In many Jewish homes, Mezuzot are found on bedroom doors and main entrances. To put it simply, Mezuzot are a hallmark of Jewish culture, yet many of their inner workings remain confusing, and even unknown to the masses.
“And you shall inscribe them on the doorposts of your home, and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy, 6:9) These words allude to the holy Shema, the prayer that Jews across the globe recite habitually. The entire Shema-it consists of three prayers- is written on a piece of parchment, and then placed into the mezuzah case of your choice. In sharp contrast to popular belief, Mezuzot need to be placed on every door except for bathroom doors, not just the front one.
The scroll—Klaf in Hebrew—is the most important part of the mezuzah. Without it, the mezuzah would just be an empty shell. The Klaf, as aforementioned, contains actual Judaic elements, while the mezuzah case itself is only the home for the Klaf. All Klafs must be handwritten by a Sofer, a scribe. Any photocopies or prints of Klafs do not suffice for this holy mitzvah.
Metaphorically, a mezuzah acts as a security guard. It wards off our evil inclination, it protects us from harm, and it guides us on our path to spiritual enlightenment. Each time we pass through a gateway or doorpost, we kiss the mezuzah, and we are reminded of our connection to Hashem. Mezuzot are integral to a Jewish life, regardless of denomination.
Mezuzot remain one of the most important Jewish rituals in this world, albeit one of the easiest. While reminding us of the Almighty and his promise to watch over us—a tremendous task—, they only ask for a kiss, a gesture of acknowledgement. By participating in this daily event, you will undoubtedly feel a closer connection to Judaism, Hashem, and yourself.