In honor of the last day of Chanukah, we are happy to announce Shaare Torah’s Hanukkat HaBayit Mezuzah Initiative.
Later this winter, Shaare Torah will be offering mezuzot with the inscribed klaf (parchment) for any Shaare Torah member who would like one to affix on their own home. Sign up below for more information.
|“Hanukkah” means dedication, or rededication. On this festival of lights we celebrate Jewish self-determination and Jewish resistance to Seleucid Greek invaders who banned Jewish education and ritual, and we remember those who dared to practice Judaism in the Holy Land. Once the Maccabees regained control of Judea, they restored the sanctuary and rededicated the altar in the Beit Hamikidash, the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, followed by eight days of proudly celebrating the Hanukkat Habayit for eight days.
As Jews, we strive to orient ourselves toward holiness in every aspect of our lives. We no longer have a centralized sanctuary and altar; instead the flames of Jewish life are kindled in each Jewish hearth and home– in our actions, in our rituals and relationships– with our family members, ourselves, God, and the guests and strangers we welcome in.
One of the central mitzvot of the Torah that symbolizes the Bayit Yehudi, the Jewish home, and distinguishes it a Mikdash Me’at, a sanctuary writ small, is the mitzvah of affixing a Mezuzah on our doorposts.
Over millennia the mezuzah has held layers of meaning for our people, about the meaning of sacred space, navigating private and public identity, and the yearning for both peace within our walls and protection from without.
In this time in which Jews around the world are experiencing great vulnerability, we are looking to the mitzvah of mezuzah for strength and inspiration and offering to facilitate a Hanukkat Habayit –a “housewarming” and rededication–for any Shaare Torah member who does not have a mezuzah on the doorpost of their home and would like one.
A Shaare Torah rabbi or leader will join you at your home with a mezuzah and klaf and will help you to fulfill the mitzvah of affixing it to the doorpost, including reciting the berachot (blessings). Though the ritual moment is brief it could be an opportunity for a small gathering and celebration of recommitting to the values that are the foundation for your family life and commitment to building a thriving Jewish home.
If you may be interested or would like to learn more, please fill out the form linked below.
If you have any questions about this initiative or whether to affix a mezuzah outside your home, please do reach out to us, we are happy to discuss it with you.