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The World Wide Mezuzah Campaign. A project of the Baal Shem Tov Foundation - a 501c3 non-profit organization
The Basics
A “Mezuzah” is a small parchment scroll, made from the skin of a clean animal, affixed to the right doorpost of the entrance to inhabitable rooms of Jewish homes.

The scroll contains the two passages of the Torah (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21) which mention the commandment of Mezuzah: “You shall write them upon the doorposts of your home and your gates”. These passages are the first two portions of the “Shema” prayer, and affirm God's existence and authority.

The text must be written in accordance with all the Halakhic requirements, such as how the parchment must be processed, how the letters must be formed, and many other details.

The parchment is generally rolled up and inserted into a case which is affixed to the doorpost, one-third down, slanting inward.

A blessing is recited immediately prior to affixing the Mezuzah to the doorpost: “Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who made us holy with His commandments, and commanded us to affix the mezuzah.”

It is a widespread custom to touch the Mezuzah when entering or leaving a building with one's hand, and then to kiss the hand. The Mezuzah should be checked by a reliable scribe twice every 7 years.

The Torah commands us that we should perform acts which constantly bind us to God. Thus, we should contemplate and discuss the Torah “day and night”; we put on the Tefillin and wear Tzitzit, thus fastening on physical reminders of God to our very bodies.

The commandment of Mezuzah extends this concept to our dwelling: we proudly display throughout our homes physical reminders that as we enter (and leave) our homes, God is with us. And by so doing, we connect with the spiritual energy of the Mezuzah, meriting God's protection over our homes and over us.
© Baal Shem Tov Foundation 2003-2005

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