Chief Rabbi: Afraid of coronavirus? Don't kiss the mezuzah

The mezuzah is a hand-written scroll with a few verses from the scriptures placed in a container and attached to the doorpost of a Jewish residence.

Mezuzah affixed to a door frame on South Street in Philadelphia. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Mezuzah affixed to a door frame on South Street in Philadelphia.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel David Lauissued  issued a ruling on Wednesday that people should stop kissing the mezuzah when they enter or depart Jewish homes.
A mezuzah is a scroll that contains paragraphs from Hebrew scripture, including the Shema, which declares the oneness of God. It is enclosed in a small case and attached to many of a dwelling’s doorposts.
“In these days, where sadly we see the spread of a terrible disease, there is doubt that one should not kiss mezuzot or even touch them,” Lau wrote. “It is enough for a person to reflect on the verses written in the scroll when he enters or departs from a place, and these thoughts will accompany him on his way.”
Under Jewish law, there is a distinction between a custom and a binding law that all must follow. Kissing the mezuzah is a Jewish custom.


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