Mezuzot by Leslie S



A Mezuzah (Hebrew: מזוזה‎ “doorpost”; plural: mezuzot (מזוזות) is a piece of parchment (usually contained in a decorative case) inscribed with specified Hebrew verses from the Torah (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21). These verses comprise the Jewish prayer “Shema Yisrael,” and begins with the phrase “Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is One.” The mezuzah is attached to the doorframe of Jewish homes to fulfill the mitzvah (Biblical obligation) to write the words of the Shema “on the doorposts of your house.”(Deuteronomy 6:9)

Many families place a mezuzah on the front door only, but observant Jews fix one on every doorway in the home apart from bathrooms, and closets too small to qualify as rooms. The parchment is prepared by a qualified scribe (a sofer stam) who has undergone many years of meticulous training, and the verses are written in indelible black ink with a special quill pen. The parchment is then rolled up and placed inside the case.