Some are small, some are large, some are discreet, and some are multi-colored, but they all receive the same reverence when entering a Jewish home. The mezuzah declares the faith of the household and is a reminder of its inhabitants’ commitment to G-d, so He will watch over them.
A mezuzah consists of a piece of parchment, inserted into a container, that has written on it part of the Shema, the most important prayer of the Jewish faith. This is comprised of several passages from the book of Deuteronomy, specifically Deut. 6:4-9, which states the importance of keeping "these words" in believers’ minds and hearts by writing them on the doorposts of their houses. The back of the parchment contains the word Shaddai, one of the names of G-d.
When passing through a doorway with a mezuzah, the person must look at it, touch it and kiss their fingertips. This serves as a reminder that Jewish people’s devotion to G-d goes beyond the synagogue and must be practiced in the most important place: the home.
The right way to treat an icon of faith
There are specific instructions on how to properly install a mezuzah. When moving into a new place, it must be installed within 30 days. It must be placed at the bottom of the top third of the doorpost of every living space in a Jewish home (except bathrooms, closets and other non-living spaces). Also, the mezuzah must be set up diagonally, since the Rabbis couldn’t agree on whether to place it horizontally or vertically. The top should be tilted toward the entry of the room. Considering that the mezuzah contains part of the Torah’s words, a small blessing should be recited before the installation.
Check out this video for a demonstration on how to affix the mezuzah:
When moving out of the home, the departing family should remove all mezuzot that were installed, in order to prevent the non-believing new tenants from disposing of them (which is a grave sin). The only exception to this rule is when they know that another Jewish family is going to live in that house.
Now, even though the mezuzah is considered a powerful Jewish symbol, it should not be regarded as a superstitious amulet. The mezuzah alone won’t magically bring protection to the household. Just like every other religious symbol, it must be treated with respect and properly cleaned, but not for fear of negative consequences.
A mezuzah is a fantastic housewarming gift for a Jewish family that is moving or a Jewish loved one getting their first home. Pick yours now from our varied selection: https://venicemurano.com/collections/mezuzahs
Share this post