One of the Jewish practices observed until today is hanging a Mezuzah in the doorposts of a home. So, what is a Mezuzah?
Mezuzah or Hebrew Word For ‘Doorpost’
Mezuzah is a Hebrew word for ‘doorpost.’ But it is not the doorpost that signifies the Mezuzah.
When you walk into a Jewish home, you may notice a small ornament hanging on the right side of their doorposts. Inside the decoration is a small parchment paper containing God’s command to His people. This is the Mezuzah, God’s words written in the sacred form.
The tradition originated from Deuteronomy 6:9. It says, “Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” So, what should be written?
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5)
The above passage is what the Jewish people commonly called “The Shema.” Shema is the first Hebrew Word of the command, “hear.” It means that they heed to the One telling the order.
Moreover, it is a physical reminder of their covenant with God. By hanging the Mezuzah in their doorframes, they will be reminded of their promise to God when they enter and leave their homes. Also, it will inform passersby that the family living inside the house belongs to a Jewish family.
There are particular rules to be followed before affixing a mezuzah. First, the command should be handwritten by a qualified scribe. It cannot be bought nor printed. But, the container of the scroll has no special rules. It can be either homemade or purchased and of any size. Second, the scroll is rolled up from left to right so that the first words should appear first when opened. Third, the inserted scroll should be inspected twice in seven years. This is to see if any of the letters have faded or been damaged, thus making it invalid.
Reference: My Jewish Learning
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