You may be familiar with the custom of touching the mezuzah as you enter a house. And why do some people do that? So as to actively embrace the message of that cherished symbol that we attach to our homes.
If you look at your mezuzah, you will note that someplace on the decorative encasement there is a Hebrew letter “shin.” It stands for one of the traditional names for God: the name Shaddai. It is the name that we associate with God’s power and God’s watchfulness.
But literally, the word Shaddai means “that which is enough.” The reminder that when we enter our homes, we need to be able to say “enough” to the struggles and compromises of the outside world. That when we enter our homes, we need to say “enough” to that tendency to value more and bigger and better. We need to be reminded that for most of us, we already have “enough,” if only we will enjoy and cherish what we have.
Yes, that little mezuzah which we affix to a Jewish home conveys our quest to make our homes into worthy sanctuaries of love, warmth, and devotion. It reminds us of our Jewish identity and our quest to bring the Divine spirit into our homes.
I very much like the observation: “You don’t teach morals and ethics and empathy and kindness in the schools. You teach that at home, and children learn by example.”
May our homes ever be places of refuge from the challenges and pressures of our daily lives.
I wish you Shabbat Shalom. May you know peace in your home.
Rabbi David Greenberg