Friday, March 24, 2017
Hasidic rabbis in South Jersey are hitting the streets across the region in an effort to counter hate threats against the Jewish community, and they're installing signs of peace.
A mezuzah is a sacred handwritten parchment scroll. According to the Torah, the six-inch long holy instrument protects Jewish homes from hate and prolongs ones life.
"It blesses the home and it blesses the family and it protects everything you could pray for," says Miya Eylon, who just moved into a new home with her husband in Cherry Hill. They called on rabbis from the Chabad-Lubavitch Centers of South Jersey to install their mezuzah.
This came just weeks after a bomb threat evacuated the nearby Katz Jewish Community Center, and scores more threats were lodged against Jewish centers across the country.
Rabbi Yitzchok Kahan says Chabad-Lubavitch launched the Cherry Hill Mezuzah Campaign to counter the hate, installing hundreds of the sacred scrolls in doorways of Jewish homes in the area to bring peace.
"We feel challenged and threatened and sometimes we are not in the position to do something at the leadership level but personal every single of us has an ability to take that negative energy and transform it into a positive force," he says.
The mezuzah is installed on the top third of the door post and is usually installed at every doorway inside of a home as well, with the exception of bathrooms. After installation, the rabbis provide a special blessing.
"People want to have more increased security," says Rabbi Menachem Kaminker. "This brings divine protection, and we want to make sure that every Jewish home has a mezuzah at the door post."
The effort has become so popular, a similar campaign will be launched in Philadelphia in coming weeks.
"This is the third shipment of the mezuzahs that we are getting," says Kaminker, "We keep having to restock."
The rabbis say they hope the effort shows the community that love wins over hate.
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