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Mezuzah

 

The Mezuzah is a miniature parchment with two portions from the Torah inscribed on it.

The first portion begins with the famous words “Shema Israel!” – “Hear, O Israel!” (Deuteronomy VI, 4‑9)

It is a proclamation of the Jewish people about the unity of G-d. It says about their eternal and sacred duty – to serve and obey only One G-d.

The second verse, called “Vehaya” (Deuteronomy XI, 13-21), speaks of the reward for those who obey the laws of the Torah and the punishment for those who neglects them. Both portions contain a special commandment “And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and upon your gates”

Mezuzah1

These two portions are written by hand, in a special handwriting by a specially trained religious scribe on a parchment scroll, made from the skin of a kosher animal.

The very Mezuzah – a scroll of parchment with the text of the Torah must be folded into a tube and attached to the doorpost. On the back side of the Mezuzah parchment one of the names of G-d – Shaddai is written. This name is also an abbreviation of the sentence “Shomer Dlatot Israel” – The Guardian of the Doors of Israel.

The Mezuzah is not only an everyday reminder of our obedience to G-d, but also a powerful protection of our houses and those who dwell them. Entering the house we remember that G-d always is always watching over us.  Mezuzah parchments are placed into a special case for their safety. These cases are often also a lovely decoration of the house and can be made of variety of materials, such as metal, wood, glass. Choosing a Mezuzah case is a matter of our taste.

There is a special place where a Mezuzah should be positioned – it’s affixed to the upper part of the right door frame. Both ends of the Mezuzah case must be attached firmly and securely.  Before attaching the Mezuzah, recite following blessing:

ברוך אתה ה’ אלוהינו מלך העולם אשר קדשנו במצוותיו וציוונו על קביעת מזוזה.

Baruch Ata Adonai Eloheinu Melech Haolam asher kidshanu b’mizvotav v’zivanu al kviat mezuzah.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to affix a mezuzah.

It is accustomed to kiss the Mezuzah before entering the room or exiting it. Jewish people kiss the tip of their fingers and then touch with them the Mezuzah, passing their kiss. This tradition expresses our love to G-d and reminds us about His divine presence every day.

Mezuzah pendants are very popular in Israel. They are often made of gold and silver with different ornaments.

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