The mezuzah on my house had been there for 15 years, a housewarming gift from my parents. It had a simple modern metal case, and while I never looked inside, I assumed that the requisite scroll was there. I had hammered the mezuzah onto the wood post by my front door, marking my home as aThe mezuzah on my house had been there for 15 years Jewish one, and never really gave it much thought afterwards.

However, recently in Torah class, I heard someone mention the term “kosher mezuzah” in conversation with the rebbetzin, Chava Bekhor. I smiled: Didn’t the word “kosher” relate to Jewish dietary laws? What did that have to do with a mezuzah? I asked Chava what a kosher mezuzah was and she explained that the scroll must be hand-written on genuine parchment from the skin of a kosher animal, and every letter must be written correctly. If there is one mistake or missing letter, the entire scroll is invalidated.

Chava told me about Chabad’s mezuzah campaign and offered to have my mezuzah checked. I went home, pulled it off with the head of a hammer, and cut through the paint that sealed the top cover shut. I pried off the cap and was relieved to find that a scroll with Hebrew letters was indeed inside the case for all of those years. I wasn’t a complete imposter!

Sure enough, when Rabbi Bekhor had my mezuzah checked by a scribe in Brooklyn, we found out that the scroll inside the case was not kosher—there were some Hebrew letters that were written incorrectly. When I purchased a new scroll from Chava, she gave me a card with information about where to place the mezuzah on the doorpost and the prayer to say when affixing it. I discovered that not only had my mezuzah been placed at the wrong height and facing out instead of in, it wasn’t even on my doorpost! (See the photo which shows the spot where my old mezuzah was and my correctly placed new one). The next week after Torah class, I bought another mezuzah to affix to the door leading into the house from my garage, and a third to place on my father’s door.

I didn’t replace the clear plastic case with a fancy decorative one because I like seeing the scroll through the case. It is a constant reminder that I am fulfilling the important mitzvah “to write [the Shema] on the doorpostI didn’t replace the clear plastic case with a fancy decorative one of your house and on your gates."1 It also reminds me of the high level of behavior I want to maintain in my home and wherever I go. And it is comforting to believe that, because of my now-kosher mezuzah, G‑d will protect my family members. While a mechanical security system guards homeowners from thieves, I like to think that my special home security system, my mezuzah, brings Divine protection from other intruders as well—illness, disaster and emotional pain—and brings spiritual blessings to my home.