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Beth Din to accredit local Soferim as ‘kosher’

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ANT KATZ

The Beth Din is in the process of introducing a “Board for the Governance of the sale of Sifrei Torah, Tefilin and Mezuzot (Vaad Mishmeret Stam Johannesburg) which will, in essence, an accreditation for Soferim.

The Johannesburg Beth Din (JBD) Director, Rabbi Anton Klein, told Jewish Report today that the VAAD is in the process of auditing all Soferim in order to establish their and their suppliers accreditation and quality of merchandise. A list of approved suppliers will be supplied to the community within the next three weeks. “There is no need for anyone to panic,” insists Rabbi Klein “the community will be informed should any problems arise.”

The JBD has issued the following document:

 What is Vaad Mishmeret Stam Johannesburg (VMSJ)?

The Beth Din is proud to announce the formation of the Vaad Mishmeret Stam Johannesburg (VMSJ). The VMSJ will govern the sale of Torah scrolls, Tefilin and Mezuzot, these items being referred to in short by the acronym STAM. 

 

Why was the VSMJ formed?

Over the past years the Beth Din has received many complaints relating to the sale of Torah Scrolls, Tefilin and Mezuzot (STAM), and has formed the VMSJ to assure that the public is supplied with kosher STAM. This is necessary as much of the STAM comes from Israel and America in parcels and sometimes arrives from questionable origins with dubious kashrut standards. With the VMSJ in place, the public can have peace of mind that when they next purchase STAM, say a mezuzah for example, from a VMSJ member, that there are control mechanisms in place and that there is recourse, such as  refunds, if these guidelines are not kept.

 

How will this work?

The suppliers of these items and the local sofrim (scribes-qualified writers of STAM) and magihim (qualified checkers of STAM) were most receptive to the initiative.

The Beth Din has appointed Rabbi Amitai Shlita, as the Rosh Bodek (Principal checker) with Rabbi Chaim Klein a vetran expert scribe to assist. Members of the Vaad have signed undertakings to follow the guidelines set up by the VMSJ. These guidelines include only selling Kosher Lechatchila merchandise, having their and their suppliers credentials investigated, and their merchandise being spot checked.

The Beth Din is currently compiling a list of the suppliers, sofrim and bodkim that have passed the criteria necessary to be a VMSJ member. This list will be made public after Pesach. In the interim the Beth Din advises that someone purchasing STAM ask their supplier directly if they are a VMSJ member, or call contact Rabbi Anton Klein at 0102142600.

  • Non-food articles that are not kosher are referred to as Pasul

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. sheldon

    Jun 2, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    ‘i need a list of kosher sofrim to check my mezuzahs

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