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Mar 24

Hanging A מזוזה (Mezuzah)

In the שמע (Shema – Deuteronomy 6:4-9) we read: “And you should inscribe them on the doorposts of your houses and upon your gates.” As part of our שמע (Shema) exploration, Shorashim and Nitzanim children decorated the case of a מזוזה (mezuzah) and wrote the שמע (Shema) on a “parchment” that’s rolled inside. Here are some of the ins and outs of putting up your child’s מזוזה (mezuzah).

Decorating a mezuzah case.

A מזוזה (mezuzah) goes on on any door of the house (usually not the bathroom, though). Use nails, double-sided tape, etc. to affix the מזוזה – anything that will make the מזוזה stick is fine. At the Jewish Enrichment Center, we discovered that since the children’s “parchment” is so bulky, we needed thick double-sided foam tape to make the mezuzot stay up.

A מזוזה is usually affixed on the right side as a person enters the room. It’s placed on a slant, with the top pointed toward the inside of the room, and usually in the upper third of a doorway. This means, of course, that children and people in wheelchairs often can’t reach the מזוזה. The mitzvah (commandment), as we read above in the Torah quote, is to put up the מזוזה, not to kiss it when entering and exiting a room. Nonetheless, synagogues around the country have started to place mezuzot where all Jews can reach.

Here’s the ברכה (berakhah – blessing) we say when we put up a מזוזה:

Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu Melekh ha-olam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu likbo-a mezuzah.

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the universe, Who sanctifies us with holy commandments and commands us to fix a mezuzah.

Writing the Shema onto a parchment.

Interested in the details of traditional Jewish law about hanging a מזוזה? Here’s a link to an article.

 

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