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Mezuzah Story - Uvelechtecha

In 1998 I was a Rabinical student living in Crown Heights in Brooklyn, New York. I had just completed my apprenticeship under Rabbi Elishevitz which allowed me to inspect Mezuzahs. It was between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and the neighborhood was full with guest from all over the world who had come to spend the High Holy Days in the synagogue of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

I got a phone call at about 11 pm from a man named Shlomo who I didn't know at the time. He told me that there was a wealthy man in the neighborhood who had went to spend the holidays with his family in Israel. he knew that there were going to be a lot of guest visiting from all over the world. So he called up the Hachnosas Orchim society (Hachnosas Orchim is the Hebrew name for the Mitzvah of inviting guest into your home. Most religious Jewish communities have a Hachnosas Orchim society which arranges a place for guest to stay on Holidays or even throughout the year.) and told them that he would like to make his home available to them while he was away.

There were now several girls who were staying in his home. Three of these girls who were sharing a room had all injured their foot or legs since they came to stay. The third injury had just happened and they decided that they need to have the Mezuzahs on the home checked right away. The problem was, what sofer were they going to call in the middle of the night? Someone told them to call me because I was a student and they didn't feel as bad waking me up.

I agreed to do the job and within 15 minutes Shlomo was at my dorm with the Mezuzahs. These were not the regular size Mezuzahs that you see on most people's homes. This man was both very wealthy and very religious and he had made sure to purchase the best Mezuzahs available. They were very large and were written in a very beautiful script.

Shlomo had put a piece of tape with a number on each Mezuzah so that he would know where to put them back. Also he was interested to see if there was any connection between the Mezuzahs and the problem.

I got to work opening and checking each Mezuzah, looking for anything that might make the Mezuzah un-kosher. The Mezuzahs were perfect. I was amazed to find that the only problem in any of the Mezuzahs was a hairline crack in the letter "chof" of the word "Uvelectecha" which means "when you go"!

At about 2 in the morning when I had finished checking all of the Mezuzahs, I called Shlomo and told him the results. He ran back to the apartment to see which door the damaged Mezuzah had been on. It turned out that indeed it had been the door of the room that the three injured girls had been staying in!

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