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mezuzah

[muh-zoo z-uh; Sephardic Hebrew muh-zoo-zah; Ashkenazic Hebrew muh-zoo -zuh] /məˈzʊz ə; Sephardic Hebrew mə zuˈzɑ; Ashkenazic Hebrew məˈzʊ zə/
noun, plural mezuzoth, mezuzot, mezuzos
[Sephardic Hebrew muh-zoo-zawt; Ashkenazic Hebrew muh-zoo -zohs] /Sephardic Hebrew mə zuˈzɔt; Ashkenazic Hebrew məˈzʊ zoʊs/ (Show IPA).
English, mezuzahs. Judaism.
1.
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
1640-1650
1640-50; < Hebrew məzūzāh literally, doorpost
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for mezuza

mezuzah

/məˈzʊzə; -ˈzuː-; Hebrew məzʊˈzɑ; Yiddish məˈzʊzə/
noun (Judaism) (pl) -zuzahs, -zuzoth (Hebrew) (-zuˈzɔt)
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
Word Origin
from Hebrew, literally: doorpost
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for mezuza

mezuzah

n.

1640s, from Hebrew, literally "doorpost."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for mezuza

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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