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MEZUZOS

We sell and repair Mezuzahs, and our Mezuzahs are guaranteed certified Kosher. Our inventory includes Ashkenaz, Sephard and Chassidic Mezuzahs.

Mezuzahs should be checked every 3 and 1/2 years.

Every doorway in a Jewish home or business should have a mezuzah on its right hand side (as viewed from the main entrance to the room). Bathrooms are the only exception to this rule.

A Mezuzah is a parchment which we affix to our doorposts, on which a scribe has hand-written two paragraphs from the Torah: The portion of 'Sh'ma Yisroel' ("Hear O Israel...") in the Book of Devarim (Deuteronomy 6:4-9), and the portion of 'V'hoyo-im-shamoa' ("And it shall happen if you obey...") in Devarim (Deuteronomy 11:13-21.) In these paragraphs, G-d states that great rewards await those who observe the Mitzvot, including prosperity, success and long life. Each of the two paragraphs includes a commandment to affix a Mezuzah on the doorpost.

These portions are written on the parchment with special ink, by a highly trained and certified scribe. The text is written in a single column on 22 scored lines. Every letter must be properly written, for even one letter written incorrectly invalidates the Mezuzah.

On the back of the parchment is written the word 'Sha-dai', along with certain other letters. After the scribe has completed his writing, the parchment is rolled (not folded or creased) from left to right, so that the first word to appear when the Mezuzah is opened is 'Sh-ma'. The Mezuzah is then placed in a protective cover or case and is ready to be put up on the doorpost.

The mitzvah to place mezuzot on the doorposts of our houses is derived from Deut. 6:4-9, a passage commonly known as the Shema (Hear, from the first word of the passage). In that passage, G-d commands us to keep His words constantly in our minds and in our hearts, by (among other things) writing them on the doorposts of our house. The words of the Shema are written on a tiny scroll of parchment, along with the words of a companion passage, Deut. 11:13-21. On the back of the scroll, a name of G-d is written. The scroll is then rolled up placed in the case, so that the first letter of the Name (the letter Shin) is visible (or, more commonly, the letter Shin is written on the outside of the case).

The scroll must be handwritten in a special style of writing and must be placed in the case to fulfill the mitzvah. It is commonplace for gift shops to sell cases without scrolls, or with mechanically printed scrolls, because a proper scroll costs more than even an elaborately decorated case ($30-$50 for a valid scroll is quite reasonable). But according to traditional authorities, mechanically printed scrolls do not fulfill the mitzvah of the mezuzah, nor does an empty case.

The case and scroll are then nailed or affixed to the right side doorpost on an angle, with a small ceremony called Chanukkat Ha-Bayit (dedication of the house - yes, this is the same word as Chanukkah, the holiday celebrating the rededication of the Temple after the Maccabean revolt against Greece). A brief blessing is recited. See the text of the blessing at Affixing the Mezuzah.

Why is the mezuzah affixed at an angle? The rabbis could not decide whether it should be placed horizontally or vertically, so they compromised!

Every time you pass through a door with a mezuzah on it, you touch the mezuzah and then kiss the fingers that touched it, expressing love and respect for G-d and his mitzvot and reminding yourself of the mitzvot contained within them.

It is proper to remove a mezuzah when you move, and in fact, it is usually recommended. If you leave it in place, the subsequent owner may treat it with disrespect, and this is a grave sin.

The commandment to put up Mezuzos is Mitzva number 423. The Mitzva is incumbent on Jewish men, women, and children, to have Kosher Mezuzos on their doors. One should pay special attention to his Mezuzos, as they act as an alarm system for the home, and the reward for putting up Mezuzos is long life.

There are 713 letters in a kosher Mezuzah. If there is one extra or one is missing it renders the Mezuzah invalid. The standard sizes are 10 or 12 cm. Preferably the letters should not exceed the margins.