Mezuzah Cases – What Are They and How to Use Them
Mezuzah cases are necessary in order to protect your Mezuzah scrolls. They can be anything from cheap containers to beautiful pieces of art. It all depends on your personal preferences and spending capabilities. Some Mezuzah cases are even adorned with precious gems and metals as decorations. The cases are sold by Judaica stores all over the place, and many varieties are available online. Overall, Mezuzah cases are a practical way of safeguarding the Mezuzah scrolls all across your home. But, they are also a beautiful form of art, adding some decorative elements to anywhere they are placed.
What to Look for in a Mezuzah Case
It’s essential to purchase Mezuzah cases from a reliable and trustworthy source. If you purchase one from a below standard store, you may not receive the right product. In fact, the case may be sold to you with a fraudulent scroll or nothing at all inside. Not to mention, the case may not have the right qualifications to fulfill the commandment at all. By checking for your case at a trustworthy sofer or Judaica store, you can be comfortable knowing that it is of reliable quality. The decorative containers are usually also inscribed with Hebrew verses, just like the scrolls inside them.
When to Use a Transparent Case
Some of the most cost-effective Mezuzah cases are transparent. They may be made of glass, Lucite, or even of plastic. It is possible to use a transparent case for your Mezuzah scrolls. However, not in all circumstances. There are a handful of places where a transparent Mezuzah case should never be used. This includes anywhere facing a bathroom, or in the doorway of a bedroom or room where diapers are changed. Other than these places, you may use a transparent case to contain and affix your Mezuzah scrolls.
Where Should Mezuzahs Go?
Your Mezuzah cases should be affixed around your home. According to the mitzvah, each room should have a Mezuzah inside specifically for that room. The most important place to have a Mezuzah is at the main entrance to your home or office building. The only rooms that do not need a Mezuzahs is bathrooms or similar rooms. Other than that, even outdoor rooms necessitate their own Mezuzah. The same goes for workplaces or businesses, although these Mezuzahs are placed without a blessing.
When Should Mezuzahs Be Placed?
Mezuzahs should be blessed and affixed as soon as you move into any home. Rentals, on the other hand, do not require Mezuzahs until 30 days after moving in. Although, you may wish to place temporary Mezuzahs for the month and then affix permanent Mezuzahs after the 30 days have elapsed. Inside the Land of Israel, this 30-day waiting period does not apply. It’s best to make affixing and blessing your home’s Mezuzahs a top priority, as it is not preferred to live in a home without them. Mezuzahs can be affixed any day of the week, except for days when working is prohibited. It’s best for you, the homeowner or renter, to affix the Mezuzah and recite the blessings yourself. The Mezuzah should be affixed permanently, with either nails or screws. You can recite the blessing once for all the doorways that you will be affixing the Mezuzahs to.
Why Are Mezuzahs Placed in the Home?
Mezuzahs are an important element of Judaism, and they are affixed in homes and businesses for several reasons. Many early sources considered the Mezuzahs to be a powerful way to repel evil. In other verses, it is even referred to as a protection against divine anger. This is widely believed in modern Judaism as well. The affixation of Mezuzahs is also a part of fulfilling a mitzvah commandment. The commandment, from Deuteronomy 6:9, says to “write the words of God on the gates and doorposts of your house.”
How to Care for Your Mezuzah
The purpose of the Mezuzah case is, first and foremost, to protect the scroll inside. For cleaning, only do light dusting to keep the case looking clean. Any thorough cleaning could disrupt the scroll inside. It’s important to protect the scrolls inside from any weather damage or other forms of cracks or defects. This process must be done by a trained sofer.
What Are Mezuzah Cases Made of?
Mezuzah cases can be made of almost any type of material. Most often, they are created from wood or ceramics. The decorations and inscriptions on the outside of Mezuzah cases are usually painted or written with quality art supplies. Check out some of the other materials that a Mezuzah case may be made from:
· Polymer clay
The Mezuzah scroll is the important thing to affix, but Mezuzah cases have become much more crucial over the years. Nowadays, they are considered an art form in their own right. Mezuzah cases can be used as a beautiful decoration and a form of respect to the Mezuzah scrolls inside. There are so many varieties of Mezuzah cases to choose from, so be sure to put some thought into the cases you want to use for your home or business’ Mezuzah scrolls.
What’s a Mezuzah case?
When one typically thinks of Jewish art, he may think of beautifully hand-illuminated ketubahs, prayers, and blessings Most will have at least one type of this artwork somewhere in the home.
However, the mezuzah can definitely be found in every Jewish home and more than once.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that many artists are devoting more of their time to creating beautiful cases for the mezuzah. It has truly become a piece of Jewish art.
A mezuzah is a piece of parchment that is inscribed by hand with two portions of the Torah. It is used as a reminder of God’s presence and of our duty to follow God’s commandments, and a mezuzah on the doors of Jewish homes protects them as well. Being a biblical command with many intricacies, a kosher mezuzah is not just written by anyone, though. It must be written in special Torah script with special ink by a trained and certified scribe. The mezuzah is then placed inside the case and hung on doorposts of Jewish homes and businesses. The case is used to protect the parchment, but age and weather can still cause the ink to fade and a new one will be needed.
The primary use for the case is protection. However, as the Torah commands us to beautify the mitzvot, (i.e. menorahs, seder plates, etc.) may want the case to be visually appealing and that is why you can find such a wide selection of designs and styles. Simpler cases can cost under $10, but more elaborate and intricate designs can cost over $100. More expensive cases will be made out of metals and contain silver or gold plating. Wooden and glass cases are common as well. Beads, crystals, and gems can adorn them, making them pop with color.
In terms of design for this Jewish art, the sky’s the limit. Common Judaica symbols and lettering are found on most. Those wishing to take their art to a new level, step away from more traditional rectangular cases and create something completely different. Some are in the shapes of olive trees, while others provide a snug circular fit for the rolled parchment.
Mezuzah cases can even be created for specific events, such a wedding. These cases will have artwork of a newlywed couple or a Chuppah. For children’s rooms, cases depicting simple drawings or animals can be found. There is a mezuzah case to celebrate every occasion, making it a wonderful gift idea for those in your life. Other blessings and prayers can be written on the case too, further protecting your home.
With so many designs and styles, there is no reason to use the same case twice throughout your home or office. A simple search online can reveal a truly beautiful art form. Whether you want something more modern or traditional, there is a mezuzah case for you. Let the mezuzah cases be one more form of Jewish art that enriches your home.