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Mezuza

The third fundamental principle of Judaism, or the Sign upon the Door-post. The precept is founded upon the command, "And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates" (Deuteronomy vi, 4-9; xi, 13-21). The doorposts must be those of a dwelling; synagogues are excluded. The Karaite Jews affix Mezuzas to synagogues, and not to private houses. The Mezuza is constructed as follows: the two above-mentioned portions of Scripture are written on ruled vellum prepared according to Rabbinical rules, then rolled and fitted into a metallic tube. The word Shaddai, meaning the Almighty, is written on the outside of the roll, and can be read, when in the tube, through a got. The Mezuza is then nailed at each end on the right-hand door-post, while the following prayer is being said: "Blessed art thou, O Lord our God! King of the Universe, who hath sanctified us with His laws, and commanded us to fix the Mezuza." Under the word Shaddai some Jews write the three angelic names Coozu, Bemuchsaz, Coozu. To these some pray for success in business. The Talmud esti mates the virtue of the Talith, the Phylacteries, and the Mezuza in the following terms: "Whosoever has the phylacteries bound to his head and arm, and the fringes thrown over his garments, and the Mezuza fixed on his door-post, is safe from sin; for these are excellent memorials, and the angels secure him from sin; as it is written, 'The angel of the Lord encamped round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them " (Psalm xxxiv, 7).

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