Last week, right before our Chinese New Year party, we finally put up our mezuzah. We've lived in our house for over a year, and we kept missing opportunities to put up our mezuzah: every time we remembered, it was either shabbat (when you're not supposed to do "work," like installing things) or too late in the evening to be hammering things outdoors. Since we were thinking of our party as a kind of open house, we really wanted to get our mezuzah up before the soiree.
A mezuzah is a small decorative box that contains a parchment inscribed with verses from the Torah. It's installed on the doorframe to fulfill the mitzvah (Biblical commandment) to inscribe the words of a Jewish prayer, called the Shema, "on the doorposts of your house." It's a significant marker of a Jewish household, so we were particularly embarrassed/sad that we hadn't gotten ours up yet. (According to Jewish law, you're supposed to affix the mezuzah within 30 days of moving in.)
Jellyby, as you can see, was pretty excited about our putting up the mezuzah.
But not as excited as me! Especially when I managed to locate the blessing you're supposed to say on the occasion of putting up a mezuzah. (Many thanks to our friend Geri for documenting the process with photos!)
My Hebrew, though, is pretty egregious, so I needed quite a bit of coaching.
After saying the blessing for the mezuzah, we nailed it on the doorpost. And we said the Shehecheyanu, which is one of my favorite prayers, as it's the one you say to mark a special occasion.
The most important part of the mezuzah is the parchment scroll, which is not visible from this angle, as it's tucked away inside the container. But it helps that the visible parts of the mezuzah are pretty! I love the copper, which will hopefully weather and develop a nice patina. And do you see the purple bits of glass in the tube at the front of our mezuzah? Any idea where that's from?
It's the glass we broke at the wedding!
I'm happy the mezuzah is up, but we need to move it soon. In our haste to get the mezuzah up, we nailed it to the left side of the doorframe. Alas, it's actually supposed to go on the right side. Since the mitzvah of putting up the mezuzah is not fulfilled unless the mezuzah is installed correctly, we're technically no further along than when we started.
Total fail. We feel like complete morons since my husband is a former Hebrew School teacher, and we've installed mezuzahs in our previous homes.
Wish us better luck next time. Oh, did I mention that we have at least three more mezuzahs to put up? (One for our back door, one for the patio door, and another for our master bedroom door.) Please let me get smarter between now and the next round of mezuzah installations!