The Hebrew word mezuzah means “doorpost.” According to tradition, the mezuzah is to be affixed to the doorpost at the entrance to a Jewish home. This tradition is based on the commandment, “. . . inscribe them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” Deuteronomy 6:9. This custom was also extended to include the entrance to each of the interior rooms of the home except for bathrooms.
The mezuzah itself consists of a small scroll of parchment (k’laf) on which is written the Shema and V’ahavtah. The scroll is inserted into a casing, which is often a beautiful work of art. The mezuzah reminds us that our homes are holy places. It also helps distinguish a Jewish home with visible sign to all who enter.
While it is not commanded, it has become a custom to place a mezuzah on the doorpost of places of Jewish worship, learning, and business. In this way, the symbolism of the mezuzah serves to mark these places as dedicated to the values and precepts of our faith.
Join us on Friday night as we affix a very special mezuzah to the doorpost of our sanctuary. This mezuzah was commissioned by Dr. Ed Hurwitz in memory of his wife Patti z”l. Services begin at 6:30pm and will be followed by a special oneg.