The Mezuzah

The Mezuzah is the small, decorative container affixed to the right doorpost (upon entering) of the house and rooms in orthodox Jewish homes. Inside the Mezuzah will be found a small parchment roll made from the skin of a kosher animal. Upon the parchment is handwritten, using a quill pen from a kosher fowl, the biblical passages Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21. The biblical source for affixing a Mezuzah to the doorposts is Deuteronomy 6:9: “You shall write them (the commandments) on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” The purpose for affixing the Mezuzah is to serve as a symbol and reminder of the need to be constantly diligent to remember God, to teach and obey His law, and to love Him especially during the experience of prosperity.

The Hebrew word “Mezuzah” actually means “doorpost.” However, over time the parchment roll and the container in which it is placed became so closely identified with the doorpost that the doorpost, the parchment, and the parchment receptacle have all become known by the same name. The rolled parchment is placed in the container is such a way that the Hebrew word “Shaddai” (The Almighty) is visible through an aperture. Modern, decorative Mezuzot (plural) are usually inscribed with the word “Shaddai” (שדי) or simply the letter שׁ instead.