mezuzah

Alternative Spellings

m'zuza, mezuze, mezuza, mezzuzah

Definitions

  • a piece of parchment with the Shema written on it that is then placed in a case and mounted on doorways in keeping with the Biblical commandment mentioned in the Shema

Example Sentences

  • "I kiss the mezuzah every time I walk through the door."

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew

Etymology

מזוזה

Who Uses This

Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements
Non-Jews: (words that have spread outside of Jewish networks)

Regions

North America

Dictionaries

The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003[1968]).
The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

Notes

Mezuzot are placed on the upper right side of doorways and are usually found on the "doorposts of your house," but also on every doorpost besides bathrooms and small spaces that do not qualify as rooms.

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