What Is A Mezuzah?

Protect Your Home

Literally “doorpost,” a mezuzah is a small parchment scroll containing verses from the Shema, the central prayer of Judaism. Jews affix mezuzot to their doors in fulfillment of the commandment to “inscribe [these words] upon the doorposts of your house and upon your gates.” (Deut. 6:9)

The tightly-rolled mezuzah is placed in a decorative case that is affixed to doorposts inside and outside the house (except bathrooms, sheds and small closets). If a Jew only has one mezuzah, it should go on the front doorpost of the home or apartment. A mezuzah can be affixed by nails, screws, or strong tape.

This holy scroll is a reminder of God’s constant presence; just as the mezuzah scroll is hidden in the case, so too God is often hidden but nonetheless always present. Our sages teach that a mezuzah protects the inhabitants of a home, even when they’re away. Many have the custom to touch the mezuzah as they enter a doorway and then kiss their fingertips, demonstrating love for God and His commandments. 

A mezuzah is hand-written with great care by an expert scribe known as a “sofer.” Just as with a Torah scroll, even the tiniest mistake invalidates the entire document. 

A wonderful organization called MyZuzah is on a mission to place a mezuzah on the front door of every Jewish home. They provide a FREE mezuzah to any Jew who doesn’t have one (estimated value $50). 

➡️ For more information about mezuzahs, and to order a free one if you qualify, visit myzuzah.org.

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