This evening when you are cleaning up the dishes you may be surprised at who is knocking on the door. No, it’s not aluminum siding, house painting or candy sales. The next knock on your door just might be from Shmuli Levitin and Yudi Zarchi, door-to-door mezuzah salesman.
On summer break from rabbinical studies in New York yeshivas, these two young men are bringing the ancient mitzvah of the mezuzah to Seattle in an entirely new way.
“We are trying to educate Jewish families in Seattle about the importance of affixing a mezuzah to their doorposts. By going door-to-door, we are able to meet people and help them put up a mezuzah right then and there,” says Yudi Zarchi from Brooklyn, N.Y.
Shmuli Levitin, a Seattle native back home for the summer, adds, “This is a particularly important time for more Jewish homes to be adorned with a mezuzah because of the current situation in Israel. As Jews we are all united together, and when we affix a mezuzah to a Jewish home in Seattle it has positive spiritual consequences for the entire Jewish world, including Israel.”
The mezuzah signifies the sanctity and blessing of the Jewish home. Inside the case is a portion of the Torah, inscribed in the same manner and script as a Torah scroll. On this parchment are inscribed the “Shema Yisrael” and “Vehavta” (Deuteronomy 6:4–9 and 11:13–21). It is customary, upon entering or leaving a residence, to touch the mezuzah. This acknowledges a person’s belief in the “Shema Yisrael,” the Jewish declaration of faith, which expresses the unity of God, the duty of loving and serving God with your whole being and the obligation to observe the mitzvah (commandment) in and out of your home.
Shmuli and Yudi have found the Seattle Jewish community receptive to their project. Shmuli explains, “Sometimes people are not home so we leave a note about mezuzahs, but when people are home we usually spend a good deal of time with the family and most of the time we find that people are really interested in learning and doing more Jewish things. We have Shabbos candles ready for women and girls and a pair of tefillin ready to wrap for the guys. It’s been a lot of fun for us and the families we have met.”
If you need a mezuzah or have any questions, call Chabad at 206-527-1411.