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A ceramic mezuzah case on a doorpost in Armenia
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From post-Biblical Hebrew מְזוּזָה (məzûzâ, doorpost), with reference to Deuteronomy 6:9,[1] a mitzvah (Biblical commandment as interpreted in Jewish law) ordering to “write the words of God on the gates and doorposts of your house”.


  • IPA(key): /məˈzuːzɔː/
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mezuzah (plural mezuzahs or mezuzot or mezuzoth)

  1. (Judaism and occasionally Christianity) A piece of parchment inscribed with specific Hebrew verses from the Torah (Deuteronomy 6:4–9 and 11:13–21) and attached in a case to the doorpost of a house.
    • 1916, Isaac Husik, A History of Mediaeval Jewish Philosophy[1]:
      On the other hand, one may feel profoundly moved with the spirit of true piety, love of God and loyalty to his commandments in the performance of a so-called "traditional commandment," like the fastening of a "mezuzah" to the door-post.
    • 1973, Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow, 1st US edition, New York: Viking Press, →ISBN, part 3: In the Zone, page 563:
      Slothrop gives him the mandala. He hopes it will work like the mantra that Enzian told him once, mba-kayere (I am passed over), mba-kayere . . . a spell against Marvy tonight, against Tchitcherine. A mezuzah. Safe passage through a bad night. . . .
    • 1988 September 2, Florence Hamlish Levinsohn, “A Special Connection With God”, in Chicago Reader[2]:
      Lubavitchers, Penansky says, believe mezuzahs need no adornment and simply wrap them in cellophane.
    • 2006, Howard Jacobson, Kalooki Nights, Vintage, published 2007, page 20:
      When Manny or either of his parents went through their front door they put a finger on their lips and then to the mezuzah on the door frame.
  2. (Samaritanism) an object with the similar function in the Samaritan tradition



  1. ^ The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], 1611, →OCLC, Deuteronomy 6:9.:And thou shalt write them vpon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.