A mezuzah (Hebrew, doorpost) actually refers to a small case, usually made of metal, which can be found affixed to the doorposts of Jewish homes, schools, and synagogues. Technically, the mezuzah is what is contained in the case, a parchment containing the two Hebrew inscriptions from Deuteronomy required by Jewish religious law to be posted on the doorposts of believers:
Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your resources. And these things that I command you today shall be upon your heart. And you shall teach them to your children, and you shall speak of them when you sit in your house and when you go on the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. And you shall bind them as a sign upon your arm and they shall be an ornament between your eyes. And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
And it shall happen, if you obey my commandments which I command you today, to love God within all your hearts and all your souls that I will give the rains of the land in its proper time, the light rains and the heavy rains, and you will gather your grain, your wine and your oil. I will give grass in your fields for your livestock. You will have enough to eat and you will be satisfied. Guard yourselves, lest your hearts lead you astray and you will serve other gods and you will bow to them. God will then become angry with you and will withhold the rain, and the land will not produce its bounty. You will quickly be lost from upon the good land that God has granted you. You shall place these words on your hearts and on your souls. You shall tie them as a sign on your arms and they shall be head ornaments between your eyes, and you shall teach them to your children to speak about them when you dwell in your house, when you travel on the road, when you lie down and when you arise. You shall inscribe them on the doorpost of your houses and your gates. So that you and your children may live many years on the land that God has promised to your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.
The first of these contains the commandment, “And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
The reverse of the parchment reads “Shaddai,” a name of God. This is explained in the mystical tractate Zohar as a notariqon for
“Shomer daltot Yisrael,”
or “guardian of the doors of Israel.” The first initial of this name, “Shin,” is usually inscribed on the outside of the case.
Various rules and strictures apply to the placement and positioning of the mezuzah, and the text must be written precisely. A properly constructed and affixed Mezuzah is believed to serve as a protective device. It is customary to touch or kiss the mezuzah when passing.
Resources for the study of alternative religion and belief. A gallery of Gods and Goddesses, Calendars of holidays, symbols, sacred texts, prayers, and more.
The Western, or Esoteric Kabbalah was created and utilized by Western magicians and Hermetic students for hundreds of years, and is a spiritual tradition in its own right.