23 June 2008

our mezuzah

Stef and I have this beautiful friend who got us one of the most thoughtful housewarming presents: a mezuzah from Jerusalem.

What is a mezuzah, you ask?

Well, the Wikipedia tells us that
"A mezuzah (Hebrew: מזוזה‎ "doorpost") (plural: mezuzot (מזוזות)) is a piece of parchment (usually contained in a decorative case) inscribed with specified Hebrew verses from the Torah (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21). These verses comprise the Jewish prayer "Shema Yisrael," and begins with the phrase "Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is One."

A mezuzah is affixed to the doorframe of Jewish homes to fulfill the mitzvah (Biblical commandment) to inscribe the words of the Shema "on the doorposts of your house."(Deuteronomy 6:9) Many families place a mezuzah on the front door only, but observant Jews fix one on every doorway in the home apart from bathrooms, and closets too small to qualify as rooms.[1] The parchment is prepared by a qualified scribe (a "sofer stam") who has undergone many years of meticulous training, and the verses are written in indelible black ink with a special quill pen. The parchment is then rolled up and placed inside the case."

Our prayer will be that we might live the words on the scroll...



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