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The Kosher mezzuzah
Why is the Hebrew Bible we use today
identical to the book given to Moses on Mount Sinai?
Why aren't there two different versions of the Hebrew Bible?
What is the Hebrew idiom that shows the connection between these questions and the Sofer Stam (Scribe)?
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What is a mezzuzah?
What is the source of the commandment of Mezuzah?
The commandment of Mezuzah in found in the Torah: "Inscribe them upon the doorposts of your house and upon your gates" (Duet. 6:9 and Duet 11:20). This is the mitzvah of mezzuzah. The details of the law are set forth in the Shulchan Arukh, Yoreh Deah 285. This mitzvah is performed by placing a parchment, whereupon is written by a scribe, two paragraphs from the Torah, on the upper right-hand doorpost of each door in your home.
Some doors do not require placement mezzuzah. You may want to consult your Rabbi for which doors do not require a mezzuzah (i.e. bathroom doors, rooms that are not of a minimum dimension, etc.) The scroll is rolled from the end of the line (the left side of the scroll) toward the beginning (the right side) so that the letters: shin ­ dalet ­ yud (G-d's name) from the backside of the parchment are showing. Most ashkenazim place the mezzuzah at an angle leaning toward the inside of the room, and most sephardim place the mezzuzah upright.
It has become the custom among many to place the parchment within beautiful and elaborately decorative cases. This is fine as long as one remembers that placing the parchment on the doorpost is the performance of the mitzvah, and not the case. The main issue is to have a kosher mezzuzah inside the case.
The bracha (blessing) that is recited before affixing the mezzuzah to the doorpost is: Baruch Ata Adonai Eloheynu Melech Ha-olam Asher Kidshanu Bemitzvotav Vetzeevanu Leekboa Mezzuzah.
A kosher mezzuzah should be handwritten on parchment, and cannot contain any mistakes. The mezzuzah and case containing the scroll should be placed in the top third of the doorpost on every door in the house, except a bathroom, on the righthand side as you enter a room, or on the side without the hinges (although a mezzuzah can also be affixed to a doorway without a door, that connects two rooms. It should be placed at an angle so the top of the mezzuzah tips into the room as you enter. The slanted position resulted from a compromise between Rashi and his grandson. Rashi argued that the mezzuzah should be placed vertically, and his grandson argued horizontally.
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