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What are some best practices for checking a Mezuzah (as the Mezuzah owner, not as a Sofer)? Some questions that come to mind are:

Should all Mezuzoth in a home be checked at once?
What should one do if one has a Mezuzah case held up on the doorpost by double-sided tape (as opposed to removable screws)?
What should one do if removing the Mezuzah will damage the Mezuzah, case, or doorpost?
Should/can one leave the doorpost Mezuzah-less if it will be some time before they are checked by the Sofer and returned?
If someone lives far from the nearest Sofer, how should one get the Mezuzah/oth to and from the Sofer?

Feel free to add more issues, especially if you have a solution to offer.

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2 Answers 2

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Mezuzahs should be checked twice every 7 years on a private property ie: a house and twice every 50 years on public property ie: beis midrash and shul. Rambam Hilchos Mezuzah Ch. 5.

If you purchases all your mezuzahs at once then it would mean checking them all at once. The time span is from purchase not from when it was written.

Al pi Kabbalah, the room that you attach a mezuzah to has a connection to the room and each mezuzah should be marked which room it came from. There are many stories of people C"V ill and finding mezezuah's pasul in rooms they frequented. I was told by a sofer that the highest quality mezuzahs should be on the Front Door, the Bedroom, the kitchen, and so on.

The case and doorpost are not worth as much as a mezuzah that ranges from $50-$300 a piece. A mezuzah case usually plastic or metal can be replaced for much cheaper and doorposts can be repainted.

Make sure to protect you mezuzahs that are in direct sunlight or subject to rain with sunproof and waterproof casing. If you have a hallway door that leads to other rooms including the bathroom and that mezuzah is visible from inside the bathroom, there are opinions that say that the mezuzah should be covered with a solid case and not a clear one.

You do not recite another blessing when reaffixing a mezuzah that you checked if you put it back up on the SAME doorpost the same day. 2 days-30 days is a maklokes. Everyone agrees that you say a blessing after 30 days. Here is a Tshuvah on the topic. Sefer Otzar Sefer Torah, Tefillin and Mezuzahs, by Rabbi Yisrael Asher Krauz

Most Sofrim are able to accept FEDEX. My parents sent mezuzahs to New York to be checked because of a well known sofer there.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe told his Chassidim on many occasions to check Tefillin and Mezuzos at least a year in Elul. He spoke at length about making sure every Jew has a kosher mezuazah in the mid 70's.

Sources on Mezuazah. Y.D. 286, Rambam Hilchos Mezuzah

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What about the period of time that the mezuzot are gone? Do you need to own/borrow spares, or do them in batches (which may mean doing some early) so that at minimum the outside doors always have them (which may mean temporarily rotating others in)? –  Monica Cellio Jul 31 '12 at 23:17
    
@MonicaCellio In my community "Lubavitch" which checks mezuzahs once a year, the Sofrim here will not take mezuzahs that wont be returned in more than a few days. I have no researched it, but I am sure the Shulchan Aruch answers this question. Someone only checking mezuzahs based on the Rambam's psak might not even have mezuzahs that were all purchased at once. This mitzvah is so important that the Rambam says at the end of Hilchos Mezuzah that anyone who wears tzitzis, tefillin, and has mezuzahs will not lead himself to sin. It troubles me to see people not spending money on quality mezuzos. –  user1292 Jul 31 '12 at 23:21
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A suggestion is that Mezuzos that are in bedrooms be double wrapped (a transparent case, plus a piece of paper, or an opaque case plus plastic wrap). This is because people get dressed in those rooms. –  Ariel Jul 31 '12 at 23:45
    
@Ariel I mentioned this in regards to the bathroom. The Bedroom is interested since it would not be tznius to get dressed with the door open and most mezuzahs are on the door jam. Good advice for areas where one gets dressed like a bathroom that has a separate room inside for the toilet. Shkoaych. –  user1292 Jul 31 '12 at 23:59
    
@mochinrechavim They are on the jamb (not jam :), but if the door opens outward then the mezuzah is always inside the room. It's better to cover them in both cases though - for things like opening the door a bit and yelling "where are my pants", etc. –  Ariel Aug 1 '12 at 1:09

According to many, if a mezuzah is doen overnight a new bracha is made. However, Rav Blau is Chovas hadar and harav Ovadia Yosef state that a new bracha is made if even down for a few hours.

It is important to note where each mezuzah came from so it could be put back in the same place. Much more important that the kabbalistic reason mentioned, is that there is a halachic issue of "horada bekedusha" One may not purposely take a mezuzah that was on a door that had a Torah obligation, such as a door leading into the house or in most cases, a bedroom door, and place it on a doorpost that was a questionable obligation, such as an entryway without a door or a from less than 4 x 4 amos. if the mezuzahs get mixed up then one may put them back up anywhere. Anther reason is if a mezuzah is found to be totally passul then if it came from a doorpost that requires a bracha then a new bracha is made, even if putting up the new mezuzah 5 minutes after taking the original down. However, if one doesn't know where the mezuzah came from then a new bracha isn't made since it may have come from a doorway that didn't require a mezuzah due to it being a doorway wose obligation is questionable.

There is a preference to put up loaner mezuzahs in the interim, particularly if they will be down overnight. However, for most this is not an option or it becomes too burdensome. Some prefer to leave a mezuzah up while the rest are being checked. However, this is not required.

In most cases, the mezuzahs on bedroom doors are on the outside of the door so there is no need for more than the usual covering. However, if it will be on the inside, particularly in a room where there is sexual activity then in addition to the usual 2 covers (case and plastic/wax wrap, a 3rd covering should be used.

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Providing a source to back up your comments would improve this answer. –  Seth J Sep 19 '12 at 19:42

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