Torah Riddles Test #88

Question: Why is the Pischey Teshuva (Yoreh Deah 289:1) unsure if you have to say a blessing if you take off your mezuzah to check it having in mind to put it back on but if you take off your Tallis or tefillin within mind to put it back on you don’t have to say another blessing?


 A. You could answer that it’s possible one might not think he’s putting the mezuzah back on if when checking it, it’s found unkosher. But besides that there is another reason to be in doubt, based on where the mitzvah is done which even if he took it down for some other reason like repairing the door and would put it right back onto the doorpost, still there would be a doubt whether you still need to make another blessing.

 A2. Tefillin and Tallis are put onto one’s body so the need of the blessing is based on what the person has in mind so if he plans on putting it back on no other blessing is needed but the mezuzah is put onto the door of the house so it is as if there is nothing to have the mezuzah in mind when being put back on so it’s possible to say that you always need a blessing when putting the mezuzah on the door post in whatever circumstance. Or you can say that the mezuzah belongs to the person and the person is in charge of the mitzvah so if he has in mind to put it back up he does not need to make a new blessing and that is the doubt.

Torah Riddles Test #16

  1. Question: Why do you need to check on all the mezuzahs of your house and can’t rely on a chazaka after 3 of them are still found to be kosher?


A. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah 291:1) says an individual household should check there mezuzahs twice every 7 years and mezuzahs of the public twice every fifty years.

B. A chazaka is an assumption or pattern that is established after 3 times so if 3 mezuzahs were found to be kosher why can’t one assume that all the rest of his mezuzahs in his house are kosher?

Answer:The Birkay Yosef and Pischei Teshuva (1) both say that you have to check all the mezuzahs put up the same time as the 3 because not all the locations are the same, environment differences, colder, warmer, rain, snow, etc.

Torah Riddles Test #15

  1. Question: Why isn’t there a difference between lefties and righties when putting up a mezuzah as there is when putting on tefillin?


A. Lefties put tefillin on their right arm and righties but tefillin on their left arm.

B. Rebbe Akiva Aiger quoting a Mordechai says that even if one’s stronger leg is his left one, that is what he normally comes in with (meaning he starts walking with his left foot, so when walking through a doorway he would assumingly step in starting with his left foot) still the mezuzah should be placed on the right side and it is not like tefillin.

C. Most people in the world are righties.

Answer: Rebbe Akiva Aiger answers in Yoreh Deah 289:2 that mezuzah is protection for everyone in the household not just for the one who puts up the mezuzah.

Torah Riddles Test #9

  1. Question: Why does the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah 285:1) say if you only have enough money to buy only one item one should by tefillin and not a mezuzah?


  • The Shulchan Aruch says that one who is careful with fulfilling the mitzvah of mezuzah will merit long life for himself and his family.
  •  Mezuzah is a mitzvah that can be fulfilled every day of the year whereas tefillin are not adorned on Shabbos or Yom Tov.
  • If a person is a nomad living in tents in the desert or a sailor at sea, the mitzvah of mezuzah might never pertain to him just as a person who does not own a four cornered garment will never be required to don tzitzis.
  • As soon as a boy turns 13 he has an obligation to put on tefillin everyday besides Shabbos and Yom Tov.

Answer: Rebbe Akiva Aiger on the Shulchan Aruch says tefillin is an obligatory mitzvah in all circumstances except for its few exemptions on different parts of the year but mezuzah is only obligatory if you have a house with doorposts so it is possible a person might never need to fulfill that mitzvah just like tzitzis, therefore it is more important to buy tefillin then mezuzah even if currently you do have a house which is obligated in mezuzah.