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Mezuzahs: What's on the Door?

What is a mezuzah? This booklet will let you know!

Mezuzah
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While the word might not be known, many people have seen "boxes" — small, slender boxes or tubes — on doorposts of homes. Perhaps you've seen them in your neighborhood, or maybe on TV or in a movie, on the doors of homes were Jews live. That box is called a mezuzah which means "doorpost" in Hebrew. The mezuzah, established in biblical times, contains biblical verses in Hebrew. But what is their purpose?

Every family yearns to make their home special — a retreat from the pressures of school and work, a sanctuary of ethical behavior, a haven where one is always welcomed. Since the time of the Bible, Jews have expressed this desire for home to be a sanctuary by hanging a mezuzah on their doorposts.

In every land, each new generation has created new forms for the slender box containing the biblical text and embellishing them to express their own style. Personalizing and adapting the style of mezuzot (plural of mezuzah) has made it one of the longest continually practiced rituals of Judaism.

This colorful booklet explains the meaning behind the mezuzah, includes instructions for making a mezuzah and for hanging one. There are also suggestions for a short ceremony to inaugurate a new home or to celebrate its Jewishness.

Hebrew for "doorpost," it now refers to a small box containing a scroll (of the Hebrew text of the Shema prayer) which is affixed to the doorposts of Jewish homes. Strictly speaking, mezuzah only refers to the scroll itself, not the case in which it's housed. Plural form of "mezuzah" (Hebrew for "doorpost"), it now refers to a small box containing a scroll (of the Hebrew text of the Shema prayer) which is affixed to the doorposts of Jewish homes. Strictly speaking, mezuzah only refers to the scroll itself, not the case in which it's housed. A language of West Semitic origins, culturally considered to be the language of the Jewish people. Ancient or Classical Hebrew is the language of Jewish prayer or study. Modern Hebrew was developed in the late-19th and early 20th centuries as a revival language; today it is spoken by most Israelis.
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