Yes, it’s true, the spiritual journey of Sammy Davis Jr. that would eventually lead him to Judaism began with a small mezuzah given to him by a friend. In 1953, Davis struck up a friendship with comedian and host Eddie Cantor, who gave him the mezuzah as gift. But instead of putting it by his door, as a traditional blessing, Davis would wear it around his neck as a good luck charm. A function to which the mezuzah pendant would soon prove itself indispensable. The only time he forgot it, one fateful November night in 1954, he crashed his car on his way to a gig in San Bernadino, California. Davis’ face hit the steering wheel, fracturing the bones in his face and leaving his left eye dangling from his socket. He was forced to get an artificial eye and learn how to find his balance on stage again. After much soul-searching about his life up to that point, he decided to convert to Judaism. Later he would joke about being the only “black, Puerto Rican, one-eyed Jewish entertainer” in the world.
Decorate your own Mezuzah, paint it the way you’d like using the included paint and paintbrush.
The ready to be painted Mezuzah case is crafted from find solid wood and includes two Mezuzah cases, two paintbrushes along with six paint colors (red, blue, green, yellow, white and black).
Decorating your own Mezuzah is the perfect activity for all ages and makes for a great Jewish arts and crafts.
At 111 years old, Mr. Alexander Imich has been officially verified as the oldest living man in the United States and the second oldest in the world. Imich lives alone in an apartment in Manhattan’s Upper West Side where he has lived since 1965.
Imich, a polish born chemist who has survived two world wars, narrowly escaped the Nazi death camps and survived the notorious Russian work camps, recently received a visit from local Chabad emissary, Rabbi Pinny Marazov of Coney Island, Brooklyn. Among other religious rituals performed during their meeting, Rabbi Marazov affixed a kosher Mezuzah to the doorpost of the apartment entrance.
On behalf of Mezuzah Master, we would like to wish Mr. Imich many more happy, healthy years full of all the joys and wonders of life, all from under the spiritual energy and protective influence of his new Mezuzah.
As we continue our journey towards a deeper and more complete understanding of the Mezuzah, we must first pause for a quick look at the roots of this most mysterious and potent Jewish artifact.
The very origin of the mezuzah stems from the very biblical passage inscribed on the inserted mezuzah scroll. The bible text reads: “to write [these words] on the doorpost of your house and on your gates” (Deut. 6:4-9).
As for the actual mezuzah as we know it today, tradition tells us that the Jewish people have observed this commandment since it was given at Sinai in the Jewish year 2448 (1312 b.c.e.) It is debatable whether mezuzoth were actually in use during the forty-year journey through the desert, since the temporary huts used for dwelling were most likely exempt from the commandment, as all huts, booths, tree-houses and other temporary dwellings are today. It is safe to assume that the mezuzah became a permanent feature of the Jewish home from the time that the Jews settled in the land of Canaan in the period 2488-2502 (1272- 1258 b.c.e). Read more »
The Pearlstone Center of Reisterstown, MD. is a picturesque retreat and conference center that features farming apprenticeship, environmental awareness training, educational and spiritually vitalizing programs. Earlier this month, the Pearlstone retreat celebrated it’s latest addition; a high-efficieny, four-season cabin built from sustainable and recycled materials. Included in the project where a number of handcrafted, homemade Mezuzahs that will be affixed to the doorposts of each room in the new cabin.
These Mezuzahs, made from recyclable materials, were designed and crafted in the Pearlstone spirit. With their brightly colored cases and eco-friendly nature, they are a perfect, albeit micro-cosmic example of the nature-oriented spiritual oasis that is the Pearlstone retreat center.
Police and special agents of the Chief Rabbinate Kashrus Enforcement Unit have uncovered a startling and deeply concerning counterfeit mezuzah scroll making operation. According to agents involved in the investigation, the counterfeiting operation used a new and sophisticated method to create very high quality counterfeit mezuzahs.
The printing plates used to forge these mezuzahs were created using a new and specially designed software that allows for the modifying of letters in the fake mezuzahs. Until now, the identity of the letters had been the primary method used to determine if a mezuzah was printed rather than written by a sofer (scribe) because if they were printed, all the letters would be identical, which would certainly not be the case if the mezuzah was written by hand.
There is a law in the state of Israel that permits the Chief Rabbinate to oversee the mezuzah industry in an effort to help avoid just such counterfeiting scams. Following the uncovering of the sophisticated counterfeit operation, Chief Rabbi David Lau has reached out to Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni to map out a strategy towards monitoring the industry amid the realization that today’s counterfeiting techniques allow counterfeiting of an alarming high quality in the STaM (Sifrei Torah (torah scroll), Tefilin and Mezuzahs) industry. Read more »
This post is dedicated to the creativity and at times astonishing ingenuity of the human spirit. I have always believed that one of the most powerful modes of self expression lies in our soul-driven ability to see the innate and permeating beauty that is inherent in all things. This inspiring, creative force has helped turn subway cars and ghetto walls into stunning mosaics, designed and re-designed cars, revolutionized fashion and inspired the trinkets and baubles that so uniquely color the sounds and textures of our era.
The Mezuzah cases pictured below are wonderful examples of this re-creative spirit at work. They are truly a unique and, well… different interpretation of the classic, traditional Mezuzah. Don’t get me wrong, to the inspired re-creators of the world, we applaud your work and we cherish your contributions to society, but every now and then even the best of us are bound to get a little carried away… Read more »
Ok, I know what your thinking, “Mezuzah and Valentine in the same sentence? that cant be right?”, but bear with me here for a second as I attempt to make the case for Mezuzah pendants as this years top-of-the-list Valentines Day gift.
Let’s begin by examining two of the most popular Valentines Day gift choices, the ubiquitous dozen red roses, and the inimitable heart shaped box of heart shaped chocolates, both timeless, classic expressions of valentinia (not a word you say? is now!). However, both possess a fatal flaw that may compromise their long term affection-expressing potential, namely, they are both perishable. Chocolates, while tasty and euphoria inducing when eaten, are gone quickly (I would venture to guess that most boxes don’t last the day) and in some cases the mindless devouring may even be regretted soon after, and Roses, no matter how breathtakingly stunning, simply don’t last more than a week or two.
So this year why not think outside the chocolate box a little, and consider something beautiful, unique, thoughtful and (best of all) non-perishable. Can’t think of anything? We invite you to take a look at our collection of hand crafted Mezuzah Pendants, each a unique work of art and the perfect gift to express your feelings for your significant other as the Mezuzah traditionally symbolizes peace, security and domestic harmony.
Just a thought…
In this new blog-series covering the laws, customs and rigorous traditional standards that are involved in the writing, crafting and proper placement of a Kosher Mezuzah, we will attempt to break down the basics of this extensive topic and we hope to be able to give you the reader, a slightly better understanding of the spiritual components of the Mezuzah and to perhaps shed some light on the mystical makeup of this small, ancient and infinitely powerful artifact.
The bulk of the Mezuzah’s protective spiritual energy resides in the small piece of rolled up parchment that is placed within the outer Mezuzah case. The scrolls are the heart and soul of the Mezuzah, much like the engine of car, or the roots of a tree, unseen yet integral. So much so in fact that in 1988 the state of New York passed a law prohibiting the sale of Mezuzah scrolls which, to the seller’s knowledge, do not satisfy orthodox Hebrew ritual requirements as kosher.
True mastery of all the laws and customs involved in the writing of a Kosher Mezuzah Scroll would require years of study and untold hours of training as a religious scribe. From the handmade parchment to the 713 handwritten letters, to the numerous pre-sale inspections, a Mezuzah is closer kin to a delicate work of art than it is to the average transcription.
So stay tuned for the next installment as our journey begins with some historical perspective.
See you next time!
Reddit User ‘booradius’ Finds Mezuzah And Respectfully Asks Advice of Online Jewish Community
It’s not everyday that you hear the word Mezuzah associated with the popular social and entertainment website ‘reddit’, however, thanks to the admirable efforts of reddit user ‘booradius’, in his attempt to find the most respectful way of removing a mezuzah he found on a house, left behind by a previous tenant, the following discussion took place. Read more »