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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.