Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Mezuzah Police

(Mezuzah from the Gary Rosenthal collection)

The other night we were at shul and when we were leaving LO was holding the door for everyone. I noticed that she was paying special attention to each and every person who passed through the door. As they walked through the door she would either shake her head or proceed to look at the next person. I asked her what she was doing. She told me that she was watching to see who touched the mezuzah when they left the room and who didn't. (And I thought it was nuts when she acts like the kosher police.)

As cute as this was (and puzzling because you never know what she is going to come up with next), I made an interesting observation. The only people who touched the mezuzah when they left were all converts (myself and LO included). I wonder if this was a phenomenon of this group or if this happened outside of our little group. How about you? Do you touch the mezuzah on any doorpost that you see them on or only on your own home? And at home, if you have them on every room, do you touch them when you enter and exit each room?

9 comments:

d. chedwick bryant said...

In a small village in Ireland there is a religious ornament embedded in a wall. I have watched as village folk walk by (and most of them touch it as they pass, some cross the street to touch it then cross back, really going out of their way) I spend a lot of time in this place, and I always touch it myself, even if I am hurrying past. I have not had a Mezuzah since I lived in Manhattan (one was attached to my door when I moved into the apt) I always touched it coming and going, and I am not Jewish.
These things have meaning to people, I would not call it superstition, just reminding oneself of the significance of these objects.

Jack's Shack said...

I do as do many of my friends.

Jacob Da Jew said...

I don't. Perhaps because I'm used to it.

The Mezuza is cool. I met the creator at a gift show. Nice guy.

torontopearl said...

Honestly, I don't. Not at home, anyways. Moreso, at shul. (go figure)
My daughter, who will turn 10, is like LO. She is fervent in her observance of certain things. She is a major mezuzah kisser, reminding me to kiss it too, and often asking me to hold things so she has her hands free to kiss the mezuzah as she goes in and out of the house, in and out of every room. (My "little rebbetzin.")

Annie said...

I touch the mezzuzah every time I enter or exit a house/apartment that has one, but I rarely do it for individual rooms. Not sure why.

The Babka Nosher said...

It's not a habit I ever formed. I often think about it as I walk through a door with a mezuzah, but am too self-conscious to do it. Your post did remind me to hang the mezuzah on my new door, though... so Thanks!

The Babka Nosher said...

As a thank you for reminding me to hang my mezuzah, I'm tagging you...
http://abiselebabka.blogspot.com/2007/06/tag-im-it.html

orieyenta said...

dcb - You wrote, "...just reminding oneself of the significance of these objects." That is certainly a perfect way of putting it.

Jack - why does that not surprise me?

Jacob - That must have ben neat. I really enjoy his work.

Pearl - sounds like your "little rebbetzin" and mine could be great friends.

Annie - You're just like us - I knew there was reason we like you so much!

BN - That's what PHD thought - he thought it might have to do with how it was done when we grow up. (I'll get working on that meme!)

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

i don't kiss mezuzas, since i heard a few stories about people getting their fingers stuck in doors and hurt. but i usually wave my hand between my head and the mezuza in a sort of representational equivalent of kissing it.