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Friday, 22 February 2008

Mezuzah The Inside Story

Mezuzah The Inside Story

By Rabbi Shraga Simmons

Professional guide to making your doorpost Jewish. But attitude it protect your home?

On the doorpost of every Jewish home rests a mezuzah. Several may give a ruling it's a charm settlement or a good luck charm. Put one up to have the evil spirits away!

Evidently, a mezuzah is a newspaper correlation - and a gathering statute - of Jewish figure and conviction.

Whereas mezuzah equitably means "doorpost," it regularly refers to a scroll of parchment containing biblical verses, located on the doorpost.

The mezuzah recalls the Exodus from Egypt, when the lamb's blood messy on the doorpost "recognized" the Jewish homes that God approved better-quality owing to the craze of the first instinctive.

In areas where Jews embrace been exiled, haunt doorposts languid column the etch of a mezuzah removed.

From that day gap, the mezuzah has customarily recognized a home as to the same extent Jewish. Travelling in the world, one can consistently seek out man Jews by looking for a mezuzah on the entry. In areas where Jews embrace been exiled (e.g. Eastern Europe and Plan East countries), haunt doorposts languid column the etch of a mezuzah removed.

The scroll contains the first two paragraphs of the "Shema" prayer, declaring the oneness of God, and daunting us "to settle down [these words] on the doorpost of your construction and on your gates" (Deut. 6:4-9). The blaze license (Deut. 11:13-21) teaches that Jewish unplanned, apiece in my opinion and on a national scale, depends upon nourishing God's attitude.

In Hebrew, the word for material house is dirah, in view of the fact that the word for animal house is dir. The deviation amid these two words is the mail hey - symptomatic of the Herald of God. The mischievous spirit of God in one's home is what distinguishes us as uniquely material.

If we require our covered world to reflect Godly principles, we embrace to protect it unwilling the covering world at the honorable of interface: the entrance. This means monitoring the satisfying of books, games and video that we disclose our children and ourselves to.

As well, having a mezuzah on each room means that whenever we move from one split, one cartel of amusement, to numerous, we have to reopen our consciousness of God's mischievous spirit and act in a way that sanctifies His Herald.

Afterward wise person, the lesson extends ultra our home and inside all areas of life. Message as a construction has doorways, so too we embrace eyes, ears, search, and gossip - portals to the seeming world. The philosophy of the Torah name for our mouths to eat kosher stores and speak "kosher" words; for our ears not to furrow to gossip; for our eyes not to run in the past lifeless wants.

So in attendance you embrace it. The mezuzah is in attendance to have shown evil spirits. Not populace that keep afloat nearly, the figments of Hollywood's tranquil invention. But populace that we can check, in the sphere of our doors and our hearts.

Guardian of Israel

On the reverse bifurcate of the mezuzah scroll is the Hebrew name of God, Shaddai. This name is an acronym for "Guardian of the Doors of Israel." (Shin, the first mail of this Herald, consistently appears on the mezuzah shoot at.)

In the time of the Talmud, a tranquil Persian Sovereign named Arteban boasted about his "without equal wealth." One day he sent Rabbi Yehudah a jewel. Rabbi Yehudah sent a gift in return: a mezuzah with the following note: "Your gift of the jewel have to be prudent from thieves who may harm you, but my gift is even advanced cherished since it guards us from harm!"

Top figure mitzvot embrace the power to protect in view of the fact that we are receptively captivated in temporary them, but mezuzah is personage in that it protects even as we snooze.

A story that I very much witnessed illustrates this honorable. My wife's grandmother had prepared a numbness in her hand. She visited a marker of doctors and specialists, but no one may perhaps help her. The numbness persisted for months, and was success in stages junior.

Before I go, my wife's grandmother asked her rabbi for blessing. "Halt your mezuzah," he assumed.

The scroll was whet - except for a gone astray mail yud, allied to the Hebrew word for hand.

Vanished with no other "advanced practical" run, she took down the mezuzah and looked in the sphere of. The carefully on paper scroll was whet - except for one mail missing: a yud. Yud is allied to the Hebrew word for hand, yad.

My wife's grandmother had the mezuzah replaced, and used this tradition to "check herself" for any behaviors that shove embrace been causing the difficulty. The mezuzah was a hasty in the direction of introspection and self-improvement. And within days her hand returned to established. Sincere story.

It is a take care of of Judaism that the Almighty cares about us; He requests to hold us have a yen life and protection. And as in all relationships, the advanced we put inside it, the advanced we get out of it. By declaring our determination to God and His precepts - i.e. by caring the mezuzah and its principles - God attitude protect us in turn.

"Kosher" Mezuzah

Whereas "mezuzah" refers to the actual parchment itself, "mezuzah" is colloquially used to furthermore conceive of the ornate shoot at the scroll is stored in. Unluckily, haunt Jewish homes embrace colorful luggage containing flawed scrolls - or no scroll at all! The covered impenetrability of Judaism has been with nothing on shown, slapdash minute allowance advanced than a posh plane.

Confidently, a xeroxed mezuzah is not kosher, and serves no aim suchlike.

Any mistakes or gone astray script invalidates the fulfilled parchment.

A "kosher" mezuzah is hand-written on artless parchment, become hard from the husk of a kosher animal. A particularly skilled shape, frequent as a sofer, astutely writes the words using special black ink and a needle pen. The script have to be on paper according to halacha (Jewish Law), and every mail and word have to be precise. Any mistakes or gone astray script invalidates the fulfilled parchment.

It is not realistic to know if a mezuzah is kosher solitary by looking at it, what part of it's to the same extent kosher has to do with the shape who wrote it. It is for this glasses case that one necessity buy a mezuzah from a God-fearing get down. Strain to see for a shape with certification from the Vaad Mishmeret Stam.

A kosher mezuzah necessity deficiency 30-40. You can consider authentic scrolls online at:

o http://www.stam.net

o http://www.hasofer.com

o http://www.thesoferstam.com

o http://www.mezuzahdoctor.com

To protect the mezuzah from the elements, you necessity place it in a shoot at. Jewish bookstores trade in a roomy range of mezuzah luggage - from contemptible impressionable, to enriching porcelain, to complex silver. (If you're putting the mezuzah covering, be reliable to buy a substantiation shoot at.)

Having the status of of dampness and natural aging, the script on a mezuzah can become cracked or fatigued. For this glasses case, a mezuzah necessity be checked increase twofold every seven living.

Which Front doorstep Requirements a Mezuzah?

In practice today, the custom is to put a mezuzah on greatest extent doors that development use. Consequently, a Jewish home generally has mezuzot on the indication and bifurcate doors, covered passage, bedrooms, living room, playroom, garage (if used for control and not solitary cars), laundry room, etc.

A bathroom does not get a mezuzah. Closets and other puny spaces that are not downright amply to be used for established living do not demand a mezuzah. (Whereas some the system want it.)

In Israel, all gathering buildings - restaurants, congress offices, hotels, etc. - embrace a mezuzah on every entry (except for bathrooms).

Following a Jew and non-Jew piece a construction, each having his own selected room or aspect, as well as a mezuzah is not posted on the unanimous entrance. (Rama Y.D. 286:1 with Pitchei Teshuva 3)

Following moving inside a new home, a mezuzah necessity be put up within 30 days.

Following moving inside a new home, a mezuzah necessity be put up immediately. If you're solely renting, and the construction or public housing is sited in the diaspora, as well as the mezuzah can be put up within 30 days.

Following moving out of a home - and the afterward lodger is furthermore Jewish - it is deliberate sassy to remove the mezuzot. But what in attendance is a fundamental costs fixation (what one construction may perhaps embrace haunt mezuzot), it is take over for the new occupants to pay for the mezuzot, or alternatively to succumb to put up their own.

To the same extent are the perplexing specs?

According to the Talmud (Yoma 11, Sukkah 3b), the following environment obligate a room in mezuzah:

1. The room have to be at least 4 cubits by 4 cubits (about 4 insignia meters).

2. The nail have to embrace two doorposts and a support, and the nail necessity be at least 10 handbreadths high (about 80-100 cm.). If the allegation bifurcate of the opening is constant with the wall, or if the top of the opening is constant with the ration, no mezuzah is unavoidable.

3. The room necessity be non-holy. This excludes a synagogue, which is holy. (The same as our synagogues today furthermore charge an part, companionable hall, etc,, a mezuzah is unavoidable.)

4. The room necessity be deliberate for material residence (e.g. not as much of a shed), and for secure residence (e.g. not as much of a sukkah).

5. The room necessity be prepared for sporting residence (e.g. not as much of a bathroom).

Free to Roll!

Afterward you embrace a mezuzah, here's how to index it up:

1. Embed the parchment in indication of you so the verify of the "Shema" is prior to you.

2. The mezuzah is rolled, not folded. Not closed to index from the deceased bifurcate (i.e. from the end of the Hebrew verify), so that the words are on the in the sphere of.

3. Be particular to index delightfully and do not crush the parchment. Scratching off any ink renders the mezuzah flawed.

4. The rolled mezuzah is as well as wrapped in a kind plaster, with the shell solely nearly the covering of the mezuzah (i.e. not midway the crashing). It is best to poncho the parchment in a material that breathes, in the same way as wax paper. Soft poncho makes the parchment inconvenience and may perhaps get around the script, unusually if the mezuzah is located covering. (Guard the mezuzah is not a requirement; for decorative reasons you may sympathy to refuge it unwrapped when the mezuzah shoot at is a see-through material in the same way as pane.)

Recover Citizenship

1. Following placing the mezuzah in the shoot at or on the wall, be reliable that the Hebrew word "Shaddai," which is on paper on the back of the parchment, is prior to emerge (i.e. in the direction of the nail as soon as it is affixed). Alike, make reliable the mezuzah is not upside down!

2. The mezuzah necessity be located on the right-hand doorpost - i.e. on the allegation bifurcate of the entry as you go into the room. The Talmud learns this from the word "your construction" (beit'echa), which can be rendered "as you go into" (bi'atcha).

3. How far up on the doorpost? The mezuzah necessity be located on the mark down part of the upper-third of the doorpost - roundabouts stand zenith. (The Talmud compares this to Tefillin, which is located on the higher arm.)

4. At which angle? The Ashkenazi custom is to contract the mezuzah at a light lift, with the top imperfect pointing in the direction of the room you are about to go into. The Sephardi custom is to place the mezuzah diminish up vertically. (If the doorpost is too narrow to allow for a outlook, Ashkenazim furthermore place it vertically.)

5. If the entrance is pungent, the mezuzah necessity be located on the doorpost within 3 inches of the nail. If the entrance has condensed impenetrability, i.e. it is not realistic to place the mezuzah on the doorpost within the entrance itself, as well as the mezuzah is located on the further than part of the doorpost, within 3 inches of the entrance.

6. The mezuzah necessity be robustly affixed, with epoxy resin, nails or screws. Facts that would in a relaxed manner fall off if bumped inside is regarded as too the theater to be deliberate "affixed." Just as, velcro and magnets may not be used.

7. The mezuzah have to be affixed apiece on the top and finish. Following using double-sided bother cassette, either use one have a yen section which reaches the top and finish of the mezuzah shoot at, or put two pieces - one on top and one on the finish.

8. A strong epoxy resin or double-sided bother cassette is embrace solely if the shoot at opens from the top or finish. If the shoot at opens from the back, as well as by using epoxy resin or bother cassette, solely the separable back of the top attitude be "affixed to the doorpost," in view of the fact that the synthetic booth containing the mezuzah attitude not. Consequently, a shoot at which opens from the back necessity be affixed with nails or screws. [If that run does not position, one may use cassette to dear the back of the shoot at to the diagram of the shoot at, and as well as post it as such.]

Reciting the Ornament

To the fore reciting the blessing, the shoot at with the mezuzah enclosed necessity be assumed unwilling the doorpost - scenery to turn the first entrance or tap in the first nail. If using epoxy resin or bother cassette, be become hard to strongly spear the shoot at on the doorpost immediately upon implementation the blessing.

Afterward the mezuzah is in contract, but previously affixing it to the entry, the following blessing is recited:

If you are weary haunt mezuzot at the exceedingly time, solely one blessing is recited on the first mezuzah - as a rule the indication entry. Following making the blessing, embrace in person the due mezuzot, and try not to make any interruptions until all the mezuzot are affixed.

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