Jun 1, 2009

Check your Mezuzos

Rav Don Segal has issued a reminder of the urgency with which people should be careful to check their mezuzahs regularly - twice every seven years, as mandated by halacha.

When asked why he is mentioning this now, Rav Segal responded that it is in light of the recent tragic, horrific really, car accident in which 5 people were killed returning from Meron on Lag B'Omer.

Rav Segal had gone to be menachem aveil in the homes of the mourning, and he noticed there were no mezuzahs on the doorposts in the house he went into. He asked why, and they told him they had sent them out to be checked, in light of the accident. It turned out they were all no good.

Rav Segal said that while we don't know the ays of God, people should be careful to get their mezuzahs checked.


  1. It isn't clear from the story whether more than 3.5 years had passed since the last time they had been checked. Also, if they weren't careful about checking their mezuzos perhaps there were also other things they weren't careful about.
    That being said, indeed, mezuzos should be checked as the halacha requires and a lot of other things in our personal behavior should as well.

  2. Is this the same Rav Segal who made incredibly insensitive remarks after the massacre in Merkaz HaRav? Maybe regular check ups on our bein adam l'chaviro would also be a good idea?

  3. So, the driver's apparently reckless act of entering the oncoming traffic lane to pass another car on a dangerous stretch of highway was less of a factor than the mezuzah was?


    Perhaps, though, the Rav could have mentioned as well that the accident teaches us to not drive recklessly.

  4. The Gemara in Brachos says that if a person is hit with misery, he should examine his behaviour. Not his mezuzos.
    Why do people run to check the mezuzos? (You can click the link for my answer)

  5. Simon, I agree with you, and indeed the family did seem to run to check their mezuzos. However, the Rabbi did not say that if there is a problem people should run to check their mezuzos. He said that people should be careful to check them as often as halacha requires. I think that this would be included in one's behavior. I think you would agree that being careful to perform all of the mitzvos with their details is important. Of course, there are many other very important details and there is no reason to put this one above others, as perhaps the rabbis words implied, as if this were the sole reason for such a terrible tragedy. As for the family, to give the benefit of the doubt, it could be that they examined their behavior and one of the things they found is that they were overdue for mezuza checking, in which case they did the right thing. Indeed the fact that all were invalid would lead one to believe that they hadn't been checked in quite a while. I would hope that the examination of their behavior did not stop there.
    As for the widespread practice of running to check mezuzos before the required interval in case of illness etc., you are correct that it is a shifting of blame from actions mystical protection of segulos etc., and a shifting of focus from introspection to magical charms.

  6. where does halacha state that you need to check 2 times in 7 years?

  7. מזוזת יחיד נבדקת פעמים בשבוע
    יומא דף יא ע"א

    מזוזת יחיד נבדקת פעמים בשבע שנים
    שולחן ערוך יו"ד ס' רצ"א סעיף א

  8. and some rabbonim should have their heads examined before opening their mouths..
    instead of telling everyone,please please do not drive if you are tired,do not talk on your cell while driving,please please make sure you check your tires once in a while,and of course never ever drive over the speed limit,what do they tell us ? check your mezzuza.
    what a sick joke
    by the way i am chareidi,and am deeply embarrased of our so called rabbinical leaders

  9. To give Rav Segal the benefit of the doubt, I would guess that he has no idea that the accident was caused by the driver's being in the lane of oncoming traffic, either because he fell asleep or was recklessly overtaking another car.

    BTW, did the press ever announce a final determination as tot he cause of the accident?

  10. Why is everyone making such a fuss? I am sure that HaRav Segal didn't sit in the shiva house, wagging a finger and saying something like: "ah - so that's why they were killed"

    There have been far too many stories of situations which have improved or not got worse after having mezuzos checked. A neighbor of mine kept having problems with water; leaks, washing machine, rain coming in, you name it. They are not the "kabbalistic" type so didn't think of checking their mezuzas until several friends urged them. Guess what - their main mezuza had three invalid letters: מ,י,מ. It's now been 3 years and no more trouble.

  11. I hate hate hate when people blame individual tragedies on various random events after the fact. If he wants to do any good, he should say that the tragedy was caused by dangerous driving practices and he should pasken that driving dangerously is assur, maybe even deoreita (preserving ones life from harm, etc I think is a deoreita?).

    The only time I think blaming tragedies on something indirect is acceptable is well after the tragedy and to serve as a communal lesson. A good example of this is blaming the churban beis hamikdash on sinat chinam.


  12. from the article linked (I was not at the speech, so I can only use the article as a source), he did not blame the mezuzahs, nor did he say it at the shiva house. He gave a shmuez somewhere and spoke about the importance of having the mezuzas checked regularly as per the mandated schedule.
    When asked why he mentioned it, he said because of what they told him by the shiva house, and he felt the need to stress the importance of not forgettinmg to get mezuzas checked in general.

    It is brought in halacha that mezuzas provide shmira. As far as I know he did not blame the mezuzas, and did not ascribe any hokey pokey to it, just referenced it.

  13. But, why haven't we heaard of any gedolim saying that there is danger in crossing into the oncoming traffic lane at high speed, on a dangerous stretch of highway? Or, if falling asleep at the wheel was the issue, a danger in driving after not having slept for 24 hrs?

    Yes, I know this is all common sense. But, for may people, having this said by one of the gedolim has far mor impact.


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