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My family has had quite a bit of misfortune last few months (sickness, theft and more). My wife suggested that we get our Mezuzahs checked.

Just a note on this: I understand that they must be checked twice every 7 years, but these Mezuzahs are less than 2 years old so they haven't been checked yet since after purchasing them.

I understand vaguely that there is a belief by some in a correlation between poor luck and unkosher Mezuzahs. I was quite skeptical but being a dutiful husband I agreed to take them to be inspected. There are only 3 mezuzahs as we have a small apartment.

On inspection I was told that 2 of the 3 had a lot of letters touching each other, but he fixed them. I was immediately asked by the Rebbetzin if we have been having bad Mazel. I was shocked. Paid for the work done and left. Too shocked to ask anything further.

Can someone explain to me if their is any fact behind this, or is it a superstition. I very much hope that this is an end to our bad luck.

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    May Hashem protect from all ill and bless you. There do seem to be special properties of mezuzot but mezuza is only one mitzva; there are many more! – Avrohom Yitzchok Feb 14 '14 at 10:23
  • Somewhat related (especially in the accepted answer) judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/18200/… – Yishai Feb 14 '14 at 17:18
  • If you like an answer, consider marking it correct. – mevaqesh Nov 3 '16 at 15:35
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From Chabad.com

Now consider: The blood of the Passover sacrifice was but of little weight, for it was required but once, not for all generations, and by night only, not by day; yet He would ‘not allow the destroyer... to strike you.’ How much more will He not permit the destroyer into the house which bears a mezuzah, which is of greater weight, seeing that the Divine Name is repeated there ten times, it is there by day and night, and it is a law for all generations.

We see in this biblical account and the above commentary the direct relationship between the mitzvah of mezuzah and Divine protection. A mezuzah affixed to the doorpost as commanded by G-d at Sinai still has the power to “not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to smite you”.

See there for more details.

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As you correctly state in your question:

There is a belief by some in a correlation between poor luck and unkosher Mezuzahs.

However, there is also opposition to this idea. Most notably, Rambam writes in Hilkhot Mezuzah (5:4):

מנהג פשוט, שכותבין על המזוזה מבחוץ... שדי... אבל אלו שכותבין בה מבפנים שמות מלאכים, או שמות קדושים, או פסוק, או חותמות--הרי הן בכלל מי שאין להן חלק לעולם הבא: שאלו הטיפשים, לא דיי להם שביטלו המצוה; אלא שעושין מצוה גדולה, שהיא ייחוד שמו של הקדוש ברוך הוא ואהבתו ועבודתו, כאילו היא קמיע להנית עצמן, כמו שעלה על ליבם הסכל שזה דבר המהנה בהבלי העולם.

There is a widespread custom of writing 'Shaday' on the mezuzah from the outside [of the parchment]. However, those who write in the mezuzah names of angels, or sacred names, or a verse, or seals--they are included in those who have no share in the world to come. For these idiots--it is not enough that they failed the fulfillment of the mitzvah, but they [even] render a great mitzvah; [whose essence is] the unity of God's name, and love for him, and his service, into a [mere] amulet for personal benefit, as occurred to their foolish minds; that this [mezuzah] is something that yields benefit in this world. (translation my own).

So, although the sentiment of the mezuzah as a protective amulet, to be checked in time of danger, was present even in Rambam's time, he was deeply opposed to it.

Although some attacked Rambam for his stance in light of sources that indicate protective powers, R. Qafih z"l writes (commentary to Hilkhot Mezuzah 6:13):

ואין כוונת חז"ל לדעת רבנו שהמזוזה מהנה בעניני העולם הזה, אלא שבזהירות במזוזה ישווה ה' לנגדו תמיד, ובכך תהיה השגחת ה' עליו גדולה

To paraphrase : According to Rambam the mezuzah does not provide earthly gain. Rather, through attention to the mezuzah, one will set God in front of himself at all times, and through this God will watch over him more.

This last point of R. Qafih brings Rambam a little closer to the others. Even though he does not believe that the mezuzah directly causes any physical benefits, R. Qafih suggests, that if one takes heed of the mezuzah's message, and allows it to keep God on his mind, he will merit a greater degree of divine intervention in his life, including, potentially, physical benefits.


Although there were some who were so entrenched in the belief that mezuzot provide physical protection that they even claimed that Rambam held this, this is not the implication of the aforementioned quote, or the understanding of R. Qafih, one of the greatest experts on Rambam (and Geonim and North African / Spanish Rishonim in general) of all time.

Similarly, R. Wolf Boskowitz writes:

אלא ודאי מוכח מזה דרבינו ז"ל סובר דמצות מזוזה אין בו תועלת השמירה כלל בטבעה ובסגולתה, רק כי היא כמו אחת מכל מצוות ה' אשר צוה אשר אין בהם תועלת לעניני עולם הזה

To paraphrase: It is evident form this that our master [Rambam] is of the opinion that the mitzvah of mezuzah accomplishes no protection at all. Rather, like all of the mitzvot, it does not provide physical benefit.

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