Mezuzah Little Magic/Ritual

SB is an 18 year old college student from the East Coast. He says he has practiced this ritual/superstition for at least 10 years. Informant identifies as culturally Jewish and does not consider himself very religious.

Context: This ritual is performed inside his family’s home. He is strongly connected to it and has one attached to his door frame.


Collector: Can you tell me about the Mezuzah ritual?

SB: So basically a Mezuzah is a piece of scripture on paper in a protective case that is hung up by your door frame. You kiss it, my family kisses our fingers and touch it, and it gives you good luck for the day. You do it before you leave the house; my family does this whenever we pass it.

Collector: What does the Mezuzah mean to you?

SB: It makes me feel connected to my culture. It’s special to my family and it’s a part of what represents us as a people.

Analysis: The Mezuzah ritual, specifically being used as a good luck charm instead of to honor God, is strongly tied to Jewish culture. The scripture being written on paper compliments other Jewish magic rituals in which written magic is used. This is more of a little magic ritual rather than one done for religious purposes.

For other variations of the Mezuzah ritual, see:

Cohn, Yehudah B. “Mezuzah .” Shibboleth authentication request, October 26, 2012.

Cleland, Patrick. “Kissing The Mezuzah.” USC Digital Folklore Archives, May 14, 2013.