November hasn't arrived yet but the rains have, which is a good sign for our drought-stricken country. It's early to celebrate, but there does seem to be hope for the Kinneret, our lowest-water-level-on-record fresh-water lake. Now I have to buy the kids some winter boots, get a coat for Gal and try to find some good umbrellas for us all. The umbrella dilemma is a tough one. On the one hand, the cheap ones don't last very well. On the other hand, they all tend to get lost or left behind frequently. I'm one of the first to admit my guilt in forgetfulness. But....I don't have a car anymore so we walk everywhere.
A local craftsman started making mezuzza covers from Tzfat Stone. They are some of the most unique pieces of craftsmanship that I've seen in a long time -- hand-carved Shins "ש" on real stones from Tzfat's wadi. I took some pictures yesterday and am selling them for Shimon. He's a wonderful artisan but doesn't know how to show his work widely. I don't either, but I'm going to plop it up on a few sites to see what the interest is. More people than ever are looking at Judaica and Jewish traditions and connecting, and putting a mezuzza on your door is the first step -- it demonstrates a committment to the outside world while offering a sense of fulfilling a commandment within.
I listed it on EBay yesterday and did a little research so that I could write a bit about the Kabbalistic meaning of mezuzzas. I'm not an expert, but it was so interesting. Here's what I wrote (thanks to Ascent's kabbalaonline for their explanation)
The Kabbalistic Explanation of the Commandment of "Mezuzza"
The cornerstone of Luranic (Tzfat) Kabbala is the concept of “tzimtzum” or the concealment of the Divine Light. When God chooses to withdraw his light from the world a void is created, allowing evil to enter. According to Kabbalah man's task is to break through the darkness to discover the light and, or course, God.
Light will disperse the darkness. Kabbalah teaches that wisdom, learning and good deeds are all part of that light. These attributes are seen most clearly in the home.
The forces of evil are always lurking outside the door. A mezuzza on the door of the house acts as the ray of light which prevents the darkness of evil from penetrating. The mezuzza protects the home and those in it.
What is a Mezuzza?
A mezuzza is a small piece of parchment with a the Biblical verse from Deuteronomy 11:20-21 written on it, It is affixed to the doorpost of a home. This parchment is enclosed by a mezuzza cover which can be simple or a beautiful piece of Judaica.
The Torah promises long life to the homeowner and the homeowner's children when a mezuzza with this verse is affixed to the doorpost of the house.
Tzfat, the City of Kabbalah, offers mezuzza cover-Judaica made of Tzfat Stone. These mezuzzas are crafted in Tzfat by local artisans from the authentic stones of Tzfat. With a kosher klaf (the klaf, the inserted parchment, must be written by a Jewish scribe in the tradition of the Jewish Torah) these authentic mezuzzas from the City of Kabbalah will bring the blessings and protection of light and goodness to the home and those in it.
Mezuzza covers made of Tzfat Stone – $90
Mezuzza parchments written by Tzfat scribes – $60
Why won't the counter viewpoint push my apparent sketch?