Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Charedi World

1 Kislev 5760 - November 10, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Rabbinic Supervision of Stam Retailers Receives Positive Response

by Betzalel Kahn

The circulation of a list of Stam (Sifrei Torah, Tefillin, Mezuzos) retailers who are now under rabbinical supervision has aroused much interest in chareidi centers throughout the world. Many praise this new initiative which implements guidelines issued a number of weeks ago in the name of prominent rabbonim.

In this initial stage, a list of eight retailers was issued. These retailers have agreed to supervision by the committee of Stam inspectors. The eight, whose outlets are in Jerusalem, are among the most important in the city.

The scribes under committee supervision must be yirei Shomayim. In addition, they must have diplomas testifying that they passed examinations and have accepted all of the supervising body's demands. Their mezuzos undergo computerized inspection as well as hagoho by expert magihim. The retailers have agreed to these conditions in response to the call of gedolei Yisroel seeking to correct the terrible situation prevailing in this area so important to all Jews. Knowledgeable consumers were able to find good quality articles, but the average consumer had great difficulty and could not rest assured that the articles he purchased were good. Many requirements of Stam articles are not evident from an inspection of the final product.

The mezuzos are now packaged and subsequently classified according to degree of kashrus, which is determined by expert morei horo'oh. The package is then stamped and hermetically sealed in order to prevent forgery.

Torah-observant Jews all over the world welcome this systematic supervision. The retailers themselves say that the circulation of the list has generated considerable interest in the system. Significantly, retailers with this special supervision have been asked not to raise their prices.

Stam retailers in the United States have also displayed interest in the project, since most such items they sell come from Eretz Yisroel. The committee of supervisors plans to establish centers in the United States as well.

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