A new year, new you and new opportunity to check your mezuzah.
Rosh Hashanah is one of the most important festivities in the Hebrew Calendar. Literally translated “head of the year,” the holiday marks the beginning of the Jewish year. We use this time to reflect on the past year and decide how we can better ourselves and our relationships in the future. Rosh Hashanah is the perfect time to bring the mantra, “new year, new you” into our lives and begin the year with a clean slate.
Festivities that take place during Rosh Hashanah require a great deal of work and preparation. The many customs that come with this holiday range from visiting loved ones’ gravesites to buying new clothes and eating special foods to having a sofer check the mezuzah scrolls. During this time that has been dedicated to spiritual cleansing, we know that to be able to receive a fresh new start, we must first deserve one.
Why We Check Our Mezuzot
We bring our mezuzot to a sofer (certified scribe) to ensure that the text within them is undamaged and therefore still retains the same meaning. In checking the mezuzah, we ensure that the sacred text, the first two paragraphs of the Shema Israel, remains unaltered by weather over the years, cracks from folding or anything else.
And watch out—unfortunately there’s now a second reason to have your mezuzah checked. In recent years, fraudulent mezuzah scrolls have crept into the marketplace. Having yours checked lets you rest assured that yours is authentic.
When We Should Have Our Mezuzot Checked
There are no specific laws about when to have the parchment scroll inside your mezuzah checked. The recommendation is simply to do so occassionaly. Some people do it once a year, some every 3 years, some every 7 years, some when they move and others when they feel that something is amiss within in their home.
The bottom line: it’s up to you! And when you decide it’s the year to have yours checked, it is tradition to do so during the Jewish month of Elul, the month before the High Holidays. (Elul in the Gregorian calendar: August 16 to Sept 13, 2015)
An Exciting Time to Celebrate Tradition in Style
With Rosh Hashanah right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to focus on our mezuzot (among other things), which symbolize protection, but also serve as a public declaration and reminder of the importance of the Jewish faith and tradition. The new year is nearly upon us! Let’s get ready to plan for this wonderful holiday and begin to consider all of the changes we want to accomplish during the new year!