Month 8:14, Week 2:6 (Sheshi/Kippur), Year 5935:214 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Wednesday 9 November 2011
Doorposts and Gates
Should We Use the Jewish Mezuzah?
Continued from Part 3
Our question in this study, as we continue to examine Jewish customs in the light of Yahweh's Davar (Word), is whether we should imitate the practice of Judaism in which a piece of paper or parchment with Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21 written on it is placed in a little box box called a Mezuzah and fastened to the doorposts of our homes? Does this fulfil the mitzvah (commandment) given by Yahweh in our Scripture study today?
"Hear, O Israel: Yahweh our Elohim (God), Yahweh is echad (one)! ou shall love Yahweh your Elohim (God) with all your lev (heart), with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your lev (heart). You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates" (Deut.6:4-9, NKJV).
"And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love Yahweh your Elohim (God) and serve Him with all your lev (heart) and with all your soul, then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil. And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock, that you may eat and be filled.' Take heed to yourselves, lest your lev (heart) be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other elohim (gods) and worship them, lest Yahweh's anger be aroused against you, and He shut up the heavens so that there be no rain, and the land yield no produce, and you perish quickly from the good land which Yahweh is giving you. Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your lev (heart) and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which Yahweh swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth" (Deut.11:13-21, NKJV).
Before we answer these questions, we need to first of all understand two things:
Yesterday we spent some time examining the Jewish tehillim or phylactery and discovered, beyond any sort of doubt, that the binding of Yahweh's words to our arms and between our eyes was a potent metaphor reminding us of the importance of remembering and cherishing Yahweh's set-apart (holy) Torah of mitzvot (commandments). So that answers our second question. Today we look at the same passages of scripture but at the parts dealing with doorposts and gates.
- 1. What exactly the "words" are that Yahweh wants memorialised in this special way? and
- 2. What the "sign on your hand" and "frontlets between your eyes" actually are.
The modern Mezuzah is a piece of paper or parchment with Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21 written on it and placed in an elongated box. This box is then attached to the doorpost of the house. This 'Mezuzah' is supposedly to fulfill the Torah requirement of Deuteronomy 6:6-9:
The first question that needs to be answered is: What are "these words" that are to be taught and written?
"And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates" (Dt.6:6-9, KJV).
According to modern Talmudic Judaism the Mezuzah is to contain a small scroll on which is written Deuteronomy 6 which implies that what is to be remembered is the words telling us to remember these self-same words on our doorposts and gates! What would be the point of that? The more likely explanation is that the "devarim (words)" are the Ten Commandments found in Deuteronomy 5. That makes far more sense.
The second question is whether the modern Mezuzah is the correct application of the mitzvah (commandment) in Deuteronomy 6? If you read the passage literally, it says that you are to write "these words on the doorposts". The Hebrew word for a doorpost is mezuzah - the mezuzah is neither the elongated box Jews attach to the doorposts of their homes nor is it the little scroll inside it telling its readers to write Yahweh's words on their doorposts! Therefore what Judaism called a 'Mezuzah' is not a Mezuzah! The mitzvah (commandment) is not stating that a Mezuzah is to be placed on a doorpost but that "these words" are to be written on the doorpost (the mezuzah).
Now I see no reason why believers should not write out the Ten Commandments on their doorposts and gates if they want to. However, in light of what we discussed yesterday, telling us that the mitzvot (commandments) of Torah are to be metaphorically bound on our arms (directing our actions) and between our eyes (governing our thoughts), is it not more likely - since the mezuzah mitzvah (commandment) is organically a part of the former - that what Yahweh is again doing is using a metaphor? And what is mitzvah (commandment) then? That our homes (represented by the doorposts or mezuzah), and the land (representsed by the gates) on which our home stands - our families - be also governed by the Ten Commandments - the Torah - as well as ourselves individually!
The fastening of 'Mezuzah' boxes to the doorposts of homes as prescribed by Tamludic Judaism may well be very quaint and charming but the bottom line is that it is yet another useless man-made religious tradition pretending to be a mitzvah (commandment) of Yahweh when it is not! The mitzvah (commandment) is that our homes - the houses and lands given to us as a stewardship by Yahweh, and all those who live on and in them - be governed according to His Torah and not our own!
Which is another way of saying that Yah'shua (Jesus) should be "all in all" (1 Cor.15:28) since He is the Living Torah (Jn.1:1)!
Continued in Part 5
 AncientHebrew.org, Mezuzah