F.I.N.D.s* – A Mezuzah on the Door

Jewish mezuzah, jewish homeWhen one of our sweet grandkids was two years old, and when he’d toddle into our home for a visit, he loved reconfirming that everything was where he knew it would be. He especially liked when we held him in our arms and carried him to this mezuzah on the doorpost of Grandpa’s office. He’d put out his little hand to touch it, then kiss his fingers, mimicking what he saw us do.

Did he see it the way Anita Diamant described in Living a Jewish Life?

 The little box or cylinder affixed to the doorways of Jewish homes is a clue, a reminder, a sign of welcome, a decoration, an amulet, and a sentry box.

Probably not. He probably just liked exploring the different mezuzot — each one looking and feeling different – from brass to glass to stone. Or, maybe, he just liked being in a long hug in our warm, loving arms.

Knowing how much a mezuzah meant to him, I was delighted to discover a kid-friendly book by author Amy Meltzer and illustrator Janice Fried called “A Mezuzah on the Door.”

I was equally excited because this same little guy (now a few years older) and I had pondered, about a year ago, why there weren’t more books on Kindle available for him. When I saw that this story is on Kindle, I grabbed it.

My only disappointment is how small the words are on a Kindle Fire. So I’d recommend cuddling with your little one and reading it from a larger device.

The story itself is about a family who moved from a city apartment to a suburban home. (At first, visions of The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day popped in my head.) And maybe this resonated for me because my husband and I moved our family multiple times when our kids were young.

Of course, there were adjustments for Noah, the little boy in the story, to make. From city noises to too-quiet, among other things.

Mezuzah at Noah’s height

But Mom then announced that they would be hosting a Hanukkat Habayit that night – a party to celebrate their new home, “just like the Maccabees dedicated the Holy Temple.”

And what was Noah’s role? He got to choose a mezuzah from the gift shop for his room. That evening, in addition to putting up the mezuzah at the front door, they affixed Noah’s very own mezuzah “low enough for Noah to reach.” [Brilliant!]

The author takes the opportunity to give lots of whys that people touch the mezuzah. My favorite is the hauntingly beautiful final reason: “When I touch a mezuzah, I feel like I’m holding hands with everyone else who has touched it.”

Meltzer also includes the prayer to recite when placing a mezuzah on a door.

Your turn

What have you done to help your little ones adjust after a move?

*Fabulous. Intriguing. New-to-me. Discoveries.

 

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A New Look at the Mezuzah

Connecting with Your New Jewish Community

 

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