Chaim Ingram

Acute Angles: Mezuzas for Non-Jews?

Shalom Rabbi. I am an avid reader of your writings some of which are forwarded to me by a close Jewish friend. I am not Jewish but I love your people and am inspired by stories I have read about how the amulet which you call a Mezuza has protected people especially at the present time in Israel from harm and even death. My husband and I would like to place a Mezuza on our front door. Can you advise me how we would go about doing this? With G-D’s blessings. Yolanda H.

 Dear Yolanda,

Before answering your question, I would like to correct your assumption. Mezuzas are not amulets and they don’t give us protection.

It is G-D who protects!  The Mezuza is the receptacle containing sacred parchment affixed to every right-hand doorpost (bar the bathroom) of a Jewish home which proclaims that G-D is the “protector of the doorways of Israel”. The initial letters of that phrase in Hebrew spells the word SHA-DAI which means “Al-mighty”. This word is inscribed upon the  side of the parchment  which is visible, while on the other side of the parchment is written – by a G-D-fearing scribe called a sofer – passages from Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21 proclaiming the oneness of G-D and the importance for a Jew of abiding by the mitsvot, i.e. commandments of the Torah.

And here’s the thing!  The responsibility for preserving this comprehensive code of mitsvot enshrined in the Torah was given to the people of Israel alone. Gentiles have no need of most of these mitsvot. They are enjoined to keep only the Noachide code of universal laws somewhat similar to, but not identical with, the Ten Commandments  I will be happy to elaborate in a private communication.

To return to the nub of your question: I too have read stories about how supposedly a mezuza hung as a pendant around a Jewish person’s neck or even encased in a walking-stick have saved lives! The fact is that since there is no mitsva to do either of these things, to believe that it was the mezuza that saved rather than that it was G-D who saved, is actually almost akin to idolatry. It reduces a sacred mitsva to a lucky charm or an “amulet” as you call it. But even narratives describing kosher Mezuzos adorning Jewish doors as having protected their occupants from harm are misplaced.  The Mezuza itself has no power to protect. However G-D, who is happy with every Jew that embraces the exquisite yet easy-to-observe mitsva of fixing Mezuzot on all their doors as an outward sign and reminder of G-D’s covenant with the people of Israel, will most certainly safeguard every such Jewish home in countless untold and unknowable ways!

Since for you affixing a Mezuza is not a mitsva, there will be no added protection by G-D for you through this medium.  Indeed for you to affix one would be pretentious as it would give the appearance that you are actually of the Jewish faith when you are not.

At the same time as sharing details of the Noachide code, I would be happy to suggest to you meaningful ways in which you could post reminders of G-D’s presence within your home.

In the merit of your friendship to us and your service of G-D through the Universal Code, may He bless you and your family with everything you wish for yourselves!

About the Author
Rabbi Chaim Ingram is the author of five books on Judaism. He is a senior tutor for the Sydney Beth Din and the non-resident rabbi of the Adelaide Hebrew Congregation. He can be reached at
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