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What should I know before purchasing a mezuzah?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

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A Mezuzah must be bought from a trustworthy, G-d fearing vendor.

An authentic mezuzah is a hand-written Hebrew text on a parchment scroll. It takes a lot of effort and expensive materials to make an authentic mezuzah; MSRP begins at about $35.001. The nicer the mezuzah ' the more time and attention the scribe put into ensuring that the calligraphy is impeccable and beautiful ' the costlier it will be. It is preferable to splurge on a beautiful parchment, rather then spending the money on an ornamental casing. After all, a machine's effectiveness is primarily dependant on the strength of its engine'

unfortunately there are many counterfeit mezuzahs flooding the market
There are literally thousands of laws involved in writing an authentic mezuzah, and unfortunately there are many counterfeit Mezuzahs flooding the market. Many of these fakes are printed instead of hand-written; some of them are made of paper, not parchment; and others are hastily written, resulting in a shoddy product which is barely legible.

If in doubt ask your Rabbi to guide you to a trustworthy mezuzah vendor.

See also Why is it important to have a Kosher Mezuzah?

Footnotes

  • 1. If you are paying less than that you should be suspicious.

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Mezuzah
A rolled up scroll containing certain verses from the Torah which is affixed to the right-hand doorpost of doorways in a Jewish home.
Mezuzahs
Plural form of Mezuzah. Rolled up scrolls containing certain verses from the Torah which are affixed to the right-hand doorposts of doorways in Jewish homes.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.