Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (MSG)
It is interesting the things that stand out about other countries and cultures when you visit. When I traveled to Israel several years ago, one of the first things that stood out to me were the little ornate boxes that were attached to seemingly every door frame of every house, shop or hotel room.
I learned very quickly that the box is called a mezuzah and it is hollow inside so that a scroll with God’s word could be treasured inside it. It was Israel’s way of being literally obedient to the command in Deuteronomy 6 to take God’s commands and “inscribe them on the doorpost of your homes.” As you go in and out of the house you will see the mezuza and you will remember Deuteronomy 6 and both God’s command and his promised blessing.
I bought a mezuzah in Israel and brought it back with me. I have hung it on the most used door in every home I’ve lived in since. When Wendy and I moved into our house I brought it with me. It’s been sitting on a bookshelf in the living room. A while back I asked Wendy to pick out some verses she wanted placed in our mezuzah. I then picked out some verses of my own, but like many other things in life I shoved the “to-do” of hanging the mezuzah on the back burner. After reading today’s chapter, I can think of no better day to get off the dime and hang it.
There is nothing magical about the mezuzah. It’s simply a mnemonic device. It’s a reminder. As I go out my door and return each day in the hustle and bustle of life, my mind is usually buzzing to remember a million “urgent” things. The mezuzah reminds me in that moment that I need to give both my mind and my heart to remember those things that are eternally significant.