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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hechsher on stam

It was recently brought to my attention  that the Star K hechsher is selling sifrei torah with a hechsher for a while now,  and are starting with tefillin and mezuzos.

From what I understand, they are giving a hechser on the sofer that he is legit and that products such as klaf, batim, retzuos etc are sourced from companies with a reliable hechsher. And also that they are checked by relaible magihim.

This is a welcome development. However is it really such a chiddush? There are many wholesalers and retailers that follow these guidelines. What is really needed is more of what Rav Landau's hechsher does, ie to have their own trained magihim (and sofrim)who do everything in house, under one roof, keeping one standard with all shailos going to the same posek -  thus developing a consistent brand that is very controlled and right under the watchful eye of the Rabannim who are signing their names on the product.

While any hechser on Stam is welcome, because it does ad credibility and authenticity, I still think for it to really work it needs to be modelled in a similar way to Rav Landaus Lishkah.



5 comments:

  1. At Rabbi Landau's Lishkah there are no "in house" sofrim, just the magihim are there. I can say that for sure because I occasionally write for them. Also since R. Landau currently doesn't give a Hechsher on Battim, so the Battim are also from some other source (it says that in a sign on the wall there). But "Retzouos" there is with R. Landau's Hechser.

    What is actually done there is that they buy from Sofrim that they choose and then they do the checking (very strict, with a backlight they catch every "Tag" that looks like it won't hold to long etc.)

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    1. Thats why I put "sofrim" in brackets, but they are still very selective who the use as sofrim and certainly they have a very strong hold over their sofrim.

      The main point is that the magihim are not random, rather they all sit in house and you know they are not going to do anything not in accordance with the psak of ravs Belinov and Landau

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  2. What I don't understand is why in Shchita there is a watchful eye on the process, to make sure the shchita is done correctly, while in writing Stam, nobody is watching what the sofer is doing. Why? The temptation for a sofer to make a prohibited correction is much worse than for a Shochet to ignore a bad Shchita.

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  3. How can you expect a rav to sit over the guys shoulder and make sure that the sofer is makdesh every shaim and does not make any prohibited corrections????

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  4. Therefore the best taht he can do is be close on hand to answer any shailos and to make sure he knows the sofrim are conciencious and reliable

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