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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Lucky Mezuzot

I'm sure I'm not alone in experiencing people wishing to have mezuzot checked or replaced due to recent tragedies, misfortunes or just a feeling of bad luck. Indeed maintaining kosher mezuzot as segula or as a response to misfortune has basis in our tradition.

I get more concerned when the impression I get from some people is that the mezuza is the cause of the misfortune and that, when replaced, they seem relieved that now their lives will magically turn around. Like a charm. Someone once even asked me to make sure their mezuzot are extra lucky and to give it an extra blessing.

It's more of an uncomfortable feeling for me and I never know quite how to deal with it or what to say when customers ask me about replacing mezuzot in the event of a loss etc.

Any advice from what works for you?

4 comments:

  1. Ari, It's a tough one...

    Jews are superstitious by nature.

    Its important to explain that a mezuzah is important for shmira and it protects us in physical, material and spiritual matters. Its all over chazal and well documented.

    But to blame bad luck on a substandard mezuzah is something I would refrain from saying or condoning. Just focus on the fact that if a mezuzah has been repaired or replaced due to problems, things will surely be better for the future.

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  2. Without getting into the difference between Onesh and Nisayon, misfortune generally occurs because of behavior unapproved by Hashem. Evil exists. People, or germs, do have the ability to harm others. Often, Mezuza, as the Gemara says, offers (temporary) protection or softening of the Gezera. (Some other things act similarly, like wearing Tzitzis in certain times or circumstances, as Rav Katina was told by the Malach,) No Mezuza (or unKosher), no Shmira from it, but that's not generally the source of the misfortune, which ultimately must be dealt with. (Eyn HKB"H Vatran. Except for the title of "Tzaddik" or "Rasha" where there is a "weighing", Aveiros and Mitzvos do not cancel out one another. Mitzvos get S'char, and r"l vice versa.)

    Mezuzos have no power outside of Kiyum Mitzvas Hashem, as Rambam writes. I know people who put them into cars, for Shmira. (VeKarov Be'Einay LeAvodaZara r"l.) As such, just as with ensuring a Kosher Mezuza (or Tefillin, for that matter), they can look forward to their lives "turning around" by regularly saying Shehakol and Borei Nefashos slowly and carefully, etc., etc.

    When inquiries like this come my way, I also clarify with them where and how the Mezuza is placed. Many place the angle wrong or on the wrong side of the door. At a parents' bedroom door, it should be placed with Kavana for Kis Besoch Kis, especially when the Mezuza is in inside the door.

    VeHadvarim Aruchim ...

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  3. There is a story in the gemorah i think of rebbi giving a mezuzah to caesar after he had givven him a gift and said your gift needs guards but my gift will protect you. Analyzing this story we see that the protection is even when there is no mitzvah because it was given to a non jew who is not obligated in the mitzvah never the less rebbi said it would protect him.
    Also just to add on what you said about kis betoch kis one must be sure that one of the kissim is put not meyuchad for the mezuzah.

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  4. sorry the story with the mezuzah was of rebbi giving to artavon its in bereshis rabah
    and there is a tosfos yom tov on meseches keilim that brings down about a makel that has a beis kibul for a mezuzah and says that mashmah that they they would carry it around for shemirah the lubatcher rebbe explains the rambam you brought lekutei sichos chelek yud tes page 121 veanochi rak baati lehavi divrei gedolim shedibru beinyan ze

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