Checking Your Own Mezuzot

Checking Your Own Mezuzot

Ksav Ashuris Mezuza


I bought my mezuzot from the Sofer in our small city. He is also a rebbe in out day school and is active in many projects. Unfortunately, this meant that it was really hard to arrange with him a time to check them! Now, I am not a Sofer, but I definitely can read Hebrew. In fact, after Bar Mitzvah my friends and I took turns reading from the Torah on Shabbos in our shul. My question is: Do I need to send them to be checked again, or can I do the checking myself? Also, would I then have to make new berachot?


Clearly, it is preferable to have one’s mezuzot checked by a reliable sofer who is trained to pick up subtleties that the layman’s eye might miss.

However, since your mezuzot were already checked by a professional sofer, the purpose of re-checking them now is mainly just to see that the letters have not cracked or otherwise been damaged by moisture or sun exposure. According to some opinions, this kind of checking can be done by a competent layman, when necessary.[1]

If you do not find any problems, you should immediately return the mezuzot to their posts. In this case, no new berachah is recited.[2] Ideally, one should put them back without delay, as there are some authorities that require a new berachah after just a few hours, especially if one has engaged in other activities in the meantime.[3]

When mezuzot are removed overnight, a blessing should be recited when they are re-affixed.[4] If all the mezuzot are re-affixed at the same time, one blessing suffices for them all.[5]

If you will be placing a mezuzah on a doorway where it had not been affixed beforehand, you may make a blessing even before the next day. However, you should make sure not to “demote” the mezuzah by moving it from a doorway whose obligation is clear to one whose obligation is doubtful.[6]

[1] Chasam Sofer Y.D. 283, cited in Pitchei Teshuvah Y.D. 291:3. Others contend that one who has not studied the laws of Safrut might not notice finer invalidations which may occur even to Kosher scrolls through decay. [2nd Ed.]

[2] Shach Y.D. 186:25; Chidushei R. Akiva Eiger, op. cit.

[3] Sha’arei HaMezuzah 17:22; Agur B’ohalecha 7:23.

[4] Aruch HaShulchan Y.D. 289:4; Teshuvos V’Hanhagos 2:551; Kovetz Mi-Beit Levi, Tishrei 5751; Sha’arei HaMezuzah 20:15; Leket Shut Mezuzzos, citing R. Eliashiv and R. Wosner.

[5] Rema Y.D. 289:1.

[6] Agur B’ohalecha 7:24:69; Sha’arei HaMezuzah 17:22:46.

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