Is your car alarm working?

car alarm.jpegIt was a strange phenomenon indeed. Every couple of minutes the car alarm would go off.

This goes back to a childhood memory of mine. It was early on a Shabbos morning and this car alarm down the street started to go off. It was a little irritating, but after a couple of minutes it stopped. Then a few minutes later it started again. And so the pattern continued. On and off, on and off. we had to go and find out what had happened.

We went over to the car and discovered that it had been broken into. One of the windows was smashed and the radio was stolen. So that explained why the alarm was triggered…

But now to the mystery of why it was going off and on every few minutes. We waited and noticed that the next time the alarm went off, a car was driving passed. And then it happened again. So we concluded, (with the help of an adult) that after the alarm had been going for a few minutes it went off by itself. But then when a car drove past, it made a small wind blow into the car through the broken window, and the sensor picked up a movement in the car which triggered the alarm again!

How sensitive these car alarms are! And how helpful they are in keeping us safe and protecting our belongings. Alarms, locks, sensors, are all part of our security system which we use to keep us safe.

Did you know, there is a spiritual security system as well?

In this week’s Torah portion of Eikev, we read about the mitzvah of Mezuzah.

And you shall write them on the doorpost of your house and upon your gates” (Deut. 11:20). “them” meaning the words of the Shma. This is the famous mezuzah.

The Mechilta (an early halachic midrash) shares with us one of the secrets of the mezuzah. If you recall at the story of the exodus G‑d commands the people to paint the blood on the doorpost. This way the Jewish people were protected from the plague of the first born.

Comments the midrash, if the blood could protect them, which was only placed at night as a one off event, how much more so the mezuzah which is there all the time, and it even contains the name of Hashem ten times!

Throughout the generations Jews have placed a mezuzah on the doorpost of all the doors of the house, as it states in the Torah. And there is a bonus, it brings blessing and security for us and our loved ones.

When it comes to a physical alarm system, seemingly small details can cause the whole system to malfunction. Even though all the parts are there; even a trivial thing, such as a loose wire or a little crack can cause the whole thing not to work. That’s why we have regular maintenance checks and mock drills to ensure that it is all up to date.

So too it is with the mezuzah, we need to do a regular check up to ensure that they are in full working order.

This week we are blessing the new month of Elul, leading up to the high holidays next month. This time of the year, it is customary to have our mezuzos checked to ensure that they are bringing all the blessings that they are supposed to.

Here is my offer, if you contact me in the next week, I will come over to your home and help you to have your mezuzahs checked and if necessary to order and affix new ones.

Let us ensure that our (spiritual) security system is up to date!

Shabbat shalom