Recently I needed to get my tefillin checked and in Toronto, there apparently is a shortage of sofrei stams. It was not checked in 7 years.
I ask around and get the number of someone reliable, and am finally directed to someone. I contact him around Purim time and he explains that preparations between Purim and Pesach make it too crazy to check, and to contact him afterward.
After Pesach, I try reaching him by phone. I was met with the voicemail, so I left a voice message. The same thing happens a few times afterward. Finally, right before Shavuos he finally gets back to me and explains that since he has carpal tunnel syndrome on his arms he cannot do it. He then referred me to two others, one of whom I know is the husband of someone who runs a Hebrew school and whom I subbed for in the past.
The Hebrew school administrators’ husband never got back to me, and the second contact, who happens to be an administrator at the COR, told me that Al Pi Halacha I don’t need to check my Tefillin right now, that the twice in seven years rule only applies to Mezuzos. He then added that it’s preferable that I don’t check it as each time tefillin is checked, I weakens/damages the batim. He added that he would be glad to check as it’s then more money in his pocket, but it’s not necessary.
I then looked at the Jewish directory Frum Toronto and only saw one listing there!
Recently my 3 year old daughter who’s an established monkey got involved in two accidents within a 24 hour period, affecting the same part of the body. Now I really want to have my Mezuzos checked!
In Brooklyn where I’m from sofrei Stam were a dime a dozen. Apparently here in Toronto they’re hard to come by.
Help! Is there a Sofer in the house???
***UPDATE October 11, 2013***
There are a few certified Sofrei Stam in Toronto. However, many don’t want to publicize their professions as it’s next to impossible to make a living doing just that. Many of them have other jobs that pay much more money, which is why they prefer to remain unlisted. To them, Safus remains as a side job. That said, I will drop a few names (no numbers) and people needing their services can inquire in Toronto’s tightly-knit community:
- Rabbi Yaakov “Dr. Mezuzah” Basser – 120 Shelbourne (Bathurst and Lawrence area)
- Rabbi Zvi Fleisher – 79 Stormont Avenue