Tefillin vs Mezuzah checking

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  • #619016

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    So technically according to Rambam if the tefillin is worn regularly it doesn’t ever need to be checked.

    However mezuzot need to be checked at least every seven years?

    Could it be less expensive to start replacing a couple mezuzot every five years until by year seven all of them in one’s house are new and just keep doing that?

    Do people donate mezuzot that need to be checked?

    Thank you

    #1213372

    Joseph
    Participant

    They need to be checked twice every seven years, not once.

    #1213373


    Participant

    Checking a Mezuzah should be less expensive than purchasing a new one (assuming that you are dealing with the same scribe in both cases).

    #1213374

    yehudayona
    Participant

    Unless they’re in a location that’s exposed to dampness, mezuzahs are less likely to become pasul than are tefillin. At least that’s what a sofer told me, IIRC. It makes sense to me.

    I haven’t checked prices recently, but I suspect it costs at least 10 times as much to buy a decent quality mezuzah as to have one checked.

    #1213375

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    In Brooklyn it costs between $5 and $10 to check a mezuzah. Good new ones probably start around $50. Why buy new mezuzahs if the ones you have are kosher?

    #1213376

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Thanks for the info. I thought it would be much more expensive to have them checked.

    Question: Does the sofer generally automatically make the repairs, such as fixing letters that may have faded?

    Or is the “checking” cost the initial payment, and then one gets a quote with an estimate of how much it would cost to fix the scroll?

    yehudayona: That’s what I thought as well.

    #1213377

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    Generally the cost is for the examination. They notify you if their are any issues. Fixing mezuzos are difficult as the Halacha is that they must be written in order. It is not like a Sefer Torah where a sofer just fixes the pesul. The sofer will generally tell you what can or can’t be repaired. I personallly use Rabbi Pincus of Tiferes Stam On Coney Island Ave between Avenues M & N in Brooklyn (I think the address is 1644 CIA).

    #1213378

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Has anyone ever mailed their mezuzot scrolls to the sofer to check?

    I see that’s an option for some sofrim. What do people do while their mezuzot are at the sofer’s? Can one be without it for several weeks?

    #1213379

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    iacisrmma: Oh, Tiferes Stam is a Judaica store. Wow. So they have a rabbi who checks mezuzot.

    I guess I can easily ask someone here where to have mine checked. Or there are so many Judaica stores relatively close by for this, so I can ask them too. Though maybe it’s better to ask my LOR for a referral.

    Thanks!

    #1213380

    Joseph
    Participant

    They are generally checked and returned the same day.

    #1213381

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Ahhh…. perfect.

    Since I don’t live in Antarctica, it sounds way more reasonable to go get them checked locally.

    Thanks for the info 🙂

    #1213382

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Heads up: At today’s parsha class on Bo, we learned that tefillin comes from a couple paragraphs in this week’s parsha.

    Turns out that tefillin DO need to be checked twice every seven years.

    My whole, “How come tefillin don’t need to be checked if they are used regularly?” question was shut down by the rabbi and even a couple classmates. All were in consensus that I was mistaken.

    The rabbi explained that the tefillin is more prone to needing repairs or getting worn out (whatever the terms are here), since they are moved around and can get hair gel or even sweat, etc.

    –Yes that makes sense and common sense is that they would need to be checked… then why does the Rambam say that they do not. Did I misinterpret Rambam?

    [fyi -I will email the rabbi about this B”H. Would love to hear from you still]

    Wondering if that’s the consensus overall –> That tefillin MUST be checked twice every seven years and there is no question about it.

    #1213383

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    Lb: the consensus is that the parshios in tefillin are checked once every seven years. The boxes and straps can be checked as often as one likes if they think there is an issue (e.g. The boxes lose their square shape).

    #1213384

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    BTW, two of the 4 parshiyos in tefillin are found in Parshas Bo.

    #1213385

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    I tried to edit my response but…..

    Instead of “consensus” it should have read “common custom”.

    #1213386

    Joseph
    Participant

    iac: Twice every seven years.

    #1213387

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    Joseph: While the Mishna Berurah does say twice every seven years, the common practice is once every seven years (Heard from R’ Hillel David Shlita).

    #1213388

    Joseph
    Participant

    I gotta double check, but I thought it was specifically paskened in S”A twice in seven.

    #1213389

    Geordie613
    Participant

    The sofer told me, we try not to open tefillin to check them, as this can cause more problems than it solves. We rely on the chezkas kashrus (presumption of being acceptable), unless there is a specific reason to check them.

    #1213390

    Joseph
    Participant

    So what is the sofer checking when you bring him your tefilin every 3.5 years?

    #1213391

    Geordie613
    Participant

    That is the point. You don’t need to check the parshiyos unless you have a real concern. like if they fell into water, or they get left in a boiling hot or freezing cold car often.

    Of course, ribua needs to be checked, and the retzuos have to be black

    #1213392

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    joseph: You are partially correct. The Shulchan Aruch (39:10) states that tefillin with a chezkas kashrus never need to be checked and those that are only used “occasionally” twice in seven years.

    http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=49623&st=&pgnum=134

    I don’t have the exact quote in the sefer Minchas Shlomo but R’ Shlomo Zalman T”ZL states that since tefillin are made so much better “today” the chezkas kashrus is even stronger.

    #1213393

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    I have a misquote above. It is not in the Minchas Shlomo but in the sefer Halichos Shlomo Tefillah. I do not see it on hebrewbooks.org.

    #1213394

    Joseph
    Participant

    If S”A paskens either twice in seven or never (and M”B says twice in seven), how and where did once in seven enter the picture?

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