by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths
We are so used to seeing our Mezuzahs that they can be taken for granted, or seem to be just pieces of leather in a case stuck on the wall.
Rabbi Ben Tov has a special spiritual ability. Mezuzahs “tell” him things about the room where they are affixed.
A friend of mine, Daniel, was learning in a yeshiva in Brooklyn. He was having a problem and thought that maybe Rabbi Ben Tov could look as his mezuzah and tell him what he should change in his life. He took the mezuzah from his apartment’s front doorpost to the rabbi. The rabbi looked at the mezuzah and accused him of some very shocking things.
“You have been learning the new testament for a long time!”
“What!” Daniel was shocked.
“You are married to a non-Jewish woman and you are a missionary!”
He grabbed the mezuzah from the rabbi’s hand and ran out screaming about how crazy the rabbi was to say such things.
He went back to his apartment and was complaining to his roommate about what happened. His roommate had long peyos (side locks), wore a black hat and long back coat, and learned in the yeshiva with Daniel.
“You gotta hear what this crazy rabbi said,” Daniel told him. And he proceeded to tell him all of the things that Rabbi Ben Tov accused him of doing. His roommate looked down and confessed. Indeed he had been learning the new testament for years, was married to a non-Jewish woman, and was a secret missionary! They shared the same one-room apartment with the same mezuzah!
Now if a mezuzah is such an object that it can “tell” a man about the hidden things that go on in that room, do we have any doubt about the One Who commanded us to put it there knowing the “hidden” things that go on there?
There is a well-known story of a chasid who complained to his rebbe that he developed a limp and the doctors could not find any reason for it. His rebbe advised him to check his mezuzahs. Since the rebbe questioned his mezuzahs, he went out and bought all new ones at once. He gave his old mezuzahs to someone who needed them. Amazingly, his limp went away. But the poor fellow who put this man’s old mezuzahs up on his doorposts started to limp! They checked the mezuzahs and found that on one of the mezuzahs the bottom part of a letter was detached from the rest of the letter. This made the mezuzah unfit. The bottom of the letter was the “foot” of the letter lamed in the word, “as you walk.”
A mezuzah is not a piece of a dead cow skin hanging on the wall. It is a spiritual vessel that reflects, and affects, the contents of the place where it is affixed. When you walk by your mezuzahs in your home, you should remember that they are not dead. We should be aware that they are spiritually vibrant, and that they must be treated with great respect.
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Monday, May 26, 2008
// 5/26/2008 //