Since childhood, I have loved the tradition of reaching up to kiss the mezuzah; knowing that the six Hebrew words written on parchment and secured inside the box connected me with God and my people. “Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheynu Adonai Echad” translated to mean, “Listen! People of Israel, Adonai is our God; Adonai is ONE.” This one sentence is often considered to be the heart and soul of the Jewish people – a reminder of how we walk in the world and walk with God or Godliness.
August 25th marks the day that Houston received a very unwelcomed guest that unleashed destruction of our homes and damage to some of our synagogues. Hurricane Harvey's devastation remains overwhelming. While my own home was(mostly) spared, I wanted to do something concrete to help friends going through the challenges of losing their homes and belongings. I knew others would be there to help them fix their structures and replace their “stuff,” yet I wondered if that powerful touchstone of Jewish life, the mezuzah, would receive adequate attention. It is in this wondering that an idea emerged – to provide each family with a new mezuzah to restore their spirits, nourish their souls, and renew their faith.
As a Jewish Educator, when I want support with a task, I network with my friends and colleagues via Facebook including the thousands of Jewish educators connected in a group called JEDLAB. Within an hour, the response for the Mezuzah Project was joyfully and overwhelming! Friends (Jewish and non-Jewish) requested my address so they could send me the kosher scrolls to go into the mezuzah. Colleagues and friends alike are pursuing avenues and resources to help me provide a mezuzah with a kosher scroll inside for every Jewish home that was devastated in Houston. My hope is that as I continue to reach out to local congregations, Jewish Family Service, the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, and by word of mouth, that together, we will find those who are in the process of rebuilding their homes and lives in Houston.
Wouldn’t it be AMAZING to reach out to other Jewish families and communities beyond Houston that are reeling from the effects of nature’s fury?
If you are interested in sending kosher mezuzah scrolls or mezuzahs, please send them to:
Chava Gal-Or c/o Temple Sinai 13875 Brimhurst Drive Houston, Texas 77077
If you are called to participate in what is now called Door l’Door: Mezuzah Rescue and Replacement, please connect with me by mail at the above address or via email at MezuzotProject@gmail.com.
Donations towards this project can be made out to Chava Gal-Or with Mezuzot Project in the memo section of the check or via PayPal. Please note that Door l'Door is not yet a nonprofit; but I am in the process of creating 501(c)(3).