Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A Kosher Use of the Internet

Being that we just bought a new house, we are trying to figure out how many mezuzahs* we need. Every dollar that we are spending on this house is accounted for—both projected and actual—and these mezuzahs don't have a chance of escaping their designated cells within my Excel-based budget.

Since it's the middle of the night, I can't exactly call up our local sofer to find out how much I should anticipate spending on mezuzahs. And I don't want to wait until tomorrow to fill in this information within my spreadsheet. I figured that I might as well do a Google search and see what comes up, and you can imagine my surprise when I realized that I could actually buy mezuzahs on Kosher ones, too.

How's that for a "kosher" use of the Internet???

*In this case, I'm talking about mezuzah scrolls and not mezuzah cases (even though I need a bunch of those as well).


  1. How do you know it's kosher though? I always buy my scrolls from my local Judaica shop because I know she gets them from a local sofer. How can you have the same level of trust with a website?

    The scrolls I've purchased from reliable sources have always been more expensive than the ones I've seen on the web.

  2. Fern - I wouldn't actually purchase them online for exactly the reason you just stated. It was really helpful, though, because I was able to get some decent figures for my budget in order to project the expense.

  3. Plenty of the Jewish bookstores with online sites. If you trust them when you walk into the store then you should be able to trust them when buying from their sites.

  4. Squooshball--My point was that the cost of reliability is more. The last time I "comparison shopped" for a small scroll, the local shop was $8 more than what I found online.

    ProfK--There is only one local Judaica shop in my area, I don't know the owners of the other bookstores that have internet storefronts. Also, if you shop in person, you can see what you are purchasing. Not so with an online purchase. Just because a website puts up a photo of the scroll they are supposedly selling, that doesn't mean that you will get what they pictured. Most stores selling mezzuzot online are probably reputable...but I would feel nervous buying something that is required by halacha to be a certain way from a source I didn't know personally (or who had been recommended by someone I trust). There are people purposely selling mezzuzot and tefillin that are not kosher. I would imagine that such people make an effort to appear legit.