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What is a Mezuzah? A Mezuzah is a parchment which we affix to our doorposts, on which a scribe has hand-written two paragraphs from the Torah: The portion of 'Sh'ma Yisroel' ("Hear O Israel...") in the Book of Devarim (Deuteronomy 6:4-9), and the portion of 'V'hoyo-im-shamoa' ("And it shall happen if you obey...") in Devarim (Deuteronomy 11:13-21.) In these paragraphs, G-d states that great rewards await those who observe the Mitzvot, including prosperity, success and long life. Each of the two paragraphs includes a commandment to affix a Mezuzah on the doorpost. These portions are written on the parchment with special ink, by a highly trained and certified scribe. The text is written in a single column on 22 scored lines. Every letter must be properly written, for even one letter written incorrectly invalidates the Mezuzah. On the back of the parchment is written the word 'Sha-dai', along with certain other letters. After the scribe has completed his writing, the parchment is rolled (not folded or creased) from left to right, so that the first word to appear when the Mezuzah is opened is 'Sh-ma'. The Mezuzah is then placed in a protective cover or case and is ready to be put up on the doorpost. The mezuzah should be affixed to the upper third of the doorpost on the right side as one enters the house or room. If the doorpost is wide enough to permit, the mezuzah should be tilted with the upper part slanting inward toward the house or room.
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