Israeli Defense Ministry Buys Judaica From America
Israel’s defense ties with the United States have resulted in a large contract for American Jewish scribes, who are to supply the new Defense Ministry building with mezuzas.
By Ezra HaLevi
First Publish: 11/16/2006, 2:45 PM / Last Update: 11/16/2006, 4:22 PM
The military aid given to Israel by the U.S. requires Israel to spend that money on American goods, thereby boosting the American economy, which relies heavily on defense contracts.
Until now, this has not only resulted in assault rifles with “property of the U.S. government” written on them, but canned corn and sucking candies in IDF combat rations still bearing the English labels from supermarket chains such as ShopRite and Stop n’ Shop.
Now, with defense budgets in Israel slashed, even mezuzas are being outsourced to American scribes. Jews are required by the Torah to affix a mezuza, which contains a small rolled parchment (klaf) inscribed with two sections from Deuteronomy (6:4-9 and 11:13-21), to the right-hand doorpost and gate of Jewish homes and buildings.
Israeli scribes are the chief producers of mezuzas used worldwide, but the hundreds of parchments ordered by the defense ministry will come from American Judaica consortiums.
At least $30,000 has already been spent on the American mezuzas, which will grace the offices of Israel’s top brass in the new reinforced building being constructed as part of the Defense Ministry’s Kiryah compound in Tel Aviv.
The Defense Ministry confirmed the report and explained that the decision was made due to the fact that American-made mezuzas are cheaper.