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The Mezuzah in Judaism

By admin | September 1, 2009

Silver Mezuzah PendantWhy is the Mezuzah Important in Judaism?

The mezuzah is a small, decorative wall hanging that includes within it a prayer scroll. Most people know this and can recognize one, but why is the mezuzah so important in Judaism?

The scroll within the mezuzah has the words of the Shema, or the Shema Yisrael on it, which is one of the more important prayers in the Jewish faith. The prayer talks about always remembering the words of God and honoring them at all times. It’s a prayer of recognition that God is the one and only God, and that you are devoted towards recognizing that and following him.

In addition, the mezuzah also represents a very important event during the exodus from Egypt of the Jewish people. The Jews were instructed by God to paint a streak of lamb’s blood down the front of the door frame. The lamb’s blood would be a sign to God to protect the inhabitants inside. Specifically, the lamb’s blood would protect the first born child, who would otherwise be slaughtered as a result of the final plague that God cast upon the Egyptian people. The occasion is remembered during the Jewish holiday of Passover, recalling that the Jewish homes were passed over by the angels of death.

A mezuzah is hung on the doorframes of Jewish homes to protect the inhabitants and to honor God at all times. Many homes only hang a mezuzah on the front door of the house, while many other Jewish families hang a mezuzah on every doorframe within the house. The exterior of the mezuzah features the Hebrew letter Shin, which is the first letter of God’s unspoken name. The mezuzah is hung at an angle on the door frame and there are very specific guidelines for creating them properly.

Wearing Mezuzah Pendants

As explained above, the mezuzah always contains the passage of the Torah known as the Shema. This is a very important prayer which basically symbolizes one’s devotion and reverence to God. By hanging the mezuzah on the doorframes of your home, you are always reminded of God’s presence and of his words. In fact, each time you enter or exit a room you are supposed to touch the mezuzah and then kiss your fingertips as a sign of this respect and devotion.

By wearing a mezuzah pendant you are taking that a step further by always keeping God with you. A mezuzah pendant allows you to constantly show the world your belief in the one true God, and your devotion to him. In times when you may need guidance or instruction, you can touch the mezuzah pendant to try to find answers or peace of mind. If you ever want to make a prayer to God but don’t know the right words, you can turn to the mezuzah, symbolizing the Shema and your respect and acknowledgement of God.

Mezuzahs don’t have to be restricted to the doorframes of your home. Bring one with you all the time with a mezuzah pendant to continually showcase your love and devotion to God. The mezuzah is a hugely important symbol of the Jewish faith, and keeping one with you is a fantastic way to keep everything it symbolizes with you at all times.

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Topics: Judaism | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “The Mezuzah in Judaism”

  1. mezuzah rabbi Says:
    July 12th, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    While there is a Biblical requirement to affix a kosher mezuzah scroll (preferably housed in a case) to the doorposts of ones home, there is no such obligation to wear one around ones neck. Furthermore, wearing a decorative case arounds one neck is nothing more than wearing any other piece of jewelry as the case alone is meaningless. Now, if you are thinking of wearing one with a scroll, that is more problematic as the scroll would not be kosher so would be as meaningful as a bubblegum wrapper and it is fobidden to enter a bathroom or similar room with the scroll so practically a scroll should not be worn.

  2. admin Says:
    July 12th, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Thank you. I is however, permissible to wear one as cited here…

    “Chacham Ovadia Yoseph asks this question in Halichot Olam, Helek 8, page 216, and Rav Moshe Feinstein also asked this question in Igrot Moshe, Y”D, Helek Bet, Siman 141. They both came out saying that it is permissible to put a Mezuzah on a chain and wear it. Of course it should be contained within a case. Again, they rule it is permissible.”

    And from your website…

    “Some people like to wear a mezuzah around the neck to show their Jewishness or as a charm, but the practice doesn’t have any basis in Jewish religious sources. So naturally there aren’t any rules about how do it.”

  3. Eric Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Wow, that is a great article. I never knew the importance of the mezuzah. I am not a Jew, but I think that physical reminders of your faith have always been very inspiring. They help you remember, and we are forgetful people.

  4. Eric Says:
    September 2nd, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Thanks for the article. Not being Jewish it makes me think it will one day be like many people wearing a cross, for fashion more than anything. I feel it is sad how symbols are made to be fashionable for fashions sake only. It denigrates the true meaning of the symbol.


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