The Mezuzah

The Mezuzah

The mezuzah (literally, “doorpost”) is a small receptacle into which one places a piece of parchment. This is then affixed to the doorpost of the home. There are two passages from the book of Deuteronomy printed on the parchment. These verses explain the rationale for the mezuzah. These verses are Deut. 6:4-9 and Deut. 11.

The mezuzah itself may be as ornate or simple as one desires. To be a Kosher mezuzah, it must contain the parchment. Many people will hang the mezuzah without the parchment inside.

The mezuzah is positioned on the right doorpost, one-third down from the top. The upper portion of the mezuzah is slanted toward the inside of the house or room as one enters it. It is customary to touch the mezuzah with one’s fingers and then kiss them.

There is not a set ceremony for affixing a mezuzah, but you can google it if you would like to read some samples.

Advertisements

What Bible translation does Baruch use?

This is one of the most common questions asked.  Baruch holds a PhD in Jewish Studies with an emphasis in Biblical Languages.  When he teaches, if he is teaching from the Old Testament, he is usinging the Hebrew text (or Aramaic, whichever the original text is) and if he is teaching from the New Testament, he is using the Greek text.  Therefore, when he is reading a verse, he is giving the literal translation from the original text.

The Dietary Laws

Kashrut is the body of law from the Bible which deals with what foods we can and cannot eat and how those foods must be prepared and eaten.  “Kashrut” comes from the Hebrew root Kaf-Shin-Reish, which means fit, proper or correct.  We find these laws spelled out in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14.  Many of the ways which these laws are carried out today have been taken from the Talmud. What I want to focus on here is what G-d actually says concerning what is kosher and what is not.

Kosher foods include:

Animals which have a hoof and is clovenfooted and chews cud.  If all those characteristics is not present, it is not kosher.  One example given is the camel, which chews cud but does not have a divided hoof.  It is not kosher.

Fish.  This includes which have fins and scales.  Therefore all sorts of shellfish, etc., are not kosher.

Fowl.  Birds are interesting, because the Torah lists those which are unclean but does not state why.  Therefore, birds which are not listed, such as chicken, geese, and ducks are permitted.

Grasshoppers and some types of locusts and beetles are all kosher, in case you want to eat them!

Fruits, vegetables and grains.  All of these are kosher, as long has they have been checked and are bug-free.

 

Here are a couple of notes:

Rabbis do not “bless” something to make it kosher.  Something is kosher or it’s not.

The kosher laws were not given for health reasons.  G-d states in Lev. 11:44:  “For I am the L-rd your G-d:  ye shall therefore sanctify yourselfs, and ye shall be holy; for I am Holy…” 

All of the other laws pertaining to kashrut are from sources outside of the Torah.  These include separate dishes for meat and dairy foods, the manner in which animals are slaughtered, the prohibition of mixing meat and dairy in the same meal, as well as laws pertaining to grapes/wine and non-Jews.

 

I Corinthians 6:19-20 states:  What?  know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of G-d and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price:  therefore glorify G-d in your body, and in your spirit, which are G-d’s.

Let’s pray about how we are to treat our bodies in order to glorify G-d and not abuse the temple of the Holy Spirit!