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Ancient doorway with the Word of God. The word "mezuzah" is Hebrew for doorpost. Moses commanded that the Word of God should be written on the doorposts of every house in order to keep His words constantly in their minds and in their hearts. At a later time the Jews took this literally, by placing Scriptures (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21) on a small parchment scroll within a cylinder and upon each post of every room in their houses. The first word in the Scripture is "Hear" and in Hebrew is "Shema".
In modern Judaism Jews place the words of the Shema in special handwriting on a tiny scroll of parchment, along with the words of the companion passage, Deuteronomy 11:13-21. On the back of the scroll, the name of God is written Shaddai. As the scroll is rolled up and placed in the case, the first letter of the Name (the letter Shin) is visible, or simply written on the outside of the case.
Throughout the world today the Shema is an affirmation of Judaism and a declaration of faith in one God. The first line of the Shema reads, "Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One" (Shema Yisrael Adonai elohenu Adonai echad).
"And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates."
"Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth."