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A COLLECTION OF REMARKABLE STORIES
ABOUT MEZUZOS AND TEFILLIN
FRAUD IN THE WORLD OF STAM
By: Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum
Click here to view the web page of Rabbi
Aryeh Schechter, a prominent sofer.
When the famed Brisker Rav z"tl was told of the great miracle that took place in the religious village of Kommemiut, Israel the year after shmittah - when all the kibbutzim in the neighborhood were invaded by locusts, yet the one moshav of Kommemiut which kept shmittah properly was spared - he remarked as follows: "It's a mitzvah to tell others of this great miracle that took place."
With that in mind, I've written this booklet.
For years I've been keeping extensive records on some amazing and fascinating stories relating to Tefillin and Mezuzos, that I would like to share with you. Even though I have hundreds of these on file, I've only chosen those that I know from first-hand sources. Whenever possible, I've also included a photostat copy of the original parsha or Mezuzah related to the story. Wherever the people have allowed me to use their real names I've done so. The shocking part of it all is that all these stories are authentic, and I haven't exaggerated in the least. The stories speak for themselves.
Let's take a look into the Mechilta in Parshas Bo on the posuk : v'lo yuvo.. , and I translate (briefly): If the blood that was put on one's doorpost in Egypt had the power to keep the mashchis out of the house, how much more so is the power of the Mezuzah which has the name of Hashem mentioned ten times.
Clearly, the Mechilta states that a Mezuzah carries with it the power of protection against outside invaders.
Now let's take a look into the Gemarah Mesechta Menachos 33:
"It is a mitzvah to put the Mezuzah within a tefach (4 inches) of the street so that the entirety of the house will be watched..(The entire house is protected from dangers - Rashi.)
"Said Rabbi Hanina: Come see, the ways of the Holy One, Blessed Be He, are not the way of man. The way of man is that the king sits inside while his servants protect him on the outside; but the ways of Hashem are not thu; His servants sit inside while He guards them outside, as it is written: `G-d is your Protector, G-d is the Savior of your right arm, G-d will watch your comings and goings from now and forevermore".
Here, again, we clearly see that a Mezuzah has the great power of protection.
Here's another amazing Gemarah in Mesechta Shabbos 32:
"For the sin of not honoring the Mezuzah, a man's son and daughters die when they are young, as it is written, `And you shall write them for Mezuzos upon your house.' And afterwards it is written `So that your days may be lengthened" etc.
From here we see that negligence in the mitzvah of Mezuzah can be the cause for terrible catastrophes chas v'sholom. On the other hand, one who is very careful in this mitzvah is assured of a long life, as it says lima'an yirbu yimaychem...
The Yerushalmi in Mesechta Pe'ah (Perek 1) tells an interesting story: Artvon (who was the king of Persia) sent R' Yehuda HaNasi a most expensive stone with the request that he send him back something of equal value. Whereby, R' Yehuda HaNasi wrote a Mezuzah and sent it to him in return. When Artvon received the Mezuzah he was perplexed, and said, "I sent you something of great value, and you send me a cheap piece of parchment in return." R' Yehuda HaNasi answered, "You sent me something for which I will have to hire a watchman to protect it, whereby I sent you something that will offer you protection."
A look into Shulchan Aruch only reinforces the great importance and care we must give to this mitzvah. The Taz (Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah: 285) writes as follows: Even though the Gemarah in Sotah says that all mitzvos (except for Torah) have the power to protect us only while we are actually engaged in doing them, yet the mitzvah of Mezuzah has the unique property and ability to protect us around the clock - even while we sleep.
A careful reading of the Bais Yosef (Tur Yoreh Deah: 285) tells us that the Mezuzah contains the power of open visible miracles.
"The protection of the house is an open miracle in that the others who live in houses without Mezuzos are not protected and those who live in a house with Mezuzos are protected."
Some of the stories in this booklet will soon convince you that this is no mere aberration but rather a very common occurrence. Just ask any sofer, and I'm sure he can add plenty of stories of his own.
Our chachomim (Menachos 43:) say that anyone who wears Tefillin on his head and arm, tzitzis on his clothing, and has a Mezuzah on his door, is assured not to sin. And so writes the Rambam (Perek 6 of Hilchos Tefilin).
How very important this is in today's times, when we must be on our guard at every step we take. The pitfalls are numerous. The dangers lurk at every corner. We must, therefore, be especially careful in these mitzvos.
Because the mitzvah of Mezuzah has the special power of assuring one a long life, the Gemarah Kiddushin 34 therefore concludes that women must be included as well. After all, "C
an it be then," says the Gemarah, "that men need to live long while women don't?"
What would you pay for an insurance policy that would guarantee you protection from the hot burning fires of Gehinnom? You'd probably be willing to pay any price they'd ask, if you knew that it would really work!
Well, then, just take a look into the Tur Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim: 37):
It's absolutely astounding! The great amorah Abaya says that he personally will be the guarantor that the fires of Gehinnom will have no effect Therefore how careful one must be to make sure that we wear a kosher pair of Tefillin. We must do everything possible to make sure that there are absolutely no problems. Have we really done so?
Another side benefit that one gets if he is extra careful in the observation of the mitzvah of Mezuzah is a beautiful home, as the Gemarah in Mesechta Shabbos 23. says. This gives us a total of four special benefits that this mitzvah brings in its wake:
(1) long life . . . . (2) protection . . . (3) prevents us from sin . . . (4) a beautiful home . . .
Let me conclude with the Holy Zohar, in Parsho Devorim it says, and I translate freely:
"Come and see, that a person is required to inscribe the Holy Name upon the doorpost of his home. For every place that the Holy Name is found the bad spirits cannot be found there, and they are unable to act upon a person as the posuk says: lo siuna alecha ru, When a person puts a Mezuzah on his door, and the Holy Name is inscribed within its letters, then the person is crowned with the Crown of his Master, and the bad spirits are unable to get close and therefore cannot be found there."
Even though we know that each mitzvah has its special segulah, the Tur (Yoreh Deah: 285) says that one must do the mitzvos for no other reason than because Hashem commanded us. We need no further reason. Yet we are more than thankful at the special benefits they provide.
And so, after this brief introduction, let us begin by telling you some amazing stories!
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