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Why a mezuzah?


This mezuzah resembles the one at the entrance of my apartment. It acknowledges the Jewish roots of my Christian faith. I decided to have a mezuzah when the nuns who run the nursing home where my grandmother lives affixed a mezuzah to the front door in deference to and in solidarity with the home's Jewish residents, staff, and visitors.

The mezuzah is affixed to the doorposts of Jewish homes to bring the blessings of the Divine upon the home and to serve a devotional purpose for those who enter. Inside the small case (mine is just under 3 inches long) is a small parchment scroll on which are inscribed Hebrew scripture passages from Deuteronomy. The ritual of affixing the mezuzah entails the recitation of a special prayer (which I recited in English because I don't know Hebrew) and the observance of certain rules for placement and positioning.

Chai - LifeAlso in recognition of the roots of my faith tradition, I wear a chai, a Hebrew letter signifying "life." I love the connotation of respect for all life, a position to which I try to be consistently committed, and I know of no other symbol, religious or secular, which conveys this meaning without being specific to a single life issue. Because the chai is a symbol having deep religious significance for Jews, and because I am not and do not claim to be Jewish, I tend to avoid wearing it in situations where it might offend someone.

Find out more about the mezuzah at the interactive Mezuzah page or the Ahavat Israel mezuzah page.

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