Why did I decide to sell mezuzah scrolls on a tallit and tefillin website? I was inspired by a shtikel Gemara (a passage in the Talmud) that reads as follows: “The Jewish people are cherished, for the Holy One has surrounded them with mitzvahs – tefillin on their heads and tefillin on their arms and tzitzits on their clothes and a mezuzah on their doorways and gates” (Menachos 43b).
Beware of the $25 mezuzah scroll
The sofrim who write our mezuzah scrolls typically go to the mikveh before they start writing and strive to imbue their thoughts with holiness, whereas some unscrupulous sofrim are more likely to chat on the phone or listen to the radio while they work. (If you find a $25 mezuzah, beware!)
Bigger is better
If you want to get the best quality mezuzah for your money, at whatever level of hiddur you choose – kosher, kosher lechatchilah or mehudar – bigger is better. Once you go below a Size 10 mezuzah scroll (which measures 10 cm, or 4 inches, high) you have entered the realm of mini mezuzahs, which are harder for the sofer to write properly. Some people have an old mezuzah case they don’t want to part with, although it takes a Size 7 or a Size 6 mezuzah scroll. If they insist on keeping that mezuzah case, they are going to have to pay more money for a lower quality mezuzah scroll. That’s why we recommend our customers choose a Size 10 mezuzah or a Size 12.
A sofer recently explained to me that in Eretz Yisrael, within the charedi community, in recent years the Size 12 mezuzah was gradually abandoned and the Size 15 came into vogue.
Mezuzah scroll prices
If you’re buying a sculpture for your living room, it probably does not matter much what the sculptor was thinking while plying his trade, but when a mezuzah scroll (or tefillin) is written, it makes a world of difference. And that difference is worth paying a bit more money for since the mezuzah scroll is meant to bring sanctity into your home.
Hiddur (adjective form: mehudar) means beauty. The Torah enjoins us to enhance our mitzvah observance by seeing to their aesthetic beauty (“zeh Keli ve’anveihu“) as well as your inner intention and devotion.