Mezuzah Project Coming To LGBT Synagogue

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Photo by John McDonald

It’s a sign that says we are still here.

Understand what a Mezuzah means and more on Sunday during a project presented by Congregation Etz Chaim. The gathering is from 3 to 5 p.m., March 26, inside Pride Center’s building B at Equality Park in Wilton Manors.

“Mezuzah means the case and the scroll inside it,” said Rabbi Noah Kitty of Congregation Etz Chaim. “However, it’s the scroll inside it that provides the juice -- as it were -- for the ritual item.”

Outside Kitty’s office in building B is a rainbow colored Mezuzah. The Rabbi said typically Mezuzahs are displayed on the outside of a house door frame, on the upper third of the door and tilted in.

“The ritual purpose has its origins in the verses from Deuteronomy which are included in the scroll inside the Mezuzah case,” Rabbi Kitty said.

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The verses are the Shema and V’ahavta. The V’ahavta is a prayer of love for Adonai that Jews will love with all heart, all soul and all might. The prayer calls for Jews to write its words on their hearts and the doorposts of their gates.

“If I am to write on my heart that means I am to take it in,” Rabbi Kitty explained. “I am supposed to accept it as part of the foundation of my moral center. Not just my religious center but my moral center because it’s not just about loving God, it’s about being Jewish and bringing that moral center into the outside world.”

The Mezuzah’s intention is simple, Rabbi Kitty added.

“This is not something to be hidden away,” Rabbi Kitty said. “You teach it to your children and you speak of it when you go about your business during the day. You don’t have a religious and a secular life, you have a life.”

On Sunday, Julie Seltzer will visit Congregation Etz Chaim. Seltzer is a certified Torah scribe who lives in New York. Seltzer’s soferet work has been documented by the New York Times. The newspaper described Seltzer in a piece published in 2009 as someone who “radiates calm not only in conversation but in the fierce concentration her work requires.”

All are invited to attend “The Mezuzah Project” on Sunday. Seltzer intends to display a hand lettered parchment Mezuzah. Donations are suggested, but not required.  Members are asked to pay the minimum $18.

For more information, call the synagogue office at 954-564-9232 or www.etzchaimflorida.org  

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