I get emails like this on average twice a month:

If you have advice about what I should do with my ancient tefillin, that would be great. They were my great-grandfather’s and I would love to use them, but they are tiny, and the man I talked to at [Big Judaica Store] told me that it was likely the parchment would no longer be kosher and that there would be no way to replace it.

Memento of relative – check. Tiny tefillin – check. Female owner – check. Discouraging story from Big Judaica Store – check. General despondency – check.

So I say, go to A1 Soferim – Aharon Lichter, 212-254-1400, 473 FDR Drive on Grand St, New York, New York.

Last week’s email:

Mr Lichter is a total mensch! Not only did he check the tefilin, but he showed me everything he was doing on them and all sorts of other stuff he had around. It was fascinating. Even I could see that the writing was beautiful and not faded, & he said they were easy to check and kosher for another 50 years. I’ve had them for over a decade, but I never really thought about the sofer who wrote the words, or who selected this particular set (my great-great grandfather? Mr Lichter was nice to say that though the batim are not the best quality, the writing is so good that they must not have been cheap), or who wore them, or their trip over from Europe. It was pretty awe-inducing.

This week’s email:

I wanted to send you back a glowing report about Aharon Lichter. He was incredibly polite and kind to me, and I was so appreciative of it. While I was waiting as he checked the tefillin he was telling me all kinds of great stories and anecdotes about being a sofer. He really was wonderful. Thank you so, so much for the recommendation!

So – Aharon Lichter. Earning a reputation as a Man Ladies can Take Their Tefillin To. Glad to hear it.

Mirrored from hasoferet.com.

SOMETIMES PEOPLE JUST SEND ME TEFILLIN

SOMETIMES PEOPLE JUST SEND ME TEFILLIN

and they coil madly out of the box! and I get to sort them into pairs! and have them fixed!

And Emfish says to recite the blessing Lehaniakh, tefillin!, or “Lie down, tefillin!” so I will do that later and they will all uncoil themselves and behave perfectly.

Mirrored from hasoferet.com.

hatam_soferet: (esther)
( Jun. 2nd, 2010 07:28 pm)

I keep sets of tefillin for loaning to women. Women, because men have an easy time of it if they want to borrow tefillin. A woman who wants to borrow tefillin – because she wants to try the practice before committing a few hundred dollars to tefillin, or because she hasn’t got that sort of cash – she has a hard time. It is for these women that I started collecting spare sets of tefillin.

The tefillin I have – thanks especially to Rabbi Ben Kramer, hi Ben! and also to Rabbis Abby and Juan, hey guys! – all need checking before I can send them to people. The more decrepit sets need actual repair, also.

I prefer to get this done by men, for many and varied reasons, and this doesn’t always happen as fast as I’d like.* I’ve just started to make some progress on the most recent lot, and I’ll make more progress before very long, but at the moment, I’m in a bit of a checking-backlog.

But hopefully, before too many more weeks have passed, I’ll have some more nice kosher tefillin to loan to more people.

* Because. The men I know who are willing to work with me fall into two categories – the grasping sort, who insist that These Tefillin Cannot Be Repaired Let Me Sell You A New Set, and the accommodating sort, who will sort them out eventually but have other things on their plates and take their sweet time.

Mirrored from hasoferet.com.

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