Weekly Story: What Does Mezuzah Represent

by Rabbi Sholom DovBer Avtzon

In honor of the Chassunah of our daughter and son-on-law this past Sunday, I am sharing a Yechidus that a chosson had with the Rebbe prior to his Chassunah, in 5728 (1968).[1]  This story I heard from Rabbi Sholom Ber Schapiro, who was then also a chosson and had a yechidus that night, immediately before that chosson, and heard it directly from him. My thanks to Rabbi Schapiro for sharing it with me,

In those years, a yechidus before one’s Chassunah was for just a few minutes. Together to their pa”n (pidyon nefesh – request for brochos), the Chosson would give the Rebbe an invitation and the Rebbe would quite often ask him a few questions about the preparations to the chassunah.

That night one of the chassanim’s yechidus continued for considerably longer, which was a surprise to everyone. So when he came out of the Rebbe’s room, I (Rabbi Sholom Ber Schapiro) went over and said, if it wasn’t personal, would you please share with me what the Rebbe said to you during your Yechidus.

The chosson replied, although the Rebbe told it to me, which demonstrates that it is pertinent to me, perhaps more than to others, however, I do feel that it should be shared with others, so I will relate it to you.

As you all know, quite often the Rebbe asks chassanim a few questions about the preparations for the Chassunah.

I (the other chosson) replied, That I was learning the halachos that are pertinent to a marriage, as well as the fact that we found an apartment, and some other points.

The Rebbe then asked me “What else?”

I replied, we purchased some furniture, for the dining room, living room and bedroom.

The Rebbe then inquired, “And what else?’

I replied, “We have pots, pans, dishes and cutlery.

Once again the Rebbe inquired, “And what else?”

I replied, “Towels and linen”.

But each answer I gave, seemingly didn’t answer his question. I said that the walls were being painted, shades for the windows were put up, a new lock on the door.

And the Rebbe continued repeating this question, “And what else?”

Finally, I had nothing more to add, and I remained silent.

The Rebbe then said, “You mentioned that you acquired numerous things; however, you didn’t mention that you bought and placed Mezuzos on the frame of the door. I will tell you why one should have a mezuzah on the door of their apartment.[2]

“The Hebrew word mezuzah, is comprised of three consonants; it begins with a mem, the word zoo and the word zeh.

“The numerical equivalent of the letter Mem, is forty.  The Mem in the word Mezuzah, represents the Torah, which was given to us after Moshe Raibeinu went up the mountain for mem (forty) days. [That is a reference to Torah Shebeksav (the written Torah)], and mem also symbolizes the Torah she’baal peh (oral Torah) as the talmud begins and ends with a mem.

“The consonant Zoo represents the words of the possuk ahm zoo yutzartuh (this nation You created), a reference to the Jewish people.

“The final consonant of Zeh is connected to the words of the possuk, Zeh Keili vi’anverihu (this is my G-d and I will glorify Him).

So in essence the mezuzah represents the three loves that a Jew has, Ahavas Hatorah (love for the Torah), Ahavas Hashem (love for Hashem) and Ahavas Yisroel (love for every Jew).

That is teaching us that a chosson and kallah should prepare their home to be a home of  – TORAH (mem), YIDDEN (zoo) – meaning hachnasas orchim and then HASHEM (zeh) will reside within their home and be a partner with them.”

The Rebbe then blessed me that my house should embody this concept. Amen

May this brocho be fulfilled in all of our homes!

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Rabbi Avtzon is a veteran mechanech and the author of numerous books on the Rebbeim and their chassidim. He is available to speak or farbreng in your community and can be contacted at avtzonbooks@gmail.com.

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[1] At that time each Chosson (and Kallah) was able to have a yechidus in the Rebbe’s room.

Author’s note: Rabbi Schapiro explained to me that the chassanim (and most people) fasted the day that they had a yechidus with the Rebbe. Being that he went into the yechidus before this chosson, he was waiting outside to give him something to break his fast on.

In the early mem’s (80’s), the seder became that the Rebbe would periodically grant yechidus kiloilis (one Yechidus for all chasanim and kallahs, another one for all boys and girls (together with their parents) who were becoming bar and bas mitzvah, etc.

[2] Compiler’s Note: I believe that at that time many people followed the halachah as it is mentioned in Shulcha Aruch. That a person who moves into an apartment, is not obligated to put up a mezuzah until he has lived there for thirty says.

However our custom is to place the mezuzah as soon as one enters his new dwelling place, a kosher mezuzah is placed on every door, and on the thirtieth day, one is taken down and rechesked.

3 Comments

  • 1. very nice! wrote:

    Rabbi Avtzon. I really appreciate your weekly story. .Always with lots of Toichin and good lessons. This was extra special. Thank you

    p.s. thank you for always sharing as many details as you can.

    Reply
  • 2. Still thinking about the Little Orphan wrote:

    I am still thinking of the story about the little orphan Malkie. I can’t help wondering how she is doing and if she is okay b’gashmiyus u’b’ruchniyus. Any chance for an update or a follow up continuation of her fascinating life story?

    Reply

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