What is this strange object nailed into our front door frame?
October 9, 2006 11:10 AM   Subscribe

StrangeObjectFilter: What is this strange metal/stone object nailed into the door-frame between our front door and the screen door? It points down and outwards.
posted by stungeye to Home & Garden (22 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: It's some kind of Jewish mezuzah.
posted by changeling at 11:18 AM on October 9, 2006

Best answer: It kind of reminds me of a Mezuzah.
posted by MegoSteve at 11:18 AM on October 9, 2006

Response by poster: Does anyone recognize the symbol at the top of the object?
posted by stungeye at 11:19 AM on October 9, 2006

Best answer: Shin.
posted by oflinkey at 11:22 AM on October 9, 2006

Best answer: That's definitely a mezuzah. The "symbol" is a stylized letter shin, which stands for "Shaddai," one of the Hebrew names of God, and is commonly written on or incorporated into the design of a mezuzah.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:23 AM on October 9, 2006

Response by poster: Gotta love AskMeFi. Thanks all!
posted by stungeye at 11:27 AM on October 9, 2006

changeling writes "It's some kind of Jewish mezuzah."

As opposed to all the non-Jewish mezuzim? ;)
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:29 AM on October 9, 2006

That's mezuzot, dnab. :)
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:34 AM on October 9, 2006

Am I the only one who finds this practice a little disturbing?
posted by trevyn at 12:23 PM on October 9, 2006

So, what are you going to do with it now? In most cases, inside the mezuzah is a tiny piece of parchment with Hebrew writing on it. Many Jewish people would consider it improper to throw the parchment away because it contains the name of God. (Not binding on you as a non-Jew, of course, but still...) Rather than throw it away, I suggest you give the mezuzah to a Jewish friend or relative as a gift.
posted by dudeman at 1:17 PM on October 9, 2006

It's too bad you don't live near New York. I'd totally take that off your hands if you didn't want it. It's beautiful (and just a tad gaudy).
posted by Captaintripps at 1:32 PM on October 9, 2006

I would not have known this if it weren't for Curb Your Enthusiasm.
posted by MegoSteve at 1:50 PM on October 9, 2006

You could also call the local synagogue and ask them if there's any particular protocol to follow if you want to remove/dispose of it respectfully.
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:58 PM on October 9, 2006

Faint of Butt writes "That's mezuzot, dnab. :)"

The annoying part is that's what I meant to write. Now I have visions of legions of mezuzah-shaped cyber-zombies forcibly ensuring people have nice, pleasant homes..
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:38 PM on October 9, 2006

If the parchment in it is real, you're supposed to bury it in a jewish cemetary. This is supposed to happen to lots of different Sacred scripts (the parchment in the torah scroll, tefillin, and probably some others I'm forgetting). Definately take the parchment to a synogogue, they'll either reuse it or dispose of it properly.
posted by njb at 2:42 PM on October 9, 2006

trevyn: why disturbing? - i ask this as a judeophile but nonethless a rabid atheist.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:00 PM on October 9, 2006

I'd leave it where it is. It adds character and history to your home, and a little blessing never hurt anyone. The stone is very pretty.

I've never found anything as nice or interesting in our house, just junk the previous owners tossed into the woods behind the place.
posted by Savannah at 4:27 PM on October 9, 2006

Makes you wonder what happened to the previous residents who placed it there, unless the simply forgot it...

/creepy music
posted by prodevel at 4:39 PM on October 9, 2006

Response by poster: I think I'll leave it in place.

I like the look of it, and now that I know the meaning behind it I find it endearing.
posted by stungeye at 5:43 PM on October 9, 2006

Plus any angels of death will know to pass over your house! Your first-born son will thank you.
posted by Cranialtorque at 8:38 PM on October 9, 2006

It's cool you want to keep it, stungeye. I'd just add that if you didn't, I don't think you'd be under any obligation at all to take it to a synagogue for disposal.
posted by mediareport at 10:42 PM on October 9, 2006

Cranialtorque: I think that's only if you slosh lamb's blood over the door no?
posted by vanoakenfold at 7:52 AM on October 10, 2006

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