Daily Israel Report

Chabad Youth Check Mezuzah, Find Cross

Chabad youth check Israel’s mezuzahs, find only 40 percent kosher. One scroll was covered in Christian imagery.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 9/13/2011, 8:55 AM

Giant Mezuza
Giant Mezuza
Yoni Kempinski

The Chabad Chassidic movement is helping Israelis prepare for the New Year by offering to check mezuzahs, the scrolls with select Torah passages that are traditionally attached to the doorposts of a Jewish home.

Young Chabad men told Channel 2 that they found an extreme case of a mezuzah not suitable for use this year. The scroll was found to contain the usual verse – but with Christian crosses drawn on various parts of the scroll, including on the name of G-d.

“You need to be ‘more pious than the Pope’ to open a mezuzah, draw crosses on it, and return it to its place,” one said. The family that owned the mezuzah was completely unaware of the issue, he explained.

Overall, the Chabad volunteers have found that just 40 percent of the mezuzahs they check are “kosher,” suitable for use. In 11 percent of cases, mezuzah covers are found not to contain a scroll.

Another 14 percent contain scrolls that have faded or become damaged with time but which volunteers are able to repair. Four percent of scrolls checked this year have been found to be fake, a decrease in comparison with previous years.