Mezuzah Magic

Posted by mwallach on March 2, 2011 in Crazy Follows Me Everywhere, New To You, Tribe Members |

Dear That’s Life,

I’ve been putting too much pressure on my magic eight ball.  It’s not fair to rely solely on one source for guidance and since my karma is still off, I decided to turn to something more tried and true and not manufactured in China. I am having my mezuzahs checked.

The importance of having kosher mezuzot on one’s house and place of business is not to be underestimated. There is a reason that even marginally affiliated Jews still have a mezuzah on their front door. As a first line of defense, it cannot be beaten. The mystical powers often associated with mezuzot can not only be found in stories throughout the ages, but in modern days as well. Everyone knows someone who has a ‘crazy’ mezuzah story or has heard legendary tales about maladies or difficulties in a family that were then traced to a problem in a mezuzah. Shockingly, I now have a story of my own.

I lost my wedding band last week. Atop too many other things that have simply not been going my way, misplacing my ring was the straw that broke this camel’s back. Right after lighting candles for shabbos, my baby-sitter who is more family than employee, looked at me and said, “Things just keep going wrong for you.” Sigh. While I may have felt that way, it is another thing for someone else to comment on your life and bring your fears to the surface. During dinner that night I told my husband I wanted to get our mezuzahs checked and, partly just to silence me for the moment, he told me to go right ahead.

He called the Sofer right after shabbos and left a message. Two days went by and having still not heard back, we left another message. In the interim, I decided to start taking down some of the mezuzot. While my husband suggested I leave them up until we had a confirmed appointment with the sofer, I was ready to get things moving. Many people place substantial faith in their mezuzot, for good reason, and it is common practice to check one’s mezuzot during difficult times. The answers to one’s problems may lay right there, in the ink on the parchment, in black and white. I would not even have to open the klaf to see we had an issue.

Having decided that the mezuzah on our front door should be the first one checked, as it is the gateway to our home, I proceeded to take that one down first – only to discover that the klaf in the mezuzah was actually upside down. Hashem’s name was facing the ground. I gasped. That was enough for me.

I instantly alerted my husband and we finally made contact with the sofer. I told him what I found and, as I expected he would, he said that was ‘no good.’  Every person with whom I spoke to afterwards had the same or similar reaction. An upside down mezuzah is simply reflective of very bad karma. In finishing my conversation with the sofer, he said he felt strongly about checking all of the mezuzot in my home considering my discovery and that we had not checked them on over 3 ½ years. I concurred – it was time to be aggressive. “I hope you’re a baseball fan, Rabbi,” I said, “because I need to reverse the curse,” referencing what I thought was going on in my home, the Boston Red Sox lore and the Curse of the Bambino.

Unfortunately for both me and the sofer, he was not a fan and had no clue as what I was talking about. I quickly gave him a primer on Babe Ruth, the Yankees, the Red Sox and their World Series drought. There was silence for a moment on the phone until the rabbi answered, “They sold Babe Ruth?!”

Even my karma has a sense of humor.


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