mezuzah

mezuzah

[muh-zooz-uh; Sephardic Hebrew muh-zoo-zah; Ashkenazic Hebrew muh-zoo-zuh]
noun, plural mezuzoth, mezuzot, mezuzos [Sephardic Hebrew muh-zoo-zawt; Ashkenazic Hebrew muh-zoo-zohs] . English, mezuzahs. Judaism.
a parchment scroll inscribed on one side with the Biblical passages Deut. 6:4–9 and 11:13–21 and on the other side with the word Shaddai (a name applied to God), inserted in a small case or tube so that Shaddai is visible through an aperture in front, and attached by some Jews to the doorpost of the home.
Also, mezuza.


Origin:
1640–50; < Hebrew məzūzāh literally, doorpost

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World English Dictionary
mezuzah (məˈzʊzə, -ˈzuː-, Hebrew məzʊˈzɑ, Yiddish məˈzʊzə)
 
n , pl -zuzahs, -zuzoth
1.  a piece of parchment inscribed with biblical passages and fixed to the doorpost of the rooms of a Jewish house
2.  a metal case for such a parchment, sometimes worn as an ornament
 
[from Hebrew, literally: doorpost]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

mezuzah
1650, from Heb., lit. "doorpost."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

mezuzah

small folded or rolled parchment inscribed by a qualified calligraphist with scriptural verses (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 11:13-21) to remind Jews of their obligations toward God. The parchment is placed in a metal, wooden, or glass case so that the word Shaddai ("Almighty") can usually be seen on the back of the parchment. After a special blessing is recited, the mezuzah is firmly fixed to the main doorpost of the home (to the right as one enters). It is a custom with some Jews to kiss the mezuzah as they pass it. The wearing of a mezuzah on a chain around the neck is a practice of relatively recent origin

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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