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Why must I have a scribe check my Mezuzah regularly?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

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For a Mezuzah to be Kosher, all the letters in the scroll must be complete. Due to humidity and other factors, letters can fade or crack, rendering un-kosher an originally beautiful mezuzah.

A mezuzah must be inspected by a professional scribe every three and a half years; however, ideally they should receive a 'complete physical' every year during the month of Elul.1

Your rabbi will be happy to provide you with the phone number and address of a competent scribe.

Footnotes

  • 1. During the month of Elul, we are constantly searching for additional mitzvot to do; ways to 'enhance our record' and give extra material to the defense in anticipation of the upcoming Days of Judgment. For this reason, in the course of this month it is an age-old custom to give our mezuzot (and tefillin) to a scribe who checks them to ensure that they are still kosher.

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Kosher
Literally means "fit." Commonly used to describe foods which are permitted by Jewish dietary laws, but is also used to describe religious articles (such as a Torah scroll or Sukkah) which meet the requirements of Jewish law.
Mezuzah
A rolled up scroll containing certain verses from the Torah which is affixed to the right-hand doorpost of doorways in a Jewish home.
Elul
The 6th month on the Jewish calendar, normally corresponding to August-September. This is the month which precedes Tishrei, the month of the High Holidays, and is a month of introspection and repentance.