Dear Mezuzah,

Question

I’ve seen people kiss the mezuzah when leaving or entering their home. My question is: Why? Btw, I really enjoy the questions and answers you post in your weekly Shabbat Shalom newsletter. Thanks!

4 months

Answers

  1. Kissing the mezuzah is a way of showing how dear, precious and beloved the mitzvah is to us. I’ve heard people say that they feel a close connection to God when they kiss the mezuzah. I’ve also heard that people feel this close connection not only when they themselves kiss the mezuzah but when they see others kiss the mezuzah as well.

    As you write, it’s a widespread custom to kiss the mezuzah when leaving or entering one’s home. Actually, the custom is to touch the mezuzah with your hand and then kiss your hand. The Shulchan Aruch mentions the custom to touch the mezuzah and to pray for God to watch over you.

    A student once came to me and told me that he forgot to kiss the mezuzah on his way out of the house that morning as he rushed to class. I told him not to worry but to kiss it twice when he gets home.

    Speaking of forgetting reminds me of the following:

    A man tells his doctor, “Doctor, I can’t remember anything! I forgot what happened yesterday, I forgot what my car looks like, I can’t even remember my own name.”

    Doctor: How long have you had this problem?

    Man: What problem?

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team