A Sign on the Doorpost by
(311 Stories)

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Our post-war Manhattan apartment building recently underwent a major renovation –   new elevators and new lobby furniture;   in the halls new carpeting,  wallpaper and lighting;  and new saddles,  bells and knobs for all our apartment doors.

The construction company hired for the job sent a friendly crew of guys who enjoyed the chocolate chip cookies I always offered them.   One day as I was leaving my apartment I overheard a sweet conversation between two of the men who were working down the hall.

”What’s that mounted up on some of the door frames?“,   one fellow asked.

”It’s a religious custom.”,  the other guy explained,   “they’re like badges that mark Jewish homes and bless them.”

Ah yes,  I thought,  and how often do we rush through our busy days and forget?    And I reached up to touch the mezuzah on our doorpost.

– Dana Susan Lehrman

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

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Tags: Mezuzahs, Judaism


  1. Betsy Pfau says:

    “Be mindful of all my Mitzvots and do them.”

  2. Marian says:

    Shabbat shalom, Dana, a reminder to touch my mezuzah today.

  3. You captured this vignette in its essence and conveyed it powerfully to the reader. Simple, uncluttered, and spare. And moving.

  4. Laurie Levy says:

    I really like your unique take on this prompt, Dana. When we moved recently, we took one with us for our new place (from my husband’s office door) but left the two others just in case. Turns out, that was the right thing to do.

  5. Suzy says:

    I see the connection now, it’s because the worker said they were like badges.

  6. Love that the comment by the workman provided this subtle connection to the prompt, Dee. I also love that the diagonal placement came about as a peaceful compromise by a 12th century rabbi (who thought it should be affixed vertically) and his grandson (who thought it should be horizontal). If only politics worked that way!

    • Thanx Bebe, I guess witj all the political stories, I threw some spirituality into the mix.
      Actually I was taken by the fellow calling mezuzahs “badges”, I guess they are!

      And thanx to you, I now know why they’re affixed diagonally – a peaceful 12th century compromise!

  7. Mister Ed says:

    Nice story. Cross-cultural references are often fun. This certainly was.

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