It was a starry, ominous night in Egypt. The Jewish nation sat in their homes, awaiting freedom. Outside, panic ensued as the firstborn of every Egyptian began to die, one by one. Fathers ran through the streets, screaming for Pharaoh- 'Let the Jews go, please!' Pharaoh, himself a firstborn, paced the palace hallways, barking at his servants to find Moses at once.
But the Jews feared no death. They listened to the voice of G-d, marking their doorposts with blood from the lamb sacrifice. This symbolic ritual distinguished the Jewish homes from the Egyptians', enabling G-d to 'pass-over' their dwelling places and leave them unscathed. A terrible night for the cruel Egyptians, but a night of love, protection, and hope for the Jews. After 210 years of brutal slavery, they were soon to be free.
While that starry night in Egypt is not the actual biblical source, our modern-day Mezuzah resembles the blood on the doorpost. Putting up a Mezuzah has, and continues to be a flagship mark of a Jewish home, a powerful testament to G-d's power.
Have you ever driven through a random city or township and played the 'Mezuzah in the Wild' challenge? There is something thrilling about spotting a Jewish house in the middle of nowhere. The rest of the world may deem it odd, but it's perfectly acceptable to see Jews of all types holding up their hand to kiss the pretty little tube on the doorpost upon entering and exiting the room.
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Mezuzahs are not simply historical religious artifacts. Aside from being a powerful reminder of our faith, identity, and connection to G-d, mezuzahs provide a wellspring of protection for the Jewish home.
The actual commandment for Mezuzah can be found in Deuteronomy, 6:9,
"Hear, 0 Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord is One. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
A Mezuzah has not only the Shema prayer inscribed on the parchment inside but also the hidden name of G-d. These words, a testament to G-d's One-ness and our special connection with Him, bring divine protection and blessing to the home.
There's a reason Mezuzahs are very popular for young couples starting out in their new home- say Maze! tov with our classic glass and copper Mezuzah, or our unique fused Mezuzah with a tube for glass shards from under the chuppah (canopy) https://www.shalomhouse.com/products/fused-mezuzah-with-tube-for-shards-glass.htm
While it's certainly not magic, there are countless stories of how putting up or fixing the incorrect placement of a mezuzah led to miraculous change and much-needed salvation.
The process of affixing the Mezuzah to the doorpost is steeped in tradition and meaning. Observing this ritual properly necessitates precision and care. Here's a step-by-step guide to properly affixing the Mezuzah:
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Choose a Mezuzah scroll that meets all the necessary religious requirements. It must be handwritten by a scribe (Sofer) on parchment, following specific rules and using special ink.
The Mezuzah is placed on the right-hand side of the doorpost as you enter the room, with the top of the Mezuzah facing inward. It should be placed at a slight angle, leaning towards the room.
Place the Mezuzah scroll into the designated slot within the Mezuzah case.
Before affixing the Mezuzah, recite the blessing: "Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam, asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu likboa mezuzah." Translation: "Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to affix a Mezuzah."
Affixing the Mezuzah: Using nails or adhesive, attach the Mezuzah to the doorpost, ensuring it is securely fastened.
By meticulously performing this sacred ritual, we demonstrate our unwavering faith in G-d. The Mezuzah is a tangible reminder of our shared bond and brings a sense of holiness and divine protection into each corner of the home.
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Over the centuries, countless tales of divine protection and miraculous occurrences have been associated with the Mezuzah. Here are a few stories that illustrate the remarkable power attributed to this sacred object:
Chaya, the daughter of Rabbi David Grossman, the chief Rabbi of a city in Israel returned home from school one day with a swollen eye. While originally thought to be something small, the swelling continued until it became bloody and full of pus. After seeing multiple specialists and receiving conflicting diagnosis', there was no conclusive answer to her concerning condition.
The rabbi had a trip planned to the United States, where he planned to visit top ophthalmologist, Dr. Hornblass. He insisted on seeing Chaya in person, and she immediately booked a flight for the following day.
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On their way to the doctor, she stopped to visit the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, where a large lineup of people were already waiting to see him and receive his blessings. Immediately upon noticing the rabbi and his daughter, the rebbe advised 'Check the mezuzah immediately and she will have a complete recovery.' Rabbi Grossman called his wife, who brought their Mezuzot to the local scribe for checking. Sure enough, within the Shema phrase "and it should be as a reminder, between your eyes", the word 'Einecha,' (your eyes) was rubbed out. Mrs Grossman immediately put up a new, kosher mezuzah.
Back in New York, Chaya Rivka was feeling strange. She went for a nap, and miraculously- when she awoke, her eyesight had returned to normal. They went to see the specialist, who was completely dumbfounded by her recovery. The rabbi told him the story with the Mezuzah. Years later, Rabbi Grossman was invited to a New Jersey synagogue as a guest speaker. When he entered the room, Dr.Hornblass, the eye specialist ran over to him, dressed in a tallit (prayer shawl.) "I saw the miracle with the Lubavitcher Rebbe and the Mezuzah, and then, I knew- there must be a G-d.'' (Mezuzah Maven)
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There was a couple struggling to conceive for years. They were told by many specialists that the situation was hopeless. They were given a blessing and told to put up Mezuzot around the house. Within exactly one year of putting up the Mezuzot, they were blessed with a child.
The story does not end there, however.......
The baby's father, a first responder, was at the scene of the twin towers on September
11. The world descended into chaos as desperate families tried to reach loved ones trapped inside the building. What happened was nothing short of miraculous. The last thing he remembered was seeing a falling object about to crash on him. Upon waking up, he discovered that a firefighter pushed him out of the way at the last second, saving him from immediate death. Why was he saved? The firefighter recognized the man as the father of his son's classmate. Amidst the smoke, debris, and chaos, he instinctively ran to save a familiar face- the father of the boy who was born in the merit of Mezuzah.
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A group of girls in a select bunkhouse at overnight camp all experienced various injuries. A bunk bed broke and fell down on top of one camper, another fractured her foot, another became ill with a virus and had to spend a week in the camp infirmary. All these girls had something in common- names that began with 'Shin'. The camp rabbi came to check the mezuzah at the entrance of the bunkhouse and found that the 'Shin' in the first letter of the 'Shema' was upside down!
In the realm of Judaica, the Mezuzah stands as a physical testament to the Jewish faith, a reminder of God's presence, and a source of divine protection. The commandment to affix it to our doorposts is a ritual that connects every Jewish family to their heritage and beliefs. Whether you live in Jerusalem or Shanghai, The Mezuzah's power transcends its physical size, serving as a universal beacon of hope and spiritual security for generations.
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Embracing the Mezuzah connects us to our past and creates timeless trust in the future. This beautiful, easy Mitzvah fills our homes and hearts with strength, faith, and spirituality. Let the Mezuzah be your personal source of connection, pride in your Jewish Jewish identity, and a steadfast reminder of God's loving protection!
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At Shalom House Judaica, we celebrate Jewish Heritage and tradition with handcrafted, beautiful gifts for every personality and occasion! Our extensive mezuzah collection includes one-of-a-kind glass, porcelain, wood, metal, and sterling silver pieces for every age and stage. Happy shopping!
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