mezuzah (mih-ZU-zah) listen


  • n. 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."

  • "We'll need twelve mezuzot—one for each doorway except the bathroom." (Glinert)

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew


  • מזוזה

    • Who Uses This

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


      • North America
      • Great Britain
      • South Africa
      • Australia / New Zealand


      • 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).

      Alternative Spellings

      m'zuza, mezuze, mezuza, mezzuzah


  • 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.

    plural: 'mezuzot'

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