What is a mezuzah and what is its purpose?
What is a mezuzah and what is its purpose?
In mainstream Rabbinic Judaism, a mezuzah is affixed to the doorpost of Jewish homes to fulfill the mitzvah (Biblical commandment) to “write the words of God on the gates and doorposts of your house” (Deuteronomy 6:9).
Do you touch mezuzah?
A mezuzah is a small case affixed to the doorframe of each room in Jewish homes and workplaces which contains a tiny scroll of parchment inscribed with a prayer. It is customary for religious Jews to touch the mezuzah every time they pass through a door and kiss the fingers that touched it.
Why is a mezuzah important?
The purpose of the mezuzah is to act as a constant reminder of God’s presence. Jews will often touch the mezuzah as they go through the door. The instruction for this comes from the Torah.
Why is the mezuzah placed at an angle?
This is done to accommodate the variant opinions of the medieval Rabbis Rashi and Rabbeinu Tam as to whether it should be placed horizontally or vertically, and also to imply that God and the Torah (which the mezuzah symbolizes) are entering the room.
Can a woman hang a mezuzah?
Can a woman hang a mezuzah? Yes, a woman can and should make the bracha (blessing) and put up the mezuzah herself.
Which rooms need a mezuzah?
A room which has a floor area of less than 16 square amos is generally exempt from a mezuzah. However, the Chamudei Daniel is of the opinion that a room which is fully functional for its intended purpose is required to have a mezuzah, even if it has a floor area of less than 16 square amos.
Do Hasidic couples sleep in separate beds?
Hasidic couples have separate beds. When a woman has her period, her husband can’t come into her bed. In fact, he can’t touch her, pass anything directly into her hands, or even have a conversation that would lead to arousal.
What do you say when you touch a mezuzah?
The blessing said while hanging a mezuzah: Transliteration: Barukh atah Adonai, Elohaynu, melekh ha-olam, asher keedishanu b’meetzvotav v’tzeevanu leek’boa mezuzah. Translation: Blessed are you, Lord, our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with God’s commandments and commanded us to affix a mezuzah.
Does a car need a mezuzah?
There is no such thing as a ‘car mezuzah’, they’re a schlocky, meaningless item that Judaica shops sell to the rubes. A mezuzah is to be affixed to the ‘doorposts of your house and on your gates’, not dangled from the rearview mirror.
Why do Hasidic married couples sleep in separate beds?
Hassidic Jewish couples avoid physical contact when the woman is having her period. So they often sleep in separate beds for some of the time, and in the same bed for some of the time.
Why do Jews Rock when they pray?
Many people have asked why religious Jews sway back and forth while praying. This very old custom is called shuckling in Yiddish and means to rock, shake, or swing. Another explanation explains rhythmic movement as a way to concentrate on praying and learning, and ward off distracting thoughts.
Why do Hasidic females shave their heads?
While some women chose merely to cover their hair with a cloth or sheitel, or wig, the most zealous shave their heads beneath to ensure that their hair is never seen by others. “There is a certain energy to the hair, and after you get married it can hurt you instead of benefiting you,” said Ms. Hazan, now 49.
Why do Jews cover their kitchen in foil?
The tradition of covering kitchen surfaces with foil during the Passover, or Pesach, all has to do with ensuring the surfaces upon which food is prepared during the Passover week are free of chametz. Chametz refers to foods with leavening agents, which are forbidden during Pesach.
What is a Hasidic woman?
Hasidic women represent a unique face of American Judaism. As Hasidim—ultra-Orthodox Jews belonging to sectarian communities, worshiping and working as followers of specific rebbes—they are set apart from assimilated, mainstream American Jews.
Why do Jews cover mirrors?
When a creation of God dies, this lessens His image. The death of human beings disrupts the connection between the living man and living God. Since the purpose of mirrors is to reflect such image, they are covered during mourning.
Why do Hasidic Jews shave their heads?
The purpose of the mezuzah is to act as a constant reminder of God’s presence. Jews will often touch the mezuzah as they go through the door.
It is customary for religious Jews to touch the mezuzah every time they pass through a door and kiss the fingers that touched it. However, kissing the mezuzah has also become customary for many secular Jews who think of the mezuzah as a good luck charm.
What is the prayer inside a mezuzah?
The prayer is recited in Hebrew, but in English it says, “Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to affix a mezuzah.” The front door is the primary place to hang a mezuzah, but some observant Jews affix them to interior doors, too.
Why do Jews wear black?
Though a symbol of strict adherence to Jewish law, the wearing of a black hat is custom and not law. In the United States, it was almost exclusively the domain of rabbis and yeshiva students until about 40 years ago. And it is no small statement of fashion, even among a people taught to value modesty and humility.
Is a mezuzah good luck?
”We do have non-Jews coming in to buy mezuzahs because they see it as a good luck symbol, ” said Marla Cohen, a sales assistant at the Judaica Store in West Hartford, which carries a large selection of mezuzahs.
Hasidic couples have separate beds. One night chest in the middle. When a woman has her period, her husband can’t come into her bed. In fact, he can’t touch her, pass anything directly into her hands, or even have a conversation that would lead to arousal.
How is a mezuzah hung?
A mezuzah must be attached on the upper third of the right-hand side of the doorway as one enters, no less than one hand-breadth from the top. A blessing precedes the hanging. A building not used as a permanent residence, such as a sukkah, does not need a mezuzah. With all that, the mezuzah is more than an item.
If you have a four door car or a van you will of course need to install the car mezuzah on each door.
What is a mezuzah and what does it contain?
Answer: A Mezuzah is a small piece of parchment containing Scripture that is kept in a small case or tube attached to the doorpost of a Jewish home.
Where do the mezuzah hang in a Jewish Home?
Mezuzah scrolls are rolled up and affixed to the doorposts of Jewish homes, designating the home as Jewish and reminding those who live there of their connection to G‑d and their heritage. What Constitutes a Kosher Mezuzah? Where Do Mezuzahs Hang? What Does the Mezuzah Mean? Check the Mezuzah! What Constitutes a Kosher Mezuzah?
How are the mezuzahs written on the scrolls?
The scrolls are carefully written by a scribe on parchment, then rolled and sealed tightly inside a protective case. Some people think the container itself is the the mezuzah. That is not the case (excuse the pun)! Many Jewish homes contain mezuzahs on every doorway.
Where does the name Shaddai go in the mezuzah?
This name, in this context, also serves as an acrostic for a Hebrew phrase meaning “Guardian of the doorways of Israel.” When the Mezuzah is rolled up, left to right, and placed in the Mezuzah case, the scroll is positioned so that God’s name Shaddai can be read through an opening in the case.