because thw ksav is thicker and letters closer together, mehudar stam will typically have more negiyos....
(1/7/2019 6:45:53 AM)
Rabbi Simon said exactly your words. That yidden have a Torah and therefore it belongs in Beis Din-
He also added advice for the sofrim to come out with a way of fixing the issue and not to stand on the defense..please listen to him again saying clearly that it belongs in Bais Din
(1/7/2019 7:24:37 AM)
To number 1
I agree, Rabbi Bensimon from Montreal is an excellent sofer and a very special yungerman. Very few sofrim in Chabad are ehrlich like him. He wrote a most beautiful sefer torah in memory of Mendel Cotlar, the young bocher who tragically passed away in Texas a few years back. I think anyone who is meets him knows he is the real deal.
(1/7/2019 8:06:52 AM)
to nu.2
i think he implied if you should buy them from a sofer you trust u wouldnt need to recheck. You should just not be so passive, and ask the sofer can you recheck them, are yo sure these are good etc. and yes mivtsoim ones are not alter rebbe...
(1/7/2019 8:36:29 AM)
to nu 2
yes there are diff levels of kashrus
bishul yisroel where non bishul yisroel is still kosher acc to opinions, there are different shcitahs that one will eat and not eat even though you dont need to kasher in between, there are chicken kashered as split chicken and not,, there are people who wont eat chodosh, so yes in kashrus in food and in stam there are different levels. not so with mihu yehudi, no levels
(1/7/2019 8:41:28 AM)
Thank you rabbi siman
Why are these vendors getting all defensive, of they have nothing to hide let them invite whoever wants , to check their 'stock' . To run to a din Torah and get affended is childish and wrong.
They should grow up and prove they have no issue by allowing all sofrim to examine their 'kosher' stuff
(1/7/2019 9:13:16 AM)
to everyone that knows better
there are unfortunately certain sofrim who like to passul lots of kosher lchatchila stam. they do this as they feel their way is the only way to go. however, there are many poskim who disagree with them, therefore by making this whole video one-sided and bashmutzing all the stores who sell them is disgusting and something that korach would do.
(1/7/2019 9:33:54 AM)
Too soft on this issue.
Sorry, like a gun manufactured making a bad product and folks die. People come in to buy a kosher product, period. Houses are burning down in Crown Heights and actually this belongs in the public for they are selling treif and we need to know who and where. Obviously they do not fear G-d so let them fear man. They do not fear the horrible punishments that are described for making and selling bad parshas so let them have the busha and they will learn that way. Coming back as a dog is worse than any embarrassment they are now suffering.
(1/7/2019 10:06:50 AM)
Can at least one Sofer please post that they are kosher
If one Sofer would come forward and say the mezzuzot are kosher this would have been over days ago. Someone would bring up the mezzuzah ordeal and the second person would answer didnít u hear a Sofer checked them and they are all kosher. Maybe not to the best standard but they are kosher. Then it will be like everything else we have. This is good this one is no good ...... is there a Sofer that is saying that according to some Dayah those mezzuzot are ok?
(1/7/2019 10:48:09 AM)
To 11&12. Iím # 2. And I agree with u in part
I agree with you that there is a difference between all things I mentioned -kashrus - mi yehudi and these mezzuzot. I stand corrected. because these mezzuzot are specifically for mivtzoim and even though crown heights is a tourist area I donít believe these stores are selling pishutim to a walk ins.

With that being said. It is not reasonable to ask a Customer whether a Shliach or Anash doing mivtzoim to purchase something in a crown heights store and they need to recheck it. All the owners involved are good people with solid reputations. It was their obligation to say at the time of purchase the mezzuzot are whatever they were. If they were Pasul so say they are Pasul and itís someone elseís job to fix. There is a basic minimum standard Ie kosher according to anyone. If they have that basic level the video was a disaster. Wolf should have said that they donít meet his standard or most standards. The accusation is they are Pasul al pi kol hadaos. if these are kosher to the minimum level which we all hope they are wolf needs to explain. Unfortunately no one has stepped up and gave the mezzuzot in question any endorsement even on the lowest level.
(1/7/2019 11:09:31 AM)
to #13
please walk in to any of the stores and ask to see they will gladly show you what they have!
this is how they usually sell mezuzah you can walk in and see what exactly you are getting.
if you order over the phone they email or fax over a picture of those exact mezuzahs that is how the business is ran, there is no fraud just some lazy people who rather passul things
(1/7/2019 12:43:12 PM)
To nu 17
I doubt they knowingly sold posul mezuzos. The sofrim most likely ddnt check them all before selling, not trying to cheat. It's not a hard or bad idea to upgrade the mivtsoim mezuzos on one hand but bec it was done like this, it just diesnt look like was done lshem shomayim.
(1/7/2019 2:14:55 PM)
To #16
Rabbi sabag said that a lot of the problems are not problems at all. Any normal sofer does not say pusol on mezuzahs even if it's missing a word. He will go to a rav and ask him.
(1/7/2019 3:25:51 PM)
To #38
How can you say such a thing??? If only people would listen to rabbonim, everything would be much more normal, and people would not be confused
(1/7/2019 3:31:55 PM)
Are we Lubavitcher if stores on Kingston are only concerned with profit and loss margins who needs them,we could order mizuzos on line maybe a computer could check the tefillin and mezuzos who needs a Sofer they can work for a car service!
(1/7/2019 6:44:15 PM)
What should do?
Just a few weeks ago I put up a lot of mivtzoim mezuzahs for a family that is struggling financially, otherwise they would spend more. One of the family members is very unwell.
How deceitful and unethical to sell these mezuzahs as Kosher. Are the sellers pleading ignorance, are they blinded by greed? Don't say we should buy them anyways, if the mezuzahs are on the market they have to ensure its a kosher product or don't offer it.
What should I say to that family? Oops, don't worth the mezuzahs might be kosher bedueved, maybe with some fixing.
I have no words.
(1/7/2019 6:59:29 PM)
#21 Rabonim Beyond Reproach ďRBRĒ
The whole problem is the Rabonim. Not all of them of course. Why do you think Wolf didnít go to them directly. Itís the obvious thing to do. But the VRL who is typically in charge of this type of situation as it deals with the Shluchim have no transparency or protocols. Wolf is in Chicago he wasnít coming to the CH BD.

Ask the litigants that have been to a VRL BD itís a mafia and farce. Some of the hit men are notorious.
In a normal situation people should and would go to the Rabonim like # 21 so naively suggested. But if you know the VRL rabonim. (not all but enough) they are so out of touch and beyond reproach why would wolf go there? If there was an honest BD we would all be crying why didnít Wolf go there. and itís the same situation case after case.
VRL hide what they want and Paskin as they chose with impunity. No one wants to listen to them because they are arrogant, deceitful and shameless. They are to blame.

Where are they now? Whoís on first? They donít know what to do because this actually deals with Halacha as opposed to the way they can normally operate. They know this psak will be watched and scrutinized. They only know how to paskin when there can be no oversite.
The sad thing is no one even knows where to start. Itís all true but where do we go from here?
(1/7/2019 8:46:33 PM)
to #23
I believe it makes sense to tell that family, that you just found out that they have to be checked. You don't want this and the health of the family member to be on you head.

I am so thankful that R. Wolfe brought this concept to our attention. I had no clue before either.
(1/7/2019 9:00:29 PM)
To #24
R' Wolf got a hazmono to B"D, he must follow halocho and go.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander. If he blatantly flaunts halacha like that C"V, he's nothing but a media hound and rabble rouser.
(1/7/2019 9:36:28 PM)
to nu. 23
yes, say since we are seeing health issues the rebbe always said to check mezuzos, so although we just put them on the checking itself is a healer, if they are fixeable, you will tell them, lets make them more stringent kosher because we want health, if they are really posul beyond repair, (which you have to take to a real professional,the bigger the professional the most likely he can make them reparable,)
you can still say, its a good idea to upgrade ..., and hopefully you can return them to wherever you bought them. iam sure if you deal like a mentch they will deal with you like a mentch. ask the sofer to please recheck the ones he wants to exchange hem with before giving you
(1/7/2019 10:57:55 PM)
when this story will end kashrut controversy will start after kashrut controversy will end another controversy will start it's no end to this. it's just business
(1/8/2019 8:44:20 AM)
To shlomo 28
ItS not business itís anti business
Its milchemes hashem baamolek
Itís all about whoís on which side
Thereís only one judge
(1/9/2019 2:42:02 AM)
I was on Wolf's side. Until I opened a Shulchon Oruch.
I assumed that when Wolf said it's "possul", that he was presenting the whole picture and according to all Poskim. I assumed touching letters for eg. Are possul. But when I saw in Shulchan Oruch (32:5) that in regards to touching letters, there are 2 opinions and the stricter opinion is it's better to fix, I was very upset. Why call the sofrim frauds when these mezuzahs are perfectly kosher according to Shulchan Oruch, albeit not the most mehudar? Why not clarify that there are different opinions in Shulchan Oruch?

This is like calling OU frauds if they are more lenient than OK, because in some cases their Rov was more lenient.

Why create machlokes and call people crooks without clarifying that there is more than one opinion in Shulchan Oruch and its perfectly OK to rely on that opinion in Shulchan Oruch? Especially these are the cheap mezuzahs and the people buying them should know that they will not be the most mehudar, but that they are kosher according to the lenient opinions in Shulchon Oruch?
(1/9/2019 5:35:25 PM)
To number 30. A negiya is possul until fixed
I think you should get some rabbinic counselling. The practical halacha (halacha lemayseh) is that a negiya is not kosher until fixed. Not even kosher bedieved. However, you can stretch it to say that if someone had a negiya, it was not necessarily a brocha levatolah because in some circumstances there are minority opinions to rely on. But we do not pasken like them.
(1/20/2019 6:47:00 PM)
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