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When to Check Mezuzot

When should the mezuzot be examined?

Can a subsequent inspection be done independently?

Is there a difference between the frequency of mezuzah inspection for a private house as opposed to public buildings?


The Gemarra in Yoma 11 states; “A Mezuzah of an individual must be examined twice in a Sabbatical period (seven years, whether it is valid); and one of a congregation, twice in a jubilee (fifty years).”  Today, the entrances are protected from the sun and humidity, so the importance of frequent inspection is minor.


It is important to not: a mezuzah that has passed inspection by a qualified scribe, can be subsequently inspected independently.  There is no suspicion of a missing or extra letter.  All that has to be ascertained at subsequent inspections, is that everything stands as is.  In other words, the words must be reviewed to check for cracks or disintegration of the ink.  This can be done independently, as noted.


Why is there a distinction made between mezuzot for individuals and mezuzot for the public?


The answer is surprising. As Rashi says there- “For everything that is public, one should not take too much trouble, for if it’s too much trouble then each one will say: Let my friends do it.-  In other words, only once in a generation, one can find a reliable public figure, one who can be trusted not to “pass it (the responsibility) on” to others…  A word to the wise...  Another Talmudic source states that public property, as a general rule, will always be tepid, even when it ought to be hot…

Therefore, mezuzahs in public buildings require inspection only once every twenty five years.

For more details about Mezuzah inspection, Mezuzah Catalog

Additional Sources:

When Must One Affix a Mezuzah?
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An example of Kosher writing of Mezuzha.To enlarge, click hereAn example of Kosher writing of Mezuzha.To enlarge, click here
Invalid Writing of Mezuzha.To enlarge, click hereInvalid Writing of Mezuzha.To enlarge, click here
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