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My Zuzer

I am a sofer. No I am not. But let's say that I am. A man walks into my shop and he looks as Jewish as the Pope. On his lapel there is a sticker that says "Paul Christinson, Fargo North Dakota." Now there is surely a lovely Jewish community in Fargo - consisting of the Chabad Rabbi and his wife and children. But no more. Anyway, Paul doesn't look like a Chabad Rabbi and even less like his wife.

So he says "Can I buy a "my zuzer."

"What?", I ask.

"You know, a "my zuzer" to hang up on my door post to guard me from harm."

Uh oh. May I sell it to him?

Answer: I should really try not to. The Maharatz Chayes [simman 32] says that it is forbidden to sell a mezuza or Sefer Torah to a Gentile. If he would get really angry, my advice would be to sell him a beautiful mezuza case without the "Hebrew instructions" that come inside.

Not only that but Rav Moshe Feinstein [Igros Moshe Yo"d 1/174] rules that one should not sell a Sefer Torah to a Conservative or Reform congregation because they might not treat it with the required sanctity.

Does Rav Moshe's teshuva cover selling a mezuza to a Conservative or Reform Jew as well? And if not should you sell a kosher mezuza to a Conservative or Reform Jew if you are pretty sure that they won't treat it correctly?

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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