Why jewish kiss the door

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The act of kissing the mezuzah, a small parchment scroll containing biblical verses affixed to the doorposts of Jewish homes, is a longstanding tradition within the Jewish faith. This custom holds deep religious and cultural significance for Jews around the world, serving as a tangible expression of devotion, reverence, and connection to Jewish heritage and tradition. Understanding why Jews kiss the mezuzah involves exploring the historical, religious, and symbolic dimensions of this practice, as well as its contemporary relevance within Jewish communities.

One of the primary reasons why Jews kiss the mezuzah is rooted in religious tradition and interpretation of Jewish law. The commandment to affix a mezuzah to the doorposts of one’s home is derived from the Torah, specifically from the passage known as the Shema, found in the book of Deuteronomy. In the Shema, Jews are instructed to love and serve God with all their heart, soul, and strength, and to teach His commandments to their children, “and thou shalt write them upon the door-posts of thy house, and upon thy gates” (Deuteronomy 6:9). This commandment has been interpreted by Jewish scholars and religious authorities as requiring Jews to affix a mezuzah to the doorposts of their homes as a sign of their commitment to God’s commandments and their dedication to Jewish tradition.

Furthermore, the act of kissing the mezuzah is seen as a form of reverence and acknowledgment of God’s presence and protection. The mezuzah serves as a tangible reminder of God’s covenant with the Jewish people and His promise to watch over them and protect them from harm. By kissing the mezuzah upon entering or leaving a room, Jews express their gratitude to God for His blessings and protection, as well as their commitment to living a life of faith, obedience, and righteousness.

Moreover, kissing the mezuzah is often associated with the concept of hachnasat orchim, or welcoming guests, in Jewish tradition. According to Jewish custom, the mezuzah serves as a symbol of hospitality and welcome, inviting guests into the home and reminding them of the values of kindness, compassion, and generosity. By kissing the mezuzah upon entering or leaving a room, Jews demonstrate their commitment to the principles of hospitality and community, as well as their desire to create a warm and welcoming environment for themselves and others.

Additionally, kissing the mezuzah is a deeply ingrained cultural practice within Jewish communities, passed down through generations as a cherished tradition and symbol of Jewish identity. For many Jews, kissing the mezuzah is a deeply personal and meaningful act that connects them to their religious heritage and ancestral roots. It serves as a tangible link to the past, reminding them of the sacrifices and struggles of their ancestors, as well as the enduring strength and resilience of the Jewish people.

It’s important to note that while kissing the mezuzah is a common custom among Jews, its observance may vary among different Jewish communities and individuals. Some Jews may kiss the mezuzah with their hand, lips, or fingers, while others may simply touch it or bow in reverence. Additionally, the frequency and manner of kissing the mezuzah may differ depending on personal custom, religious observance, and cultural background.

In contemporary Jewish society, where religious observance and cultural practices are subject to individual interpretation and adaptation, the act of kissing the mezuzah remains a cherished and integral aspect of Jewish life. It serves as a visible expression of faith, devotion, and connection to Jewish tradition, as well as a symbol of God’s presence and protection in the home. By continuing to observe this ancient custom, Jews around the world affirm their commitment to their religious heritage and their desire to pass on the values and traditions of their ancestors to future generations.

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