Ep. 10 – Keeping Real Estate Kosher

Matthew Maschler:
Welcome to the Realestate Finder Podcast. I’m Matthew Maschler, the Realestate Finder. I’m a real estate broker in the state of Florida realestate finder.com. And with me as always,
Staci Garcia:
It’s Stacey Garcia, also a real estate finder in Boca Raton and all around Florida. So if you’re moving to Florida, give us a Buzz staci@realestatefinder.com.
Matthew Maschler:
What’s very interesting about this podcast is we’ve recorded a few episodes in advance and it was while we were setting up and trying to set up the logo and the distribution. So I was recording podcasts every couple of days and when we finally launched, I had way, way too many in the bank. So we’re a few weeks away, but in real time the Meet Jill Glanzer episode had just dropped Episode three, meet Jill Glanzer and it’s been five weeks since she’s been here and she’s actually back today.
Jill Glanzer:
Hi everybody, this is Jill Glanzer Matthew’s realestate partner @realestatefinder.com, and I’m excited to be here again. We
Matthew Maschler:
Weren’t planning on having Jill back today and besides Jill, we also have a very dear friend of mine in the studio today, rabbi Arla Goin of Haba of Boca Raton. Hello Rabbi.
Rabbi Gopin:
Hello. Hello. It’s a pleasure to be here today and thanks for inviting me on.
Matthew Maschler:
So I have to say something about Rabbi goin during Covid when the world was shut down in 2020, I had my private studio space where we are now recording, not really, but I had my private studio space where I was working out of and getting some peace and quiet and able to do my work and none of the employees were coming into the office. So once a week we were having a socially distance lunch and learn kosher of course with me and my friend Rabbi Upen. And it was about a year that we had our socially distance lunch and learns, and it was a very fascinating time. And one of the subjects we talked about for a couple of weeks back then and then again recently triggering this episode was the subject of the za. And for those of you who don’t know or if someone ever asked if you’ve seen the home on a Jewish home or on a temple, a little fixture on a doorpost that is the Jewish za. And I asked a Rabbi Kain to come in today and talk to us about what that is.
Rabbi Gopin:
So firstly, what is a za? So we’ll start with what a ZA is. Literally, it’s a piece of parchment. So many, many times people have a meza up on their home or they buy a new home and they’ll come and they say, rabbi, can you tell me if I need a new meza? Or is this one kosher? For those that dunno, kosher means is it good, is it kosher? So the first way to find out if zu is kosher is a very simple test. So there’s the case and then there’s the scroll.
Matthew Maschler:
See, I always confuse the two. And when you’re in a Judaica store, if you’re buying someone a present for a new home and you’re shopping for Za, quite often you’re looking at or you’re shopping for the case, the container that houses that protects the mea. We call that a mea, but it’s not really mea, it’s a mea case. Inside that case, there is a scroll. So for my purposes as a non-religious Jew, I look at the case, I look at the color, does it match my decor? Will it be nice in that room? Is there a nice artist? But for the actual Jewish law part of the za, the case is irrelevant. It’s just protecting the za. The scroll is what’s important.
Rabbi Gopin:
Exactly. So the analogy we like to give is it’s like a body in a soul. You’ve got a container without parchment. It’s somewhat like a body without the soul. The most critical part of them is this is a scroll. The scroll is written by hand by a scribe using an old fashioned quill, literally a feather with an ink quil, and he dips the feather into the ink and he writes it down on this piece of parchment. So firstly, many, many times you’ll open, this is a container, this is a case, and you’ll find that the inside is empty. So wherever they bought it from, they thought they were buying mea. And in essence, they were only just buying the MEA cover of the case. And they put it on there. They have it up there for 10, 20 years, either the prior owner or the current owner, and then you realize there’s actually nothing inside. More often you’ll find that there is something inside, but it’s just a piece of paper. And usually that’s not done for any malicious purposes, but rather it’s really almost like instruction manual. You buy a meza and you’ve got a little piece of paper inside, which is a placeholder, but you’re supposed to go by your own scroll.
Matthew Maschler:
Sometimes I see a photocopy of a meza scroll.
Rabbi Gopin:
Yes. So again, I don’t think that’s done maliciously. I think people either don’t know or they’re just putting it in there. So you’ll have something in there. But again, the entire point of the mitzvah of the commandment of having a meza is to have that scroll. Now, what is this scroll? So explain that it’s a piece of parchment written with a quill, but the purpose of that is one of the fundamental prayers in Judaism is the Shema here, Israel, the Lord is God. The Lord is one from the book of Deuteronomy. And this prayer and this entire paragraph, this is the first verse and is the entire paragraph that follows, which is another paragraph of the Torah speaks about our love and belief in God. And at the end of that paragraph it says, these words which I command you of the Shema, shall be placed upon your doorposts and upon your gates.
So we literally, Jews are very literal and obviously the Torah we take as it says is what exactly what we do. And obviously the Talmud explains how to do it, but traditionally we take this paragraph of the Torah, we write it on this parchment, and we roll it up and put it in a container on our door. The container doesn’t need to be anything special. Most people have these fancy containers, but actually that’s the least important part. As we mentioned in my house, I’ve got these beautiful scrolls that can cost up to $200 depending on who’s wrote the scroll. So it’s almost like art. If you have a artist who’s either more well-known or the work is held to a higher standard, so then that scribe charges more for his work. So I’ve got scrolls that are worth probably $250 sitting in my house on my front door. But the actual case is $2.
Matthew Maschler:
It’s a plastic case. It’s
Rabbi Gopin:
A plastic case. It costs $2 to see through nice little case. So you can see the scroll. But the case isn’t important. That’s not where it’s at. It’s the scroll is what’s important.
Matthew Maschler:
Now, do you have to see through to get
Rabbi Gopin:
To this? No, you don’t have to see through. There are absolutely no laws regarding the case. The cakes can be any color, any material, any shape, any size. There are no laws pretty much pertinent to the cover of the container of the Es. All the laws really relate to the actual scroll inside.
Staci Garcia:
I’ve never seen a clear case i’ll over’s pretty interesting. I mean I think that would be actually the most beautiful one.
Rabbi Gopin:
So the ones I have at home, pretty much all of them are pretty because I’d like to be able to see the containers and I think that it’s elegant as well. But that being said, here in Florida at least, and I’m sure this holds true for many other states in the country and elsewhere, the outdoor cases, I specifically don’t leave Claire because they get ruined by the sun time. Over time they’ll get yellowed and it’ll ruin the cover. So we actually tend to put, preferably when I do it, if I’m putting it up at people’s homes, I’ll do a white cover because that reflects back and allows the scroll to be protected from the sun.
Matthew Maschler:
So you said that sometimes the sun can destroy the case, destroy the scroll. So do the scrolls, do they last forever? Are they perishable?
Rabbi Gopin:
So that’s a great question. Scrolls. Technically, once you’ve put them up, and obviously again once you get back to this, you got to make sure that they’re kosher, that they were written by a scribe, and every single word is as is. If one word is missing, cracked, faded, then the scroll wouldn’t be kosher. But assuming that the scroll was put up and it was kosher, traditionally we do check a scroll twice every seven years. So about once every three, four years, you should check the scroll. But technically, if you haven’t checked the scroll, so long as it’s up there and it was kosher when you put it up, it’s thought to be kosher and that’s fine. But to begin with, you should check them once every couple of years. So we do take them down and check them regularly. I’ll be called in either when someone buys a new home or they’re moving or after a while they just want to know that they have kosher meza and I’ll take down a meza. And very, very often, especially in Florida and especially when they have a case that isn’t sealed, that isn’t waterproof, and they’ll be water damaged moisture, the sun and those meza either fade or cracked or damaged in some which way.
Staci Garcia:
Interesting.
Matthew Maschler:
A few years ago I was doing a walkthrough for a VIP customer. It was a closing day, my favorite day of the week, and we were doing the walkthrough and the customer or his wife noticed that there was no m and I called Rabbi up and in a panic and he came over and my clients were very impressed with me that I can have someone come over within 45 minutes and he put up za up one on the front door. We didn’t do the whole house in 45 minutes, but one on the front door so that way they can go ahead and close on the house. And before they moved in, they were able to get zas for the rest of the house.
Rabbi Gopin:
So later they actually did construction afterwards. And when they finished doing construction, we put up Meza elsewhere. That’s an interesting question. When do you need to put up MEUs on a house legally? So depending on whether you’re renting or buying, if you’re renting, then within the first 30 days, within the first month, you should put up up Meza. So much. So if you put up home meza before 30 days, then you cannot make a blessing. So you actually, technically if you’re renting, you’re supposed to wait. I think those 30 days, if you’re buying a home, you put up home Meza right away.
Matthew Maschler:
You said that there’s some laws in the Torah about Meza or in some of the other scriptures, but now you’re saying something very technical about renting in 30 days. Is that in the Torah? Is that literal in the Torah or did that come out later?
Rabbi Gopin:
So now we’re going to digress here. This is a conversation in and of itself, well,
Matthew Maschler:
It’s just a very technical example.
Rabbi Gopin:
So I’m sitting here and I show this to Matt right before we started, there are different parts of the Torah, if you will. There are the five books of Moses, the five books of Moses, which were given by God to Moses. And then there are the oral Torah. There are the books of the oral Torah beginning with the Mica, which was written about 2000 years ago. And then there’s a code of Jewish law written the 13th century. There is a second version of the code of Jewish law written a couple of centuries later. So there’s a lot of different books within the Torah and different depending on where you’re studying, but it’s the evolution of our belief. It all comes and it all goes back to Moses at Sinai. Every different aspect of the Torah goes back to Moses at Sinai.
Matthew Maschler:
But I have to tell you, it’s a podcast. So it’s not a visual show. We specifically don’t have a YouTube show, but it’s a podcast so you can’t see it. But Rabbi Up came in today with a huge leather bound book. It’s over 500 pages. And the book is specifically about laws relating to the za, nothing else. Do you see that book? Right? Nothing else. That book is laws relating to the Za. So when he says something like, okay, well if you’re renting 30 days, he is not making that up. That is not custom. That is there’s source material somewhere in that book from 1300 or year 1400 or a thousand years ago, whatever it is. But I’m not challenging him to find it right now, but it isn’t definitely in there somewhere source material for any question you can possibly have on this subject.
Rabbi Gopin:
Yes, like Tevia says in Fiddler on the Roof says with us Jews, we’ve got a law for everything. How we eat, how we sleep, there’s a law for everything. So just the interesting questions that always come up, and I know Matt and I have discussed this before, and this is a question that constantly comes up, rabbi, I’m moving. Do I need to leave? My business is up for the next owner.
Matthew Maschler:
And it’s actually something I thought about recently. There was a new edition of the Florida real estate contract and they expanded which personal items are included in the contract. So for instance, the blank contract, if you don’t fill anything in a washer, dryer’s not included. But something they added recently was television mounts because people have been arguing about television mounts
Staci Garcia:
Attached to the actual
Matthew Maschler:
Structure. So I mean, as a rule of thumb, when you buy real estate, you’re buying the land and anything that’s attached to the land. So the building that’s attached to the land, if you put a sink in the kitchen, it’s a fixture, it’s permanent, it’s part of the house, right? A sofa is not part of the house. So there’s real property and personal property and the contract, it can specify certain pieces of personal property. But if you have a built-in custom cabinet, that’s real property. It doesn’t have to be put in the contract, it’s included in the house. So a built-in refrigerator would be included. A plug-in refrigerator in the garage would not be included unless it’s written in. And I’ve always wondered, and I haven’t actually found any Florida case law about, and I’m going to say them as a case, the case that’s attached to the wall with screws or with glue, which generally would be considered a fixture. And rabbi was telling me that the prayer that we say when we install the MEA talks about the MEA being a permanent fixture. But if every three or four years you’re taking the case down to check on the mea, then it’s definitely not as permanent as a kitchen cabinet or a sink if it could be easily removed.
Staci Garcia:
Well, people take down the chandelier to clean it, and I would assume maybe not the whole thing, but there are some things I think like window treatments and stuff like that that people do discuss and argue over at a contract could be broken because of these types of things,
Matthew Maschler:
Right? Like the rods are generally included, but the drapes on the rods maybe not. And that’s why it is very important when you sign a real estate contract in Florida, if there’s anything in the house that you want, make sure when you’re drafting the offer, you tell your signature real estate finder agent, we want the window treatments, we want the particular lighting, we want the particular appliance because if it’s not written in the contract, it generally does not convey. And I’ve often wondered about disputes between people over a ZA case because there’s an argument you can make that it’s a fixture because it’s screwed into the wall and because the intent was for it to last forever. But there’s an argument that it’s not a fixture because you do take it down periodically to clean.
And even if it was included as the scroll inside side a fixture. So I don’t know if it’s ever been litigated in Florida. I don’t know if it ever would be litigated in Florida, but if you see a house with a beautiful mea, you should mention it. I have a MEA outside of my bedroom that’s actually made from the glass that was broken during the marriage ceremony with Wendy. That’s right. That’s beautiful. So if I sell the house, I’m keeping that again, the ZA case being more important than the Meza scroll in some instances. But if I sell the house, I’m keeping that some of my house were wedding gifts, some cost, well more than the $200 some I brought back from a trip to Israel. So if I sell my house, I’m keeping some or most of the maass rabbi, if I do that, if I take the maass down, can I leave them off?
Rabbi Gopin:
If you’re selling the house,
Matthew Maschler:
I’m selling the house, I’ve moved out my furniture, I’ve taken all the important maass with me. Maybe there’s some left, maybe not the new buyer is coming in, what do I do?
Rabbi Gopin:
So from, I can only speak from a Jewish perspective, but according to Jewish law, if the person moving in is Jewish, so they have a legal obligation Jewishly to have a ASA as well. So to leave them without a ISA would not be okay. So you would have to leave those missus up if you knew that the person moving in was not, then they don’t have that obligation.
Staci Garcia:
Could he replace them with something that was less valuable? Sentimental, yeah.
Rabbi Gopin:
So like mattress said, I got this question, other people have done the same thing. We break a glass for those that aren’t familiar under the hapa, under the wedding ceremony, we bake a glass and some people have a custom of taking that glass and making something beautiful with it. Some people make a meza, so I’ve had this question before, or they have this sterling silver meza worth a lot of money, what should we do? And the answer is, well, you need to leave meza up. So this question is always a follow-up. Do we need to leave these miss up? And the answer is usually no. You can replace them with any meza. As long as there is a me up, they have an obligation to have a meza up.
Matthew Maschler:
If I have a $200 mezuzah scroll that I commissioned from a famous missa artist, which I’ve just learned about today, subscribe. And a sentimental meza case, Jewish law doesn’t prevent me from, doesn’t require that I leave that mozza, but I have to leave up mozza as long as it’s kosher. It doesn’t have to be a well-known scribe. It could be a lesser scribe, but I don’t even like to say lesser scribe.
Rabbi Gopin:
I said scribe, not artist. Just because I think that a scribe, even I’m a rabbi, I’m not a scribe. There are many, many laws of how to write a za. It’s extremely complex. So really it is an art of course, but you need to be a qualified scribe to be able to write a za. So if
Matthew Maschler:
It’s a legitimate kosher scroll in a cheap, flimsy $2 plastic case, I replaced that on the post and I fulfilled my obligation under Jewish law to provide a ZA to the next person coming in. But anyway, going back to legal contract law, I do believe you probably have the right to take it. But again, if you’re a buyer and it’s something that you want, you should whether or something else, you should specify that in the contract.
Jill Glanzer:
That’s interesting about replacing these meas because if a Jewish person comes in and loves your house and also loves these beautiful meas, it’s kind of like they might love the refrigerator and now you replace it with something less than, is that going to be a problem in real estate? Not in Jewish law. So it is kind of an interesting thought,
Matthew Maschler:
Right? So real estate, you want to specify the MEA in front of this room, blue, mea whatever is, you want to specify that in the contract, if there’s anything, I always tell my buyers if there’s anything that you see, anything that you want in the house, we have to specify that in the contract. I recently had had an agent call me up that the contract said that the property would be furnished as seen on the day of showing with the exception of personal property and furnishings. And the buyer was upset that the plates and the cups and the linens and some lamps were taken. And I said, well, that’s not furniture, it’s furnishings. You get a distinction and it’s personal property and furnishings, picture frames. They didn’t take any furniture, they didn’t take the couch or the sofa of the table, but they took the personal property and the furnishings pursuant to the contract. And the buyer doesn’t have a leg to stand on to say that we wanted the plates or we wanted the towels
Staci Garcia:
Because they didn’t ask for those things specifically.
Jill Glanzer:
They would need an inventory.
Matthew Maschler:
They did in the conversation. They didn’t make an inventory, they didn’t. They did in the conversation. But the letter of the contract, the contract said furniture excluding personal property and furnishings. Yeah, got it. And they were confused on the word furnishings because furnishings includes not just the furniture but other items in the house. The buyer thought they were getting it, the seller verbally agreed, but the contract said excluding personal property and furnishings. So the buyer had no recourse. So again, if you want anything, it needs to be in the contract.
Rabbi Gopin:
We’re talking about all the different laws when it comes to real estate. I found, I started looking some things up last night and I saw a very, very interesting quote, and this is probably, and we discussed this earlier this morning, that one of the interesting things, even if you’re not Jewish about Jewish law, is that all of this is, again, it’s hundreds of years old and some of it is thousands of years old, if it’s based on the tal of the mission is thousands of years old. If it’s in the code of Jewish law, it’s a couple of hundred years old. And it’s interesting just from an historic perspective, how people dealt with different contractual obligations, how people conduct a business with one another. So it’s really just an eyeopener to see how people conduct a business. Hundreds of years ago and thousands of years ago, I saw a very interesting discussion. If a bunch of people live in a literally means like a courtyard or a small street, which is a small street, a cul-de-sac, they can each force the other. If they all agree, I guess if a majority agrees, they could force the other to build a beit, which literally means a little guardhouse at the front with a gate. So this must be the first time a country club was ever created. This goes back hundreds of years,
Matthew Maschler:
The first gated
Rabbi Gopin:
Community, first gated community. So not just a gate so that people from the public can come in, but even a guardhouse where a guard would be able to stand there and keep people out. And it even explains that part of the reason for this can be safety or so people should not be able to see inside. I mean, if this isn’t the first Boca Country Club, I don’t know what it’s, let’s go back hundreds of years. So we think, hey, maybe we’re getting a little spoiled today, but this is something that went back years ago. And then the discussion goes on to what are the obligations of the people in that little gated community? Do they each have to pay for that? Can you force the other person to pay if they decide to back out after they’ve agreed? And the answer is no. Once you’ve signed your HOA agreement, obviously H HOAs didn’t exist and the term didn’t exist. But once you agree to this agreement, then you’re bound by it and you got to pay for the gado. So you got to pay for the gate.
Matthew Maschler:
What about cable?
Rabbi Gopin:
What’s the old joke? Moses was the first person to download the download
Matthew Maschler:
Onto a tablet.
Rabbi Gopin:
Alright, download onto to a tablet.
Matthew Maschler:
So this would be a good time for Stacy to plug your website.
Staci Garcia:
Yeah, I want to say that this is why no HOAs are bad. That one person that’s in the guard gate that didn’t agree to the whole shebang says, well, I didn’t really want the guard and I didn’t really want all of this to do. I just wanted to be left alone. If you’re that guy or one of his descendants, then you can look me up. I specialize in no HOA, no, HOA boca.com.
Matthew Maschler:
That is www.no HOA boca.com. No is spelled N-O-K-N-O-W. However you want to spell no HA
Staci Garcia:
Boca. But just so you know that Boca Ratone is very popular for country clubs and golf courses and beautiful green lawns and golf courses and scenery. But there are people that just want to live the regular life without the extras. So while I appreciate all of the everything about Boca, there are people that just want to live and drive right up to their house and not go through a gate and get the same sort of experience. You can get it in Boca. Some people think you can’t, can
Matthew Maschler:
Totally get it. The point is a lot of people have misconceptions about Boca. Some people think it’s only for retirees or it’s only country clubs. There is really everything. There’s single family home communities that are gated, non gated. There are country clubs, there’s non-country clubs, there’s single family homes on the water. There’s really everything that you could ask for. And if you want to be in a country club home, you can reach out to Jill Glanzer real estate finder. She handles millionaire and billionaire customers and sells multimillion dollar properties as well as multi dollar properties. And then Stacy, if you do not want to be in an HOA no h boca.com, regardless of where you live in Boca, especially if you’re in central Boca, you can reach out to Rabbi Rabbi. How would somebody reach you if they wanted Za or have any Jewish law questions?
Rabbi Gopin:
If you’ve got any questions, feel free to reach out to me by my email. Rabbi goin GOPI n@habadboca.com. That’s C-H-A-B-A-D boca.com.
Matthew Maschler:
Okay, and besides advising people on Zas, what else do you do for Haba Boca?
Rabbi Gopin:
Well, I’m a rabbi, which entails a lot. My father-in-law likes to joke that rabbis and psychologists pretty much do the same thing. He always says, what’s the difference between a psychologist and a rabbi? Psychologists get paid by the hour, but I’m not getting any laughs over there. We’ll give a couple of minutes. Okay, I was waiting.
Matthew Maschler:
Re get paid by the
Rabbi Gopin:
They say, and every single joke, there’s a little bit of joke.
Matthew Maschler:
Memorial gets paid by tips, right?
Rabbi Gopin:
But yeah, I mean back in the day, mygrandfather, out of my two of my great-grandparents were rabbis and I think a rabbi back in the day. It’s a good question. A rabbi back in the day did a very, somewhat of a very different job title. Obviously they were rabbi of the community, but people would ask them Hal questions. Hal questions for those that dunno are legal Jewish questions. Just to put this into perspective, it’s not that many years ago when you’re eating kosher, there’s a lot of laws of kosher. So today you just go into the supermarket, even in a place like Boca, you can go to Costco. It doesn’t have to be a kosher store, but you can find many kosher items. Back in the day if you were keeping kosher, it was much harder. So you needed to literally find your own chickens, make sure they were slaughtered properly in the ritual way, and then bring ’em home and then pluck ’em and then cook ’em.
In the case that there was a question, whether it was kosher or not, you would literally bring the chicken to the rabbi and say, is this kosher? And the rabbi needed to know his stuff. One of the things, and this is why there’s this idea that kosher food may be better, people will put a kosher certification, even if they’re not looking for the kosher crowd, just because people have this idea that kosher is sometimes made from better food. One of the, and this is based on this idea because a chicken, what makes it kosher or any animal? If it’s sick or it isn’t healthy, then even slaughtering it in the right way doesn’t make a kosher. It needs to be a healthy animal. The rabbit would have to check to see if that animal was really healthy. So literally people would come to my great-grandfather and say, is this chicken kosher or not? They
Staci Garcia:
Were part veterinarian
Rabbi Gopin:
As well as many, many other things, like I said, marriage counselor and therapist and psychologists.
Matthew Maschler:
So speaking of kosher chicken the other day, two days ago, I had a guest, I’m from out of town who kept kosher. I went to my favorite kosher restaurant in town. There were some new ones, but I had to go to my favorite because I’m a very loyal person, Roadhouse in Bo Ratone. So if you’re looking for kosher food, shout out to Roadhouse in Bo Ratone. I had a piece of fried chicken that was out of this world, delicious. I said to my friend, you should visit more often. I want to come to this restaurant more often and I need to find kosher guests so I can have an excuse to come to this restaurant.
Staci Garcia:
This isn’t Roadhouse like where they throw their peanuts on the
Matthew Maschler:
Floor. Not Texas Roadhouse,
Speaker 5:
Not the large
Matthew Maschler:
Chain Texas Roadhouse and Boca Ratone the rest of the world. You have Texas Roadhouse, a Boca Raton, you have a kosher roadhouse on Camino and Power Line. It was delicious. And shout out to them, I wonder if they want to advertise, I should take advertisements. But my next podcast, we’re going to start taking advertisements.
Rabbi Gopin:
I wanted to share something on talking about real estate and Judaism. First of all, there’s a Talmud that says when you want to get a little, not superstitious, but the Talmud says that, Al, when you move somewhere new, your luck changes. And there is this idea of people a lot of times after a tragedy, I just met somebody last week, I went to visit him at home. He’s 95 years old, lost a second wife. You want to move on, you want to move somewhere else, you want to start a new beginning. So that’s literal and obviously figurative as well, that not just literally changing place, but figuratively. When you change your place, you change your luck. And Judaism believes in that very much. But the idea of a house really is that, and generally people’s largest expense are their home, your mortgage and all the costs associated with that.
And people spend a tremendous amount of time designing their home and furnishing their home. And there’s nothing else you really do with that much attention and that much specific. And if you ask really why, it’s because when you say I want to feel at home, there’s a certain feeling we get at home. That’s where we can be who we are without having to put up a facade for anybody. When we go out and about, we got to put on, we get cloth literally, but figuratively, we got to put on all these different levels of who we may be and who we want others to perceive us to be at home. We can just be who we are and be ourselves. And we want that place to feel like us. It should be an expression of who we really are and we should feel completely at home.
Hence the expression Ka ballistically. It says that the entire purpose of life is to make this world a home for God. What does that mean? Just as we want to be have a place where we can feel at home. We want to have a home where we can be ourselves without any putting on any ears or putting on anything for anybody else. God wants to be at home here in this world. So all of the other things that go on here that are not necessarily spiritual, but a place where everybody gets along, a place where everybody can see eye to eye, a place where really it’s spiritual enough that God comes down there and he is not dealing with all this jealousy, war fighting and everything else that goes on in this world. And that’s really the mission of humanity, to make this world in the words of Judaism lasso, to make this world a dwelling place for God, that God would be comfortable in this physical world.
Matthew Maschler:
And I always understood that that was the purpose of the mazua in the home. Some people think of it as like a lucky charm or good luck superstition. But I always understood that the mezuzah was to make the home a welcoming place for God to allow God into the home.
Rabbi Gopin:
There are multiple reasons for every single mitzvah, for every ritual that we do in Judaism. One of those reasons is that every time you walk by the meza. So yes, we believe that it’s also soso some sort of a blessing, an omen for the house. But every time you pass by, it’s practical. Every time you pass by, many people have a custom of putting up their hand and touching the meza or kissing. The mezuzah idea is every time we walk in and out of our home, we’re reminded of our purpose that there’s something above just a nine to five and getting things done at the job or making an extra couple of dollars. There’s a reason why we’re here. And every time you walk by the missa, you’re supposed to think of that.
Staci Garcia:
That’s an awesome thought because people put them up as a gift to other people and I don’t think that they are aware of that. If that was the case, then it’s like a reminder when I walk in the door to just exhale and be like, okay, I’m home. Thank you. Yes, I made it home.
Matthew Maschler:
So a few years ago, based on these conversations on M’s, I made as part of my closing package gifts to the new home buyer, and I have several different items in the new home package and one of them is a gift certificate to Cohen’s Judaica on Glades Road, I think for 40 or $50 so that somebody can go in and purchase a za. So do want to send a shout out. We’re not doing commercials here, but I’m shouting out to friends. So shout out to Yoni Cohen. Cohen’s Judaica on Glades Road. Open six days a week here in Boca Raton.
Staci Garcia:
And if you want a rabbi to come over and put them as up with a fabulous scroll made by a scribe and you can say it’s kosher, then you can drop the rabbi
Rabbi Gopin:
Up. So actually interesting that you mentioned that because we actually didn’t discuss this, but aside from the actual scroll being kosher, there’s the placement of the scroll, which is equally as important. And like I said, everything is complicated. So there’s a bunch of laws of which side of the door to put it up, which doorway needs a meza, how high it should be, which way it should lean. So yes, I’m more than happy to come put it up for you.
Matthew Maschler:
I was going to ask if you need a rabbi to put it up, and I was thinking that you don’t, but I heard all these rules and you
Rabbi Gopin:
Technically don’t need a rabbi to put it up, put it up. But again, if you want to make sure that it’s done correctly, better safe. So usually people will call the rabbi to put it up.
Staci Garcia:
I’m sure that the younger generation will just YouTube it. Rabbi, do you have a YouTube channel?
Rabbi Gopin:
There is. I don’t have a YouTube channel though I do Instagram and Facebook sometimes. I used to do it more regularly and I should get back to that. But there are services that will actually have a rabbi come and FaceTime you and show you where to pick up your meza. I’m sure it’s
Staci Garcia:
Incredibly complicated. I do know that people have discussed it because in Florida the door is open out, right out
Matthew Maschler:
Because you don’t want the wind to blow in.
Staci Garcia:
So it’s a lot different than in New York. It’s a question of if your door opens out which side, it’s a little bit different than up north. People say, wait, where am I going to put my mozza?
Rabbi Gopin:
It’s a lot of laws, but just to cover some of the basics, you’ll see many times you need to get a visual of this. But you’ll see many times people put on the outside of the doorpost, right? Meaning, how do I explain this? Because again, we’re getting a visual, but it needs to be on the inside of the doorpost, not inside the door, but on the inside of the post. The width of the doorpost, right? That’s right. People put it on the outside wall of the house or on the outside wall going into the doorway, which isn’t the correct place to put ’em. Says it needs to be in the actual doorway in the width of the doorway. Generally we try to put on the outside of the door, meaning in the doorway and the outside of the door, even though the door swings out, there are many, many other laws, but generally it goes on the right hand side leaning in. But again, every single door is different, every doorway is different. So depends case by case basis.
Staci Garcia:
It’s good info because I think a lot of people discuss it and they don’t really know who to talk to and they just improvise.
Jill Glanzer:
It’s so funny thinking of that. Matt had gotten me a beautiful mozza with a mozza scroll when I purchased my home in 2017 and it was sitting in a box, but I hadn’t called Arla or done anything with it. I was so busy. My mom was super impatient, thought it was beautiful. She puts it in the doorway and puts it in and I’m like, mom, I don’t even know if you know the right way to put this in. It was definitely not correct. So she nailed it in because she was impatient. She thought it was pretty and oh, it has to go. So I did call him and he came over and corrected it.
Matthew Maschler:
Well, I like that you did that because it’s the Nike slogan. Just do it. Sometimes doing something is better than doing nothing a hundred percent. So the fact that she did it and that she was excited to do that, she wanted to do that to me, to me that gets my vote.
Rabbi Gopin:
Yes. That being said, many, many times I’ll come to people’s homes and see the as upside down. And if you can’t read Hebrew, I don’t know the difference. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve come across that. That’s very
Matthew Maschler:
Funny. I have another question. It’s not ZA related. And this could be for our many, many listeners that might ask. Very often we will see people walking to temple on a Saturday or on a holiday. It’s Florida, there’s fresh air. But back in New York, and if it’s cold and raining, you see people, people walking. So what’s up with that? What’s up with the walking?
Rabbi Gopin:
So to start from a very basic perspective, for those that dunno, in Judaism on Shabba Saturday, we don’t drive. We don’t use any electronics. We do though go to synagogue to shul. So you need to go to synagogue, you cannot drive to synagogue. So you need to be within a very close walking distance here in Florida, anywhere really. But here in Florida with the heat, with the rain, you want to be as close as possible to a synagogue. What inevitably ends up happening is around the synagogues, the real estate prices tend to go up. And I know we’ve discussed this in the past, wherever there’ll be an Orthodox synagogue, because the Orthodox Jews obviously are the ones that are walking to shul primarily. And you’ll see slowly when a shoul starts, the real estate will go up and up and up and up and up because people need to be within a walking distance to that shul. What about
Matthew Maschler:
A skateboard?
Rabbi Gopin:
So there’s the spirit of the law and the letter of the law. Some people would say, as long as there’s no mechanism, so scooter skateboard is fine. Some people will even say that a bicycle is fine because the mechanism, it is somewhat mechanical. You’ve got a chain, others would not. So it really depends on which rabbi you would like to ask that question to. But there are orthodox Jews that will take a scooter to synagogues. Interesting. But they won’t, again, they won’t drive. And there’s a limit how far you can go, even on a scooter, not an electric scooter. We’re talking about a regular scooter without electricity.
Matthew Maschler:
So one thing I admire and respect about Rabbi goin is we’re in a judgment free zone. And sometimes when you ask him a question, it can be difficult. I asked him a question about Soko a couple of weeks ago and he told me what the rule was so that way he didn’t have to comment one way or the other. Should you do this, should you do that? This is the rule. So for me as a reformed Jew, it’s about knowing what the rule is and choosing whether or not to follow it. It’s tough to admit sometimes, but it’s a judgment free zone. So maybe that’s not something that he would do, but he’s not going to necessarily comment on people that do do that. And I kind of look at it sometimes as what’s, what’s better going on your bicycle and going to temple versus not going to temple. But it’s not always a question of what’s better. Sometimes it’s a question of what’s the rule.
Staci Garcia:
So the real estate around a temple is crucial I guess in the history of Bo Raton, let’s say with different congregations coming up, different real estate areas have gotten a revival because people need to live so close to a sho, they need to walk there.
Rabbi Gopin:
I mean, for people that don’t know, it’s like if you get it today, everybody goes on Zillow and you go on Zillow and you see a beautiful house here costs 500,000, same size house in the same condition, three blocks over, costs a million dollars. And for some people it doesn’t make sense. And the answer is it’s right around the corner from the synagogue and people will pay. It’s almost an artificial bubble
Matthew Maschler:
And it’s hard to appraise. And then similar to that, right, where you have one house being, this one’s being so much more, you can have a neighborhood where a third of the neighborhood prices one way and then the same house on the same street, exact same model on the exact same street, but instead of being three quarters of away from the synagogue, it’s two miles from the synagogue is not going to get that same premium. Because my rule of thumb as a salesman is a mile over under a mile, right? Under a mile, people could be willing to walk. And we were talking about it this morning when about it’s about 60 to 65 days a year because every Saturday and then some holidays it would be more than 65, but sometimes the holidays on a Saturday. So it’s about 60, 65 days a year that you have to walk in the hot Florida sun, sometimes more than once, back and forth, two miles down, 4 41 is not a very nice walk, but three quarters of a mile on a beautiful, well landscaped, HOA community can be a very nice walk in Florida,
Rabbi Gopin:
Right? Personally, when we went, had to buy our house, I told my wife, I said, anything over 10 minutes is not happening. So it’s a half a mile. Half a mile is your remember, depending on who you’re talking about. I’m walking to synagogue Friday night, so I can drive there when I’m walking back in the morning, Saturday morning, back and forth, and then again Saturday afternoon. So you’re walking five round trips, not five round trips, I’m sorry, five ways. Five times tour shoul from synagogue. So really, I mean, some people half a mile will really be the, as far as they’d like to walk, they’ll walk a mile if they need to. But obviously the closer to the shoul, the more valuable it’ll
Staci Garcia:
Be. The people that are interested in getting their steps in though they wouldn’t mind going for the full mile, but then
Jill Glanzer:
They can’t use their Fitbit on that day. Right,
Staci Garcia:
That’s true.
Matthew Maschler:
And see,
Staci Garcia:
Or their Apple watch, they want to close the circles.
Rabbi Gopin:
Did you really exercise? If you can’t count them on your Fitbit or your Apple watch, no.
Matthew Maschler:
If you wear an Apple watch and never take it off, can you wear it?
Rabbi Gopin:
You
Matthew Maschler:
Cannot. You cannot. You’re not supposed to. Okay.
Rabbi Gopin:
Yes. Like Matt says, I, you’re not supposed to,
Matthew Maschler:
It’s a ary zone, right? So it’s interesting because sometimes as a realtor you have all these fair housing laws and anti-discrimination laws. And sometimes as a realtor, when I’m dealing with an observant client that needs certain things, you have to be very careful. Things like walking and walking distance could be considered discriminatory against someone who can’t walk and putting people of one religion or culture in the same neighborhood can sometimes you can be found guilty of steering, right? Oh, you don’t want to buy in that community. That community is filled with orthodox juice. It’s not steering and it’s not necessarily discriminatory. It’s just that there’s a premium. And if those houses are going to go for 20% above market premium because of the proximity to the temple and somebody doesn’t want to be in that community for a financial reason, and all of a sudden you’re dealing with regulators and audits and the allegations of steering.
And sometimes that could be difficult to navigate. When I have someone coming from New York that wants to live in a community within walking distance, and I know, okay, well there’s these seven temples in Boca and I’m drawing radius maps around them and trying to figure out the right place for them to walk. On the buyer side, it’s a little bit easier. But sometimes on the listing side it’s harder because again, you don’t want to face fair housing discriminatory charges, but by marketing one of the most important, most valuable features of the property that it’s proximity to. So people won’t say Jewish synagogue, they’ll say Houses of worship. And I look at the ad and that way it’s not one religion or another. I go, yeah, you’re seeing houses of worship, but there’s a Jewish synagogue and I don’t see one other church or mosque anywhere near here. So yes, you have to be careful as a realtor when you’re advertising or marketing to stay clear of illegal marketing terms.
Staci Garcia:
But tons of people are coming to Raton for this and Aventure and other areas in south Florida. For this specific, this is your number one, would you say this was your number one thing you said to your wife, I don’t want to walk more than half a mile before you said I want, its a garage,
Rabbi Gopin:
Let’s say. So just to clarify, it’s not, obviously the community would be very important, but you cannot move. If you’re an observant Jew, you cannot move to a community that doesn’t have a synagogue. And when I say community, you have to be within walking distance of synagogue because as an observant Jew, you need to go pray every day of the week, we pray. But every day we can drive, but on Saturdays and holidays we need to walk. So as an observant Jew, if you’re moving to a community, you need to be within walking distance of a synagogue. So I can just pick up and move to the middle of Clearwater, Florida if there’s no synagogue nearby. So I would need to move to a community, and this goes for any observant Jew that has a synagogue somewhere within walking
Matthew Maschler:
Distance. So my father lives in St. Andrew’s country club, and the person that he bought the house from 15, 16 years ago at this point was an observant Jew. And obviously St. Andrew’s country club doesn’t have a temple or a facility where he could walk to or prayer or synagogue. And he had a very small two bedroom condo or apartment or villa near one of the orthodox temples in town.
Staci Garcia:
So he would move out
Matthew Maschler:
On Friday afternoon, he would leave the house, move into the two bedroom condo for Friday night, dinner for Saturday, and then Saturday night come home.
Rabbi Gopin:
Yes. So there are people that do that
Matthew Maschler:
Also driving real estate values up.
Rabbi Gopin:
Yes, but it’s more rare because then you need to keep two separate homes and it’s obviously not. So that’s
Staci Garcia:
Four ovens, right?
Matthew Maschler:
Well, this was a very large house and he had a dairy kitchen, two kitchens, but the dairy kitchen was really set up as a Sunday bar, like an ice cream Sunday bar. So there was a bar in the living room, but there was also this massive setup with, and it looked like an industrial, like an ice cream parlor, a place with the cherries and the sprinkles. And he had it all set up like a candy fountain, like a soda fountain. But that was his dairy kitchen.
Staci Garcia:
Interesting.
Rabbi Gopin:
One way to get your grandkids to visit.
Staci Garcia:
Absolutely. Absolutely.
Jill Glanzer:
That being said, there are some shuls that are in neighborhoods. I had a customer that actually called me and told me about a shul I didn’t know about that was actually a home in a neighborhood, and they wanted to buy a home near there. So I thought that was what makes, can you make a home a shul?
Rabbi Gopin:
That’s the interesting thing with, in Judaism, there’s really nothing needed. Every person can pray to God. The only thing you need is a minion, which is 10 people. But you also need a Torah to read the Torah, which Torah has run quite a couple of dollars. I mean, you’re talking many tens of thousands of dollars for a Torah. You can technically have a service anywhere. So as long as you’ve got a minion, which is 10 men in Judaism, and you’ve got a Torah scroll, everybody’s got a prayer book, you buy a couple of prayer books, you can make a service anywhere. Generally people want to go to a synagogue, but if you’re living in a community in the synagogue, and it exists here in Boca, it does. People don’t want to walk to synagogue Friday night or Saturday night. They’ll walk to Saturday morning, the main service, they’ll have a little service at someone’s home in the community so they don’t have to walk too
Matthew Maschler:
Far. I have a friend in Parkland that was telling me that last year with social distancing, they just kind of formed a backyard minion, A DIY, kind of sh Well, it was friends and neighbors and socially distancing. So went into, I guess they rotated whose house they were going to go to and they went into the backyard on Saturday and the holiday, and they had their service as a backyard congregation. And he was telling me how it was very freeing not to be involved with the temple and board and politics. And I thought it was funny. It’s only Jewish people. You go to a, you join a temple because you need a sanctuary praise to play, to pray and reflect. And then all of a sudden we get involved, we join the board, we become the secretary of the treasurer. Oh, you’re an accountant, you can be the treasurer of the shul and all of a sudden you have a second job. We do that in our country clubs, also president of the country clubs and membership. Don’t you just need a place to go and play golf and you don’t need a second job or third job? No, I have to be on the dining committee.
Jill Glanzer:
BYOT. Bring your own Torah.
Matthew Maschler:
Alright, we are finishing up here. We’re almost out of time. Rabbis there any parting thoughts or words of wisdom you’d like to give to our audience before we sign off?
Rabbi Gopin:
I’ll share one last thought. They say there’s a house and there’s a home. And sometimes it’s very telling when someone uses one or the other. A house is the physical structure, the bricks and mortar. And a home is disparate is where we live. And the difference between a house is a home is one is a building and one is a place to be and a place to be yourself, like I mentioned before. And they say that in the scripture. It says that the woman builds the home. Men do. Women are, we don’t have that much time. I won’t get into that, but remind me later. But more important than a house, it’s just what you buy, the furnishings, getting into the legal details of what they have to leave, what they don’t have to leave, what we’re building, what we’re not building, the square footage, yada, yada, yada, yada.
That’s all the house. The most important thing is really a home. And a home is really up to you. It doesn’t take finances, it doesn’t take a lot of planning. It takes a lot of work and a lot of effort. Behalf of you’re single on behalf of yourself and your friends. If you’re married, you and your spouse, if you have children, especially important to have a home that’s functioning, that’s wholesome. So we’re talking a lot about houses and the laws of houses, but don’t forget that we also have to create a home and maybe it definitely is more important than a house. So it’s all about the home.
Matthew Maschler:
Awesome. Alright, well that’s our time. Thank you for listening to the Real Estate Finder podcast. If you’re looking for a new home, if you’re looking to move to Florida and looking for a new home, or you need a second house, a vacation house, I guess a vacation house,
Rabbi Gopin:
A second house should be a home as well, A
Matthew Maschler:
Vacation house or a second home ever away from home. Every home. So if you’re looking for your home in Florida, that’s actually an interesting point. Also, we talked about HOAs and no hoa boca.com. HO A stands for Homeowners Association. Every once in a while you encounter a neighborhood that calls the Homeowners Association Property Owners Association. And I always thought that that was a little bit pompous or arrogant. Oh, it’s not our home, it’s just a vacation house or something other than different than not a home. It’s a property owners association, but there are neighborhoods that have property owners associations. And if you’re looking for one without one, with no HOA contact, no HO boca.com. But yes, if you’re looking for a new or vacation or a second home in the state of Florida, please reach out to the agents of Signature Real Estate Finder led by Jill glanzer realestate finder.com. Jill, would you like some parting words?
Jill Glanzer:
Sure, yeah. Give us a call. We’re happy to help you. If you are looking in a 55 up H Kings Point type neighborhood all the way up to a $9 million or $20 million condo on the beach,
Matthew Maschler:
Jill and I once listed in the same week, a $300,000 three bedroom beach trunk condo, and a $3 million three bedroom beach trunk condo. And for us, it’s about the home. It’s not about the price, it’s about the people. As I said in one of the first episodes, working with nice people. It’s about the home and the people and the price talk tag that comes later. So Rabbi, thank you for joining us. Thank you, rabbi
Rabbi Gopin:
For having me.
Jill Glanzer:
Very informative.
Matthew Maschler:
We’ll have to come up with a subject and bring you back if you enjoyed it
Rabbi Gopin:
Anytime.
Matthew Maschler:
And if you’re listening to the podcast, you can reach out to us on the realestate finder.com or the Realestate Finder Podcast Facebook page. I’m on Twitter and Instagram as Matthew Ashler. And thanks for joining us and we will talk to you next week.
Speaker 6:
The future looks bright and the storms pass by the sky’s dog. Blue. When It’s almost that time. Life shows cameras flash when I pass. Living in the moment. Forget about the, they saved the best for last. Matthew Mania. We about to make his splash. Life is a marathon full of sharp turns. Got to keep pace while the hands on. I run a show. You could tell the plate. Electricity, energy, vibrate. I’m always on time. Even if I’m late, I make dreams come true. Living my life. Hope the same for you. Success. My sights got a real clear view. If you don’t know the time, I give you a clue.
Speaker 7:
You it’s, it’s
Speaker 6:
What time? Whose time? It’s what time. It’s man time. Who time it? You know what time man? Got him? Shook, scared. Can’t look. We’re not afraid of the big bad wolf.