To my dear and loyal readership,
You have all read about our boys trottin' the globe, totin' books, Tefillin, and Mezuzot. Where do these Judaica supplies come from? Read on and be enlightened:
Hidden in the upper floors of an ordinary looking building on Kingston Ave., in Crown Hights, Brooklyn, is Hasofer, purveyors of Tefillin, Mezuzot and Torahs. Hasofer is a veritable goldmine of Mezuzot (they have thousands in stock) and Torahs (they have dozens of those as well). A team of expert scribes are constantly hard at work, checking the new and repairing the old.
To those in the know, the establishment is known as 'Moshe Klein', after its founder and proprietor whose name is none other than…Rabbi Moshe Klein!
"Now Rooted lifted his feet and went to the Land of the people of the Mezuzot (see Genesis 29:1)."
I was greeted by Zalman Schapiro, a longtime employee, who told me that most groups take a pair of Tefillin and a ten, twenty Mezuzot. The boys take the supplies on consignment with the understanding that they need only pay for whatever they do not bring back from their travels. This arrangement allows them to bring these goods to the people they meet at cost-price.
According to Zalman, the hottest spots are South America, Eastern Europe, and the Far East, where these supplies are not so available. The boys who go to those places very often come back with nary a Mezuzah, and very often they sold the pair of Tefillin as well.
(Maybe another day I'll tell you about the people who supply the books and the other fine folk who make the whole operation tick.)