Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A small piece of parchment inscribed with the biblical passages Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21 and marked with the word Shaddai, a name of the Almighty, that is rolled up in a container and affixed by many Jewish households to their door frames in conformity with Jewish law and as a sign of their faith.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A piece of parchment inscribed with Pentateuchal texts and attached in a case to the doorpost of a house, in accordance with Jewish law that says that “the Jews must remember the Tenth Plague and the blood on the doorposts.”

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Among the Jews, an emblem consisting of a piece of parchment, inscribed on one side with the words found in Deut. vi. 4-9 and xi. 13-21, on the other with “Shaddai,” ‘the Almighty,’ and so placed in a small hollow cylinder that the divine name is visible through an opening covered by a glass.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. religious texts from Deuteronomy inscribed on parchment and rolled up in a case that is attached to the doorframe of many Jewish households in accordance with Jewish law

Etymologies

Hebrew məzûzâ, doorpost, mezuzah; see ḏwḏ1 in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From post-Biblical Hebrew מְזוּזָה (m'zuzá) (referring to Deuteronomy 6:9). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Actually, a mezuzah is a daily reminder — and a public declaration — of Jewish identity …

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  • As a matter of interest a mezuzah is a parchment scroll with selected Torah verses placed in a container and affixed to the exterior doorposts of observant Jewish homes.

    My Grandparents' Legacy

  • From her father she knew that the box was called a mezuzah and that, inside, was a scroll with a prayer, called the shema.

    Stones from the River

  • (A mezuzah is a piece of parchment, often contained in a decorative case, that includes Hebrew verses from the Torah.

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  • On its face, the so-called mezuzah case sparks an interesting question: Does a condo association violate owners 'civil rights by banning religious symbols from a ...

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  • BLITZER: And he -- you know, he's -- he's a Mormon, but he wears a mezuzah, which is a Jewish ...

    CNN Transcript Dec 9, 2009

  • For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, a mezuzah is a small case placed upon the doorpost of a Jewish home.

    Mezuzot....in....Space!

  • The mezuzah was a gift to the governor from state Rep. Adam Hasner, who obtained it during a trade mission to Israel earlier this year.

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  • Rabbis know the scroll known as a mezuzah contains the first words of the Shema.

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  • I unlocked the door, but before crossing the threshold, I kissed my fingers in a sloppy, smacking way, and then put my wet fingers to the mezuzah, which is how my father used to do it.

    Wake Up, Sir!

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