I purchased three mezuzahs from a synagogue sale (without the parchment). Can you tell me how I would go about obtaining parchments for them?

I’ve heard they are very expensive; can I just place a copy inside?


The literal translation of the word mezuzah is “doorpost” and it is the term used to refer to the parchment scroll that we affix to our doorposts. We read in the Bible, “And you shall inscribe them upon the doorposts of your house and upon your gates.”1 The scroll contains several passages from Deuteronomy2 (these passages are a part of the Shema prayer, which are also said daily during the morning and evening prayers).

There are many details that must be adhered to regarding the creation and writing of the scroll. An expert scribe, known as a sofer, spends many years studying the intricate laws of Jewish scroll writing. A copy of the text would not fulfill the commandment to have an authentic mezuzah.

In fact the actual case is not a requirement at all. However, many do place the scroll in a case to protect it from the atmosphere. Some use the simplest case possible to emphasize that the beauty of the mezuzah is not the case, but the actual parchment and text.

While there all types of mezuzahs available for purchase, and some can indeed be very costly, there are other quality mezuzah scrolls available for about $40.00. It is important to consult with a reputable scribe to ensure the scrolls you purchase are indeed authentic.

If you have a small budget, start by purchasing one mezuzah for your front door. Then, when you are able, purchase another one for your bedroom, and more as you can. See here for a selection of reliable mezuzahs.

Please see The Scribal Art from our section on The Mezuzah.

Chani Benjaminson
For the Judaism WebsiteChabad.org