Thursday, April 2, 2009
Mezuzah: Protective Amulet or Religious Symbol?
What is the purpose of mezuzah? Is it solely to focus our minds and hearts on God? Or does it also have a protective function for the home?
Dr. Martin Gordon published an article on this topic, “Mezuzah: Protective Amulet or Religious Symbol?” in Tradition 16:4 (Summer 1977) pp. 7-40. It is superbly researched and provides an excellent example of the striking difference between the rationalist and non-rationalist worldviews, as well as the decline of the rationalist worldview in Judaism. (A similar pattern can be shown for many other mitzvos, as I hope to discuss in future posts.) Best of all, the full article can be freely downloaded in PDF format here. Strongly recommended for anyone with an interest in rationalist Judaism!
(If anyone knows how to contact Dr. Gordon, please let me know by e-mail).
Posted by Natan Slifkin