What should I do with this Mezuzah?
I went to acquire a collection of Jewish books at a residency in Manhattan earlier this week. The library is comprised of both Jewish and Christian books amongst many radical theological and anti-Semitic and Jewish conspiracy theory propaganda books.
I didn’t meet the owner of the books, but I understand he’s Jewish and from what I can tell has been affiliated with JW as well as other Christian groups. I was told he also went to Shul, but I haven’t verified whether that is indeed the case.
On any note, amongst the Seforim I found a reasonable-looking Mezuzah and my question is what the status of this Mezuzah is. Can it potentially be used and if not how is it to be disposed of?
The Halacha is that one is in fact obligated to buy STA”M from a non-Jew who has them in his possession, to prevent it from being disgraced (although this may not be required in the case of a Jew – because he usually will not disgrace them). They should be bought even beyond their regular price, but not if overly expensive.
If one did buy them they should not be used, and should be placed in geniza (shaimos), as many times they have been written by unqualified people. Even when purchasing such items in general one must only purchase them from a G-D fearing individual, all the more so when the origins are unknown.
See also here and in the attached links:
How can I tell who is a trustworthy and reliable local seller of Tefillin which are truly Mehudar…
ראה שו״ע אדה״ז לט, ו-ז. וראה הנסמן בפסקי תשובות לט, ה בשם מאסף לכל המחנות, לקט הקמח החדש, ואות חיים ושלום סק”א. ומובן שהכל לפי הענין – שאם ידוע שקנה ממקור מוסמך, ליתא לחשש זה.