Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mezuzahs and Doorposts

You may wonder about that little oblong amulet - the mezuzah - that is often found on the doorposts of offices or synagogues. You might even have one on the entrance to your own home.

What’s it all about?

Reference to the mezuzah is found in two paragraphs in the Torah - Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21, both of which contain the statement “And you shall write [these words] on the doorposts of your homes and on your gates.”

“These words” refers to the two paragraphs in which the sentence concerning mezuzah is found. The words inside the mezuzah are handwritten in the same manner as a Torah scroll, on a small parchment that is rolled up and placed inside the case. These two paragraphs also serve as the first two paragraphs of the “Shema” prayer and speak of the connection that the Jewish people have to God, and methods we can employ to constantly bring God into our lives through introspection, prayer, study, and action.

A doorway must have two sideposts and a top lintel to require a mezuzah. The mezuzah is affixed to the doorpost on the right as one enters a room. Its constant presence serves as a reminder of its Biblical message. Bathrooms and small closets do not require a mezuzah, but most other doorways in the home do.

Wikipedia's Mezuzah

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