"And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and upon your gates. This is so that you and your children live long lives." (Debarim 11:20-21)
Upon emigrating to Eretz Yisrael, R' Yehoshua Leib Diskin founded an orphanage in Yerushalayim that bears his name until this very day.
On one occasion, he called upon a group of sofrim (scribes) to go from house to house and check all the mezuzot on the homes of Yerushalayim in order to make sure that they were kosher. "Your payment will be taken from the orphanage fund," he told them. His close students were surprised. "Rebbe," they asked, "Why did the Rav tell the sofrim that he will pay them from the orphanage fund – is the fund not practically empty as it is?"
"In the Torah it states," answered R" Diskin, "And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and upon your gates.' In the very next verse it says, 'In order to prolong your days.' The Misva of mezuzah and an orphanage; for if mezuzot are kosher, then people will live longer, guaranteeing fewer orphans in the world. This is why the sofrim will be paid from the orphanage fund!"
We are now coming close to the month of Elul, which ushers us into the Yamin Noraim – the High Holiday season. We will all be praying and doing 'extra' Misvot, in order to come before Hashem to be inscribed for another year of life, with all its' blessings. The Perasha is giving us a reminder. Yes, of course we all put up mezuzot when we enter a new home. But, what happens then? We are protected by the holy words of our mezuzot, so long as the mezuzah remains intact. However, we roll up the scroll inside the mezuzah and may forget about it, not realizing that with time and humidity, the letters may crack or peel, rendering our precious scrolls invalid (pasul). What should we do? The law is that we should check the mezuzot of our homes twice every seven years.
Let's get a head start on the holiday season by making sure that we still have our lives and our homes protected. We will, G-d Willing, make arrangements to help everyone interested in this important Misva in the coming weeks. Stay tuned. Tizk'u L'Misvot!