Many are aware of the shocking story circulating about "Rabbi" Michoel Tzadok Elkoen, a Charedi sofer from Jerusalem who was found to be a non Jewish Christian Missionary. While the story itself is very concerning, some people are worried that may have ended up with his STa"M (Sifrei Torah, Tefillin or Mezuzos), since these items often go through many hands until they reach the end customer.

Well, the good news is that he did not write in large quantities, he was involved in many other things besides Safrus. Furthermore, he wrote Sephardi Ksav, so if you don't buy Sephardi ksav then you definitely have nothing to worry about.

For those interested, I am posting a picture of his ksav below. (He posted pictures of his writing several times on the internet.) If one is really worried, an expert sofer can tell if a suspected item is a potential match to the said ksav. (There are certain nuances that are different here to your typical Sephardi ksav.) Certainly if there is a suspicion that it came from the said sofer, it is worth having a good look and comparing it to the ksav below.

In case one was worried that they may have bought directly from the sofer without knowing his name, here is his picture:

Now is a good time to reiterate that, in general, it is always good to know who writes and checks your Sta"m, or at least to buy from a sofer or vendor that knows the sofrim  personally or at least by name and reputation. This prevents the chances of  ending up with random STa"M from an unfit sofer (extremely common) and tracking items in the event that a sofer is found unfit after the fact (less common).


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