In Hebrew, the word “mezuzah” literally translates to “doorpost.” However, what is known as a mezuzah is affixed to a doorpost. The mezuzah is a klaf, which is a piece of parchment. On it, there are special verses from the Torah. The parchment is typically put inside a mezuzah case, which is then attached to a doorpost.
This is a Jewish core principle as mezuzah is a mitzvah (commandment) of Judaism. This is the reason that the presence of a mezuzah can be used to identify that home is Jewish.
What Makes a Mezuzah Kosher?
The mezuzah is more than just any random piece of parchment with an inscription. There are a few characteristics that make one kosher.
The first feature is the scroll, which features Hebrew text, which is handwritten by a scribe. It begins with the words “Hear o Israel, the L-rd is our G-d, the L-rd is One. The text is the first two parts of the Shema, and both have G-d’s instructions to affix the mezuzah to the doorpost.
The lettering is the next consideration. There’s a standard which the lettering must meet. Having the ability to form these letters requires special training. As the text must be handwritten, this is very important. The scribe writing the text must be an expert. Additionally, the words must be written in order and with a special intention. Proper letter formation is also a must. Should anything be omitted, the entire scroll becomes useless as a mezuzah. Note, that cracks in the parchment can also render the scroll invalid. The scribe also writes Sha-dai, which is one of G-d’s names on the scroll’s reverse side. If you do not purchase your mezuzah from a reputable source, you run the risk of getting a non-kosher item.
Meaning of the Mezuzah
Judaism is a way of living, and it is not an activity that is only practiced within the confines of a synagogue. Even in a familiar setting such as the home, one must always strive for spirituality. The mezuzah serves as a reminder of this fact that no matter where a Jew goes, the principles of the Torah and a godly life must accompany him/her.
G-d has promised that those who take care to observe the mitzvah of mezuzah are rewarded with longer and more richer lives, as are their descendants. Any doorway with one affixed reminds you that G-d is always with you. See Our Amazing Mezuzah Handmade Cases