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 »
Reddit User ‘booradius’ Finds Mezuzah And Respectfully Asks Advice of Online Jewish Community
Famous among the local New York Jewish communities for his part in the foiled Riverdale synagogue bombing attempt, NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly has been a tireless advocate for community safety throughout his 12 years in office.
During Kelly’s reign as commissioner, the city’s police force has forged strong ties both within the Jewish community at home and the Israeli community abroad. Last November, the Anti Defamation League honored Thomas Galati, the top-ranking officer for the NYPD’s intelligence division. An ADL press release at the time noted that Galati had “traveled to Israel with other senior police officials from the Northeast to attend a counter-terrorism training seminar sponsored by ADL.” Furthermore, the first Associated Press report on the city’s counter-terrorism measures noted that NYPD’s program was “modeled in part on how Israeli authorities operate in the West Bank.”
So Kelly reached out to his Jewish allies and even sought to enhance the NYPD, and the Jewish community’s safety, by educating himself on policies that have worked in Israel.
At a recent dinner held by Jewish city officials in honor of Kelly, the commissioner was presented with a plaque containing a large silver Mezuzah, the Jewish symbol for heavenly protection.
“You have kept us and our families safe for the last 12 years,” said Simcha Felder, a former city councilman who worked closely with Kelly. “We thank you for your service, and present this Mezuzah — a symbol of protection and safety — to you as a token of our appreciation.” Read more »
A Mezuzah, like any other religious artifact or work of art, is representative of so much more than it’s mere physical form. In our case, the Mezuzahs, as well as the scribe-written parchment of ancient biblical text it contains, are of a truly sublime, even transcendental nature in any form and when these Mezuzot are hand crafted in the holy land of Israel well, that added element lends a whole new, powerful dimension of spiritual potency indeed.
Here at Mezuzah Master we stock a full range of Made In Israel Mezuzahs, and in these Made In Israel blog-posts I will endeavor to highlight and share a few thoughts regarding a particular, individual Mezuzah in our Made In Israel Collection.
Drawing it’s primary influence from the cylindrical shape of the Qumram scrolls (Dead Sea scrolls), The Shema Etched in Glass Mezuzah by Michael Kupietzky (pictured here) is the perfect example of the Mezuzah’s embodiment of our religious ideals, commitment and the rich, diverse history of our collective people.
The silverplate tops and bottoms are representative of the tops of the jars that held the original scrolls. The glass cylinder is etched with the words from the parchment contained inside the jar.
Each is signed by the artist. Michael Kupietzky was born in the United States, but now resides in Israel with his family. Each of his creations follows the Bauhaus philosophy that “form follows function”.
This Mezuzah case carries the entire Shema prayer, which is intricately engraved to form black letters on matte-finished glass.
Dave Barry said it best when he said: “The problem with winter sports is that — follow me closely here — they generally take place in winter.”, but one potential advantage of the fact that the football season is usually kicking into higher gear right around this time each year, is that it makes these sports themed mezuzahs the perfect seasonal gift for any occasion, be it a bar mitzvah, birthday party, housewarming party or any of the other gift-warranting opportunities.
The iconic blending of worlds inherent in these designs makes it an ideal gift appropriate for a wide variation of occasions.
Long Island N.Y. was one of the few stretches of northeast coastline that bore the brunt of last years infamous “Superstorm” Sandy, a titanic uber-hurricane that pounded the New York-New Jersey area. Today, little more than a year later, there are still a number of communities in some of the harder-hit areas that are struggling to recover and rebuild.
As the Jewish holiday of Hannukah approached, Congregation B’nai Israel of St. Petersburg FL. began preparing special gifts for one of those Long Island Synagogues that had been destroyed. Under the guidance and direction of renowned sculptor and artist Gary Rosenthal, each child of the B’nai Israel Congregation made a unique Mezuzah case to be presented as a Hannukah gift to Temple Israel of South Merrick, on behalf of the St. Petersburg Community.
Rabbi Jacob Luski of Congregation B’nai Israel explains that these Mezuzah cases, each containing a kosher mezuzah scroll inscribed by hand with an ancient Hebrew text, are an apt correlation to Hanukkah, with its central theme of freedom and Jewish identity. Hanukkah, otherwise referred known as the “Festival of Lights”, commemorates the rededication of the temple in Jerusalem after its recapture from the Syrian-Greek oppressors who had forbidden Jews to practice their faith.
Rosenthal, based in the Washington, D.C.,-area, was resident artist at the St. Petersburg congregation’s annual gift and craft show, held last month. Rosenthal held an artist’s workshop for the synagogue’s students, each of whom received two free mezuzah kits, one to make for the Long Island synagogue, and another to keep.
Belmont Village in Scottsdale AZ gave its Jewish residents a Hanukkah gift that keeps on giving: Mezuzahs for their doorposts. Residents were presented with traditional ornate Mezuzahs at a dinner party celebrating the first night of Hanukkah that also included Latkes, Matzah ball soup and a menorah lighting. Bernie Makowsky told the story of Hanukkah after the blessing over the candles.
Rabbi Mendy Levertov of Chabad of North Phoenix planned to return to Belmont Village the following week to assist residents who want to affix a Mezuzah on their doorpost.
Levertov’s wife, Leah, and their children also planned to add to the celebration by singing Hanukkah songs.
Belmont Village, which has 138 apartments, opened in February of this year and approximately 25 percent of its residents are Jewish, according to Executive Director Tim Cowen. To ensure residents feel comfortable and share in a sense of community in their new home, Mezuzahs will be provided for all future Jewish residents.
For the second time in less than a month, Muslims tore out a Mezuzah from a door at the sacred and hotly contested Cave of Machpelah, the holy resting place of the biblical patriarchs and matriarchs.
The vandalism took place at a time when the cave was open only to Muslims. It was documented by security cameras that are operated by Border Police at the holy site.
Police detained several suspects who were near the Mezuzah when it was vandalized.
Security forces assured the Jewish community who frequent the Cave that they would make an effort to step up security during the days in which the Cave is open only to Muslims. These extra measures are intended as a message that vandalism will not be tolerated.
A similar act of desecration took place at the site in mid-July, during the Muslim month of Ramadan. Jewish worshipers who arrived at the Cave of Patriarchs after Muslim prayers on Friday were horrified to find that the site had been vandalized.
Two mezuzot had been torn off and stolen, and a third was damaged. Muslim worshipers have a history of vandalism at the holy site, and it’s not limited to mezuzot, throwing mud, littering garbage and uprooting parts of the cave garden are just a few examples of recent incidents.
As the days grow steadily shorter, and the weather outside gets colder each day, the frosty wind tells of coming winter, and whispers it’s annual warning to all; “prepare yourselves… because the holidays will soon be here and you gotta make sure you’ve picked out gifts for all your family and friends!”
As the gifting gurus among you already know, this can often be more difficult then it sounds. Finding the perfect gift for each recipient year after year can be a challenge, which is why we at Mezuzah Master thought we would try and help out, with a few gift Mezuzah ideas for the upcoming holdiays.
The Case for a Mezuzah:
Why give a Mezuzah as a holiday gift? Simple. A Mezuzah, by it’s very nature, is truly a gift that keeps on giving. The spiritual (and in some cases even physical) protective properties of the Mezuzah (when containing the appropriate kosher Mezuzah scroll) are well documented throughout classic Jewish literature and the Mezuzah therefore serves not only as a beautiful decorative ornament but as a powerful safeguard for the recipient as well. As an added bonus, the lucky recipient will likely notice it on a daily basis and think of you every time they leave or enter through the door to which it is affixed, and each time they do, they may be reminded of you and your thoughtful Hanukkah gift (and perhaps be inspired to return the gesture with a thoughtful gift of their own, hey… just sayin…).
Ideas for Potential Mezuzah Gifts:
The Shema Polished Jerusalem Stone Mezuzah by Caesarea:
Made in Israel, this particular Mezuzah Case is made of natural Jerusalem stone. It had been specially treated in order to recreate the feeling of weathered stone, still found today in archeological excavation at sites that date back to biblical times. It has been decorated with an original graphic design inspired by ancient ethnic motifs from the region. The perfect gift for that friend or family member who’s passion for the holy-land is second only to his passion for freshly baked potato Latkes.
The Iridescent Sectional Star of David Mezuzah by Susan Fullenbaum:
The Iridescent Sectional Star of David Mezuzah by Susan Fullenbaum is both serious and whimsical. Ubiquitous and universal the Star of David immediately speaks to any member of the Jewish faith, and the soft, elegant colors of this particular Mezuzah are sure to engender feelings of warmth, joy and holiday spirit.
Feel free to check out our site for hundreds of other Mezuzah gift ideas.
A new Jewish museum is scheduled to open this Friday in Warsaw, Poland. It will be taking place on the 70th anniversary of the ill-fated ghetto uprising where a few hundred heroic Jews took up arms against the occupying Germans. Poland was home to a thriving Jewish presence for over one thousand years.
A mezuzah made of brick taken from one of the foundations at the site will be affixed to the doorway at the dedication. Needless to say, this museum was not in the ‘Final Solution,’ and “It is a sign of the revival of the Jewish world,” says deputy director Z. Stepinski.
No. A Love Crime! Oh puleeeeeese! Eleven mezuzahs were torched (not accidentally) on the outside doorposts of Jewish apartments in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York on April 7th. This date just happens to coincide with Holocaust Remembrance Day which recalls the millions of Jews exterminated during the Nazi regime in Europe during World War II.
Sources at the NYPD report that they are investigating this incident as a ‘possible’ bias or hate crime. It seems that Anti-Semitism is still rearing its ugly head. At least those who continue to be bothered by the tenacious existence of the pesky Jews took out their frustration on their mezuzahs this time.