Q. When a Beis Midrash is being fixed and the outside mezuzos were also removed, if they were properly double wrapped with plastic covering or Saran wrap, do they have to be given to a soffer to check before placing them back?
A. On question 1103 regarding mezuzos that were checked properly when bought and they were placed in transparent glass tubing containers where one can clearly see that even the plastic they are wrapped in, is sealed and intact, if one has to check them every three and a half years, we wrote:
Tosafos (Menochos 43a) mentions that the reason for checking out the mezuzos twice in a shemita cycle is not for the purpose of verifying that it was well written and there are no mistakes or misspellings, but rather to confirm that it has not been damaged (by humidity or heat) and it is still complete.
Therefore, Chasam Sofer (283) rules that no professional sofer is required and anyone can check it to ascertain that the mezuzah is still there, there is no water or rot damage and no ink has been erased from any of the letters.
Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that in need you can rely on the fact that you can see no damage to the outside parchment of the mezuzah and the letters of Hashem’s (Shakai) name are complete. This applies only when the mezuzah is in the interior of a year-round climate controlled house and also not exposed to the direct rays of the sun or damaging humidity.
In our particular case, even if the mezuzos were placed on the outside of the shul or Beis Midrash, since the liability for mezuzos on these locations is subject to a dispute between Poskim and Shulchan Aruch (Y.D. 286: 10) rules that it is better to place them but without a brocho, if they were checked to see that there is no water damage or similar, they dont have to be checked any further.
The Rov pointed out that Shulchan Aruch (Y.D. 291: 1) rules that mezuzos that belong to the community, have to be checked only twice in fifty years (Yovel).
Shach (ibid. 1) explains that this is to avoid placing a burden on the community, since the outcome would be that each one will demand that the others should do it.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit’a