Last night, I went to see the hit Broadway musical, Avenue Q. While I enjoyed the show, I have two memories from last night that come more from me eavesdropping than watching the show.
The first was when I was at a sushi restaurant before the show and a D-list celebrity (I guess working as a correspondent on the Daily Show makes you pretentious), sent back an order because her sushi tasted “fishy.”
The second eavesdropping incident is what I want to comment on, however. Waiting for the show to begin, an Indian man sitting behind me was telling his friend that he was planning on keeping the mezuzah up in his office, which was put up by the previous tenants.Â His reasoning was that it would make his Jewish clients feel more comfortable, giving him more business.
Luckily, his friend realized that comfortable is not the same as disrespectful (not the action itself, but his motivations behind it). But it got me thinking as to whether or not it is allowed for a non-Jew to put a mezuzah up on their doorposts.
In my brief search on the internet, I found this link (I know wikinoah.org probably isn’t a legitimate site, but then again, neither is my blog) that says that in the Rambam’s Mishneh Torah that non-Jews, in fact, are not allowed.
I think of it on a more basic level than the Rambam says it’s not allowed. For me, putting up a mezuzah is meant not only for the owner, but for other Jews walking by. I love walking by houses decked in Halloween gear only to see a mezuzah on the doorpost.
Seriously though, there is something amazing about being able to walk down a street and see that most houses have mezuzahs. I know this man behind wouldn’t understand, but if non-Jews were putting up mezuzahs as well, Jewish neighborhoods would feel less special to me.
On a semi-related not, you might as well watch this for no other reason than because it’s funny.
Pronounced: muh-ZOO-zuh (oo as in book), Origin: Hebrew, a small box placed on the right doorpost of Jewish homes. It contains a parchment scroll with verses from the Torah inscribed on it, including the Shema prayer (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 11:13-21).
Pronunced: TORE-uh, Origin: Hebrew, the Five Books of Moses.