Prayer and Religious Articles: Tzitzis, Tefillin, Torah Scrolls, and Mezuzos: The Mezuza as a Protector:
A sick friend of mine was told to change the scrolls in the mezuzah on her door. What is the significance of this and why was it suggested?
The mezuzah is a small piece of parchment with two paragraphs from the
Torah inscribed on it. Deut.6:4-9 and 10:13-21. These paragraphs
contain the famous "Shema" pronouncement of monotheism, as well as other
central concepts in Jewish life.
The Sages of the Talmud had a quaint yet poignant way of describing the
benefits of fulfilling the Mitzvah of putting a mezuzah on our doorposts.
To paraphrase them:
"Whereas with humans, the master sits indoors while his servants guard
him outside of his home, God allows His servants to sit indoors while He
guards them (by means, i.e.in the merit, of the Mezuza)."
In addition, the Sages, based on the text of Deut. 10:20-21, assure long
life to someone who fulfills the precept of mezuzah and lives its spirit.
These statements, in whatever way they are meant to be understood, apply
to a kosher mezuzah scroll, i.e. one whose letters are all complete and
It has been the practice for centuries for a Jew to have his mezuzot
checked by a competent scribe twice in seven years. Since the parchment
is usually exposed to the elements, a letter on it can crack, thereby
invalidating the "kosher" status of the entire scroll, which in most
cases can not be repaired.
Also, because of the promises associated with the mezuza, one of the
first things people do when tragedy rears its ugly head is to have one's
mezuzot checked. If the scrolls are found to be defective, they are
replaced with kosher mezuzot, in the hope that proper observance of and
dedication to this mitzvah and its message will send tragedy packing.