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What is a Mezuzah?

Posted on 22 July 2020

What is a Mezuzah?

The Mezuzah brings G-d into our home. It reminds us that our home, our possessions, our family and all the blessings within its walls are gifts of the Creator. And to thank Him for those gifts and rejoice in His goodness to us.

Mezuzah literally means 'doorpost'. A Jewish home is a place on whose door posts are inscribed the words of G-d in keeping with the biblical commandment to place these words on your heart, to teach them to your children, to speak of them in your home, to place them on your hands and eyes (in the form of Tefillin) and finally to write them on your door posts.

(Devarim/Deuteronomy 6:6-9)

The Mezuzah is the door post, on which the scroll is attached, and it is also the protective case within which it is held. By attaching it to our door posts, we make a statement that we want our home to be a G-dly place. By hanging it on the outside door post, we declare that we are not afraid to have everyone know that we stand by the G-d of our ancestors.

The scroll within the case declares the oneness of G-d, it reveals that there is a higher power that seeks goodness and punishes evil, and promises the ultimate redemption of the Jewish people in the land of Israel. The scroll represents the soul within man and the case is our mortal body. The Mezuzah, as both the body and soul of man, waits at the door post of the home of G-d, the words within it assuring us that we will one day be able to enter the ultimate home of our eternity.

While every scroll contains the same G-dly words, as our souls all spring from the same divine source, the cases, like our bodies, are individualistic. Each one expresses our personalities, our ideals, and our strengths. The case keeps and protects the holy scroll within as our bodies hide and protect our souls. The individuality of the Mezuzah case allows us to worship G-d in our own unique way, and form our own relationship with Him in this world.

--Daniel Greenfield

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