These Mezuzahs were in a house that had a fire, as you can see these Mezuzahs were all damaged. Unfortunately the Mezuzahs on the doors closest to the area where the fire broke out were consumed in the flames. The one on the right was the first Mezuzah I found within close proximity to the area where the fire broke out, As you can see it has begun to melt and had extensive damage and had to be put in Sheimos, The one in the middle which was a bit further away the case has begun to warp slightly and the Mezuzah only had minor damage. The one on the left was even further and was only covered in soot. and aside from smelling like smoke there was little to no damage discovered due to the smoke. Unfortunately fire proof Mezuzah cases don't exist yet, who knows maybe one day in our future...
So at first I thought it was dirt. But with a closer look I realized it was light and hollow. I turned one over and found a little hole on one side.
Apparently an insect has made this Mezuzah his home. I understand some insects grow in a sort of cocoon and when fully grown make their way out... unfortunately the Mezuzah is no longer kosher whatever was in there has ruined the letters... need I say more?
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Protect your Mezuzahs so they can protect you!
Great Grandfather Tefillin. Someone wanted to gift this to his grandson to use for his upcoming Bar Mitzvah.
It is a great family heirloom, but not kosher to wear. The Parchment, straps and boxes are all worn out, faded and cracked and no longer Kosher.
You wouldn't give him Great Grandpa's worn out overalls to wear... same applies here.
These Tefillin were left outside overnight and got rained on. The letters bled into each other. and cause these Tefillin to become not Kosher.
Whatever the situation be sure you keep your Tefillin with you at all times and never leave them outdoors.
Even if your Mezuzah is written properly and according to Halacha, being that it is a very delicate item it needs to be treated gently and cared for properly. It may seem obvious, but many people are unaware of the issues at hand.
1) When cleaning a Mezuzah’s outer case it can be lightly dusted. But never use liquid cleaners because they may seep within the case and damage the parchment scroll.
2) As well I have seen many burnt and water-logged Mezuzos.
If your Mezuzah is going placed out doors and will be exposed to the rain and moisture, be sure to put it in a waterproof cover. A water proof cover is a solid piece of plastic with only one opening on the bottom and it is sealed airtight with a rubber cork. If it will be in contact with the sun be sure it is in a white or brightly colored case which will reflect the sun as opposed to a dark color attracting it, thereby burning or drying out your Mezuzah, which causes the letters to crack and very often renders it Possul / invalid.
As well it is important to avoid metal covers, the reason for this is two fold 1) The Das Kedoshim writes as follows; The reward for fulfilling the Mitzvah of Mezuzah is long life as the Posuk says “Leman Yirbu Yimeichem” and weapons of war are made from Barzel – Metal therefore it’s not proper to put a Mezuzah in a material that cuts life short. 2) Metal tends to absorb the temperature much more than plastic, in the winter it becomes ice-cold and in the summer it gets scalding hot,which is very damaging for a Mezuzah.
(think about it would you touch a metal railing during the winter months without gloves? or a metal railing in the heat of a summer day? I think not! )
Rabbi Kass was ordained by Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, former Ashkenazik Chief Rabbi of Israel. He is certified as a Sofer for both Kesivah and Hagoah by one of the leading experts in Safrus, Rabbi Avrohom Tzvi Vosner, Rav of the Vad Mishmeres Sta”m.