Like a Reed: the Message of...

A thoughtful reminder of what is really important in life.

1 Jews throughout the world attach a small parchment scroll called a mezuza to their doorposts to show the dedication of their homes to G- d’s service. The mezuza, which contains two paragraphs from the Bible outlining the basic tenets of Judaism,  reminds all who see it of G- d’s existence and presence in the world. 1 The Jewish faith, called Torah in Hebrew, teaches that people can and must hallow all aspects of their lives to G- d. Just as we Jews sanctify our eating by observing special dietary laws, so we dedicate  our dwellings to the Almighty by attaching mezuzas to our doorways. 2  Each time we pass a mezuza, we should recall our constant obligation to serve G- d. Some people even have a custom to touch and kiss mezuzas whenever they pass by them. They do this in order to strengthen their awareness of the mezuza and its message. 3 MEZUZAS TEACH SOCIAL JUSTICE A famous rabbi named Hillel the Elder once remarked, “ What is hateful to you do not do to your fellow man. This is the essence of Judaism and the rest is com-mentary.”4  Hillel apparently meant that even rituals which primarily stress the relationship between man and G- d also teach us something about how people should treat each other. Another ancient sage who observed the link between service to G- d and service to humanity commented  that “ Whoever pleases his fellow human beings also pleases G- d.” 5 What, then, is the connection between the mezuza, which represents G- d’s constant presence, and man’s relationship to his fellows? One possibility is that mezuzas correspond to the precept of hospitality. The mezuzas on our door-ways remind us of the commandment to “ Let your doors be wide open. MakeHome

Like a Reed: the Message of the Mezuza


About Book Like a Reed: the Message of the Mezuza

FRONT MATTERTitle PageCopyright PageLIKE A REED: THE MESSAGE OF THE MEZUZAMezuza Teach Social JusticeWhere Not To Put Mezuzas One Should Always Be Flexible Like a Reed and Not Unyielding Like a Cedar. That is Why the Reed Deserves To Be Made into a P G-d Guard Your Coming and Going Now and Forever Mezuzas Remind Us of Whats is Really Important in LifeFacsimile of a MezuzaWhy Mezuzas Must Be Written on ParchmentThe Mezuza Testifies to G-d's ExistenceTranslation of the Text of the MezuzaA Message of BrotherhoodThe Mezuza and the Hanukkah LightsA Unique CommandmentMezuzas and Meaning to LifeWhy Mezuzas Must Be Handwritten and Not PrintedWhy the Letters of the Mezuza Must Not Touch One AnotherMezuzas Do More Than Merely Decorate the DoorwayEleven Rules about MezuzasOne Final WordNOTES
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