STAM 101: Checking

Mezuzos need to be checked twice in seven years. There is a dispute among the Poskim if that means: “every 3.5 years exactly”; or “two time at some point in every seven year period”. After the mezuzos are inspected, it is preferable that each mezuza be returned to the same doorway from which it was removed. Technically, tefilin don’t need to be checked – assuming they’re in regular use – unless you have reason to assume there might be a problem. The two conditions that are most likely to damage tefilin are extreme heat and humidity. Even if there is no cause for concern, it is recommended to have them checked by an independent magi'ah at least once. Besides that, it is probably a good idea to have them checked again every 10 years or so, but it is not required. Everyone should look their tefilin over periodically to make sure the batim are still square, and that the retzu’os have no cracks or rubbed-out spots in the paint. Gasos batim can usually be repaired even if they lose their shape; dakos and pshutim often can not. The lifespan of retzu’os varies greatly based on a wide variety of factors, but if the paint on the retzu’os needs to be touched up regularly, the retzu’os should just be replaced.

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