Creating a hands on learning experience for students is always a priority for teachers at Chabad Girls Academy. This time they were able to bring students to a sofer as part of their lessons on the Mitzvah of Mezuzah. The students were able to connect with what they had learned and actually see the masterful skills that are required to produce kosher tefillin and mezuzos.
First, the girls were taught in class, many halachos pertaining to the mitzvah of mezuzah. They learned how high or low the mezuzah can be positioned. They also learned the translation of the words of the Shema found inside the mezuzah and the meaning of the mitzvos discussed in Shema.
Students also read stories of the power that a mezuzah has in protecting a home and the people in it at all times, even when they leave the house. The significance of the letters Shin, Daled and Yud on the outside of a mezuzah also taught the girls that Hashem is always protecting the doors of the Jewish people which is not only the best security system for any home but the most important one.
The girls were shown all types of mezuzah cases and learned that metal can’t be used because it is a tool of war, while a mezuzah promotes peace. An expert was invited into the school to take down and check the mezuzahs and found mistakes and problems with some that have since been fixed and replaced correctly on the door posts. The students gained a remarkable understanding of just how powerful the mezuzahs can be in protecting the well being of each person.
The students were so inspired that they went home and asked their parents to make sure that all of their mezuzahs are kosher as well. This mitzvah is now much more valued by the students which is obvious by how they applied their learning into action in their own homes.
As a school each class was admitted into Machon Stam and given a tour by Rabbi Raskin. He showed the students how tefillin are made and how much care and detail goes into the process. Then he showed them how a mezuzah is written. The girls were fascinated to see a room of sofrim in action writing mezuzahs, tefillin and sifrei torah.
The materials used to make the tefillin were shown to the students including the cow hairs used. The sofer also exhibited the different ways to correct errors in a mezuzah. One of the students purchased a mezuzah case for the school as she was very excited and inspired by the entire workshop.
When the sofer allowed the girls to ask questions they were very curious how a person becomes a sofer and what goes into it. The sofer explained the training process to them which they found very interesting as well. The girls returned to school with a renewed appreciation for the mezuzah on the door, which they kissed as they entered the building.