What’s really inside a mezuzah?

I have read recently of Christians taking on the use of the mezuzah as part of protecting their homes from demonic influence. I took a look, as I believe that God does honour the following of His Law. However, when you see what is written inside the mezuzah, it is clear that this is not following the law. Let me explain.

650px-ShemaMezuzah

The mezuzah is there to show that, in accordance with God’s Law, we have written His commandments on our doorposts:

Deuteronomy 6:1 Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the Lord your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it:[…]

9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

So that’s clear – we are to write God’s commandments on our doorposts – whether that is literal or figurative is between you and God. But on that basis, I would at least expect to find within a mezuzah the Ten Commandments, say. Yet what is really written inside one? Well, it’s usually a Kosher scroll in Hebrew, and translated it says:

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full. Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; And then the LORD’s wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you. Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” (source)

You notice that the commandments themselves are absent! Why is this? I think you’d have to ask the Orthodox Jews who have set up this system. It’s not based on the bible, that is for sure, and Karaite Jews don’t have them. If Karaite Jews don’t have them, then Christians should listen to that fact. Even if you wanted God’s commandments on your doorposts, a Jewish Mezuzah doesn’t contain them!

Here’s a quote from Karaite Jew Nehemiah Gordon:

“It should be noted that the Karaites also interpret the verse “And you shall write them on the doorposts of your houses and your gates” (Deuteronomy 5:9; 11:20) to be a metaphor equivalent to “write them upon the tablet of your heart.” (Prv 3:3) and not as referring to the Rabbanite Mezuzah.” (source)

Rabbinical (Orthodox) Judaism is not the only kind of Judaism out there. We as Christians need to beware following the Rabbis and their oral traditions, and instead, if we care to know more of the Torah from a Jewish perspective, we should see what the Karaites have to say.

God Bless you

Lis

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