Thursday February 21: 16 Adar
It was on this day in the year 42 A.D. that King Agrippa began construction on a gate within the walls of Jerusalem. Six months later, the gate was dedicated and that day became an ancient holiday.
If you ever traveled to Jerusalem, you have seen that there are several gates in the Old City. Though these were not present during the time of the Messiah, they are still very famous gates: the Zion Gate, Jaffa Gate, Damascus Gate and the Eastern Gate. On every one of these gates, a mezuzah has been affixed to them and contained within that mezuzah there is a parchment that contains a portion from the Word of God. So then, no doubt upon completion of the gate built by Agrippa, one of the first things that would have been done was to affix a mezuzah to the gate in accordance with God’s instruction:
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart…You shall write them on the doorposts (mezuzot) of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:6, 9)
Like all of God’s instructions, the commandment to place a mezuzah on the doorposts of our homes and gates is a command for our benefit. On every mezuzah, you will see the letter ש shiyn (the Hebrew letter that looks very similar to our letter “w”). The shiyn represents a name ascribed to the Creator – שדי Shaddai. Tradition has it that the spelling of the name שדי Shaddai, forms an acronym for shomer delatot Yisrael, or “Guardian of the doors of Israel.”
We live in a day time where people place their trust in ADT or Brinks, LifeLock or Smith and Wesson, not that there’s anything wrong with those things. But I’m glad to know that, upon the doors of our home, the Word of God is affixed and the Father in Heaven guards our doors. Placing a mezuzah upon the doors of our homes should not be viewed as trusting in a charm or talisman. It should not be viewed as being an exercise in religion, but an exercise in relationship. Obedience to this command demonstrates a desire for God’s Word to be upon our homes, signaling to all that God is invited to rule and reign in our homes.
It’s also demonstrating that we are trusting in Him to defend our home, because we can’t always trust ADT or Smith and Wesson to do the job. Knowing that the Creator of the universe is guarding the doors of our home, protecting our families is a comfort in this day and time. Yes, sometimes bad things happen to good people but when the mezuzah is upon our door, it is an expression of the family within to the Almighty that says, “We trust You.” It says to the Creator, “You are welcome in this place. Enter into the gates of our home. Come in and reign over us.” Psalm 24 phrased it this way:
“Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle….Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah.”