The Biblical and Spiritual Significance of Mezuzah
The Biblical and Spiritual Significance of Mezuzah
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength... Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
Deuteronomy 6:4, 9 NIV
“So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today – to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul... Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
Deuteronomy 11:13, 20 NIV
The Mezuzah is a little relic used by the Jewish people in their homes. It is a small parchment of paper where small portions of the Scriptures are written in the Hebrew language. The short passages from the Torah are those that are recorded in Deuteronomy 6:4 – 9 and Deuteronomy 11:13 – 21, which is also known as the Shema. The small parchment is being rolled up, then place in a beautiful case. This Mezuzah is usually attached by observant Jewish people in the doors and gates of their houses.
The tradition of hanging a Mezuzah in the doorframes of the Jewish people traces its roots from the time of Moses. Though there seem to be minor issues if the command of God in Deuteronomy must be taken seriously, it is now a fact that using the Mezuzah in every Jewish home has given a distinct identity to the Jews and also accomplish the intended purpose of God in commanding His people. Indeed, the Mezuzah has profound spiritual significance especially for the people of God.
1. The Mezuzah reminds the Jewish people of God’s command
According to Jesus, the Greatest Commandment is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30) The exact command that Jesus said is also the command that is written in the Shema, which is the portion of the Torah that must be included in the Mezuzah.
Every time that an individual will enter the house and see the Mezuzah, it will remind Him of the commands of God as well as His promises and curse for disobedience that is reserved for the people of God. In the same way that the Tzitzit remind the wearer about God’s Law, the Mezuzah is also a visual reminder and representation of the Laws of God as written in the Scriptures.
The Mezuzah has great spiritual significance for the people of God because without it, the temptation to forget what God requires of them will be stronger and more people are bound to sin and rebel against the Lord.
2. The Mezuzah reminds the Jewish people of their identity
In the ancient times, no another nation was given the privilege to experience God except the nation of Israel. From them came the Patriarch and to them God gave the covenants. Even the Savior Jesus came from the line of the Jewish people. In short, they are separated and set apart from other surrounding pagan nations.
The Mezuzah helps the Israelites to remember their unique identity in God. It also reminds them of their specific calling to become the people of God and to serve as a beacon in this dark world. Whenever you are visiting a house, and you see a Mezuzah that is hanging on that house's door frame, you can confirm immediately that the residents of that house are Jews.
As Jewish people, they have a unique calling, unique set of values, principles, and philosophies and they also have a unique blessing. The Mezuzah is used by God to remind His people of His special favor to them.
3. The Mezuzah increases an individual's awareness of God’s presence
The Mezuzah is not just to be hanged on the main door frame or gate of a house. In fact, it is prescribed that every living room's door in a house must have a Mezuzah. However, restrooms, closets, and other small spaces do not require having a separate Mezuzah.
Nonetheless, the purpose of this tradition is because every door represents a sphere or domain of activity. Whenever someone enters a door of a room, it signifies that the person is entering a new area and a constant reminder of God's presence is needed to ensure that everything that he will do inside the room will give glory to God.
Also, on the reverse side of the Mezuzah scroll, the Hebrew Name of God, Shaddai, is written. The practice of writing God's Name speaks of God's ownership of the house and all the people who live in it. And because God owns them, they are subject to His rule and reign and His merciful protection.
The Mezuzah signifies that God dwells with you and is concerned even in the things that are outside the corners of the Temple. Thus, it is important to understand that God's work in your life is not just limited to the "spiritual” stuff, but rather includes everything in your life – from the most basic to the most important.
The Mezuzah in your life
Of all the symbols of faith that the Jewish tradition has, the Mezuzah is perhaps the most “secular” emblem of all but at the same time most personal. First, the Mezuzah illustrates that God is concerned even in the pettiest things in our lives. He cares about the way you act towards your family, the shows that you watch on TV, the games that you play and the websites that you search on the internet. Its spiritual significance extends further than the things that you do when you are worshipping or attending a service.
The Mezuzah shows us that we have a deeply personal God that wants to be involved even in the mundane aspects of our lives. So, the next time that you see a Mezuzah remember God’s command to love Him with everything that you are and live a life that will bring Him the greatest glory and praise.