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How to dispose of a Mezuzah case

You probably already know that a Mezuzah scroll is holy and cannot just be discarded in the trash when it becomes unfit.  What is less known is that the Mezuzah case also takes on holiness since it was used for a Mitzvah. Here is a question that I recently got by email:

Hi, Recently we were trying to teach our young son to kiss the mezuzah, when he pulled it off and broke it. The mezuzah case is now unable to be fixed. The parchment is fine and we can use this in a new case. Is there a custom in getting rid of the case? Are we allowed to just throw it away? Thank you, Stephanie

Here is what I answered:

Dear Stephanie, Even though it is the scroll that is the mitzvah, the case also becomes holy because it is used for a Mitzvah. Therefore the case should be brought to a genizah - that is a place where holy items are brought to be buried in the Jewish cemetery. If you do not know where a genizah is, you should bring it to your local Orthodox synagogue where they will be able to help you. I would also like to point out that according to custom, when a Mezuzah falls off of the door for any reason, we take it to a certified scribe to have it checked. The reasoning is that if something happened to the Mezuzah, it may be a sign from above that the Mezuzah needs to be tended to. In this matter as well, your local Orthodox synagogue should be able to help you. 

With blessings, 

Aaron Shaffier

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