About Mezuzot

About the Mezuzah

Sandi Katz makes glass mezuzot cases. The mezuzah is a reminder of God ‘s presence and commandments. It can be spelled many different ways; mezuzah, mezzuzah, and mezuzot. The commandment to place mezuzot (plural of mezuzah) on the doorposts of our houses is derived from Deut. 6:4-9, a passage known as the Shema. In that passage, we are commanded to keep God’s words constantly in our minds and in our hearts, by (among other things) writing them on the doorposts of our house. The words of the Shema are written on a scroll of parchment, along with the words of a companion passage, Deut. 11:13.

An Ancient Tradition

On the back of the scroll, a name for G-d is written. The scroll is then rolled up and placed in the case so that the first letter of the Name (the letter Shin) is visible (or, more commonly, the letter Shin is on the outside of the case). The scroll should be handwritten by a sofer (someone trained in writing ritual text). A small ceremony called Channukat Ha-Bayit (dedication of the house) is performed.

Why  the Mezuzah Is Affixed at an Angle

The rabbis could not decide whether it should be placed horizontally or vertically, so they compromised. It reminds us to keep a good balance in our lives. A mezuzah should be affixed on outside doors and on any doors you walk thru to enter a living space. They are not placed on the doorposts of bathrooms. When you pass through a door with a mezuzah on it, you can kiss your fingers and touch them to the mezuzah, expressing love and respect for God and reminding yourself of the commandments contained within them.

How to Put up the Mezuzah

The mezuzah should be affixed firmly with the scroll inside to the upper third of the doorpost. It should be on the right hand side of the door as you enter the room. The mezuzah should be attached at a little bit of an angle with the top facing in. Before attaching the mezuzah, say the blessing: “Baruch Atah Ad-o-nai El-o-hei-nu Melech Haolam Asher Kiddshanu B’mitzvotav V’tzivanu Lik-bo-a Mezuzah”. “Blessed are You, Lord our God, ruler of the universe, who has sanctified us with your commandments and commanded us to affix the Mezuzah”.

Hanging Instructions

Position the mezuzah case where you want it to hang. Mark spots inside the top and bottom notches. Screw in bottom screw leaving enough space to slide the mezuzah onto it. With the mezuzah slipped over bottom screw, put top screw in. Carefully tighten both screws until they just touch the glass.