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Mezuza and Tefillin Inspection

A) What is Inspection?

Halacha (Jewish law) requires Mezuzos to be inspected twice in seven years. The scrolls are opened, and each letter is carefully looked over to ensure that it was written properly and is still kosher. We then rewrap the scroll in waxed paper to keep out dirt and moisture (this does NOT make the Mezuza waterproof, a special waterproof case is recommended for that).

Tefillin do not need to be inspected, provided they were

However, most poskim agree that it is advisable to have them inspected occasionally. Speak to your rabbi if you're not sure whether or not your Tefillin should be checked.

Also, it is a good idea to at least have the exterior (batim/boxes and retzuos/straps) looked at to ensure that they are still kosher. Retzuos must be totally black and not torn, and the batim must be square and retain their original shape. While this can usually be done by a rabbi or other knowledgeable person, repairs, if need, may require the skill and training of a sofer or batim macher (one who specializes in manufacture and repair of the batim).

Full inspection of Tefillin includes opening the batim, inspecting the parshios (Torah portions) inside, returning the parshios to the batim, sewing them closed, and painting as needed. A special process called segirah is available for gassos batim (made from oxhide) which completey refinishes and seals the sides of the batim.

 

B) Why Inspect?

There are three main reasons why Mezuzos and Tefillin should be checked

  1. Age: over time, the letters on the handwritten scrolls can begin to fade or crack. In general, a well written scroll will last for many years, but eventually time will take its toll. 
  2. Conditions: Moisture, heat, cold, humidity and dust can all be contributing factors in causing Mezuzos and Tefillin to become possul (non kosher). Outdoor Mezuzos, especially in hot or humid climates, tend to deteriorate faster than others.
  3. Poorly Written: Unfortunately, not all products on the market start out being kosher. This is for one of several reasons:

C) The Procedure

If you have a qualified sofer where you live, it is best to send your items directly to them. It is quicker, so there is no need to be without  them for several days, and someone local is best equipped to deal with problems that may come up.

If you not not have that service in your area, we will gladly inspect your Mezuzos and Tefillin. We prefer that you email us in advance at sofer@soferplus.com, in order to put you in our schedule and ensure the quickest turnaround time. We generally return Mezuzos the day after we receive them, and Tefillin can take up to 2 days. Occasionally it can take longer, especially if extra work is necessary.

The cost is $8.00 per Mezuza and $80.00 for a set of Tefillin.

Items should be shipped (we recommend that you insure the package) to:

Sofer Plus
76 Ascension St.
Passaic, NJ 07055

When complete, we will call or email you with the results, and ship them back to you. We can also provide you with replacements, should any be found to not be kosher. You will be billed for the inspection and the return shipping.