Emery/Weiner Celebrates Completion Of New Upper School Building

November 5, 2008

To commemorate the completion of Emery/Weiner’s new Upper School building, students hung a mezuzah in each doorway of the building. Literally meaning “doorpost” in Hebrew, the practice of hanging mezuzot derives from a passage in the Torah: “And you shall write [the words that I command you today] on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:9, 11:19). To create the mezuzah, this passage is written on a tiny scroll and placed inside a case, with God’s name written on the back of the scroll. The Hebrew letter Shin, the first letter of God’s name, is typically inscribed on the outside of the case, which is then affixed to a doorpost.

Rabbi Maccabee Avishur, Director of The Emery/Weiner School’s Judaic Studies Department, first led the student body in a discussion about the history, use, and proper hanging of the mezuzah. Rabbi Judith Abrams also contributed to the discussion. Rabbi Abrams’s family donated a mezuzah for each doorway in Emery/Weiner’s Upper School. To hang the mezuzot, Emery/Weiner students were divided up into small groups by advisory. A mezuzah was affixed to the right side of each doorway in the building as students recited a prayer during the small ceremony to commemorate the occasion. Mezuzot are placed at an angle because historically, rabbis could not decide whether they should be placed vertically or horizontally: the resulting angle was a compromise.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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