The Mezuzah

One of the interesting aspects of Judaism is that a person is to be reminded of his/her religious duty throughout the day. Like Muslims, a Jewish man must conduct certain prayers in the morning and the night. Another way that a Jewish person is reminded of his/her religious duty throughout the day is through Mezuzahs. A Jewish person is required by Deuteronomy to put to place on his/her doorpost a copy of several Jewish prayers known as the Halakah. The Halakah always begins with the Shema Yisrael which says in English “Hear O Israel, the Lord our G-d, the Lord is One.” The Shema is among the most important and most ancient prayers in Judaism. Deuteronomy 6:9 (which is also included in the Halakah) states that a person must place on their doorposts and gates the commandments of the Lord.

In order to fulfill, this religious duty a Jewish home has on the doorjamb at the entrances of the home and the entrance of any room, except bathrooms and closets, a Mezuzah. A Mezuzah is a small metal or wooden container of the Halakah which is placed on the doorjambs. A Jewish person passing through a door will kiss his/her fingers and then place them on the mezuzah as a sign that s/he remembers the commandments that the Lord provided in the Torah. Mezuzahs will generally have the Hebrew letter “Shin”, which looks like a w in the Latin alphabet on them to represent the Shema that is contained within.

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