Obj. ID: 11552
Sacred and Ritual Objects Mezuzah cover, Morocco, c. 1900
The following description was prepared by William Gross:
A mezuzah (Hebrew: מְזוּזָה "doorpost"; plural: מְזוּזוֹת mezuzot) is a piece of parchment (often contained in a decorative case) inscribed with specified Hebrew verses from the Torah (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21). These verses compose the Jewish prayer "Shema Yisrael", beginning with the phrase: "Hear, O Israel, the LORD (is) our God, the LORD is One". In mainstream, i.e. Rabbinic Judaism, a mezuzah is affixed to the doorframe of Jewish homes to fulfill the mitzvah (Biblical commandment) to inscribe the words of the Shema "on the doorposts of your house" (Deuteronomy 6:9). Some interpret Jewish law to require a mezuzah on every doorway in the home apart from bathrooms and closets too small to qualify as rooms. The parchment is prepared by a qualified scribe who has undergone many years of meticulous training, and the verses are written in black indelible ink with a special quill pen. The parchment is then rolled up and placed inside the case.
This is a silver cover for the mezuzah. In the Moroccan tradition for the inside rooms of a building, a small opening was carved into the wall into which the parchment mezuzah was placed. This silver mezuzah covered that opening. In this istance this silver cover belonged to and is inscribed with the name of Raphael ibn Zur ( 1830-1917), one of the most revered rabbis from Fez of more than one hundred years ago. During his lifetime he was the president of the rabbinical court in Fez. In the cemetery of Fez his grave is in a large monument of a type reserved for only the greatest of rabbinical figures. Other objects having to do with the ibn Zur family are in the Gross Family Collection.
Inscription: Ve-Katavtem Al Mezuzot Beitekha........