Piñón Wood Mezuzah Case with Scroll
Piñón Wood Mezuzah Case with Scroll
Made from the branch of a piñón tree growing in the foothills of the Sandia mountains east of Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. The piñon tree is the state tree of New Mexico. It is a small, slow growing tree that produces a delicious nut. These beautiful trees grow mainly in the Southwest United States.
On a late winter hike with a friend I picked up a few piñon branches from the ground and made them into mezuzot.
The mezuzah comes in a nice cotton filled gift box and includes a non-kosher photocopied scroll, nails for hanging, and a twelve page mini booklet with sections on what a mezuzah is, the letter shin, the scroll inside, hanging a mezuzah (including the prayer in English and transliterated Hebrew, kissing a mezuzah, as well as information about my hand carved mezuzahs.
I carve the Hebrew letter shin spontaneously, directly into the wood, according to the grain patterns and shape of the branch. and then paint it with high quality U.V. resistant black paint. These mezuzahs will last a long time (mine is over thirty years old and shows no sign of wear and tear) in a sheltered doorway. Exposed to the elements, they may develop a weathered look. I've never had one returned but I will gladly refund or exchange any mezuzah for any reason, at any time, no questions asked.
I have made well over a thousand mezuzahs from tree branches. No two are exactly the same. They vary one to the next like people's faces differ one to the next, sometimes markedly and sometimes subtly. Maybe that's why I never tire of making them.
When I started making mezuzot in 1990, I knew very little about them. I didn’t know that much about Jewish law either. All of my grandparents were Orthodox but my Jewish studies were very limited.
I started carving mezuzahs and immediately started learning.
First thing was the Hebrew letter shin. As I carved my first shin, copying it from another mezuzah, I began to feel the shape of it, the feeling of it. I learned there are many ways to represent the letter. But what did the shin represent? I learned that each of the Hebrew letters has its own meaning. I began to have a relationship with the Hebrew language I never had before.
Shin is the first letter in the word "Shaddai". one of the names for God. "Shaddai" also translates as "my breast".
How do you hang a mezuzah? Where does it go? Slanting in or slanting out or straight up and down? What is the meaning of the scroll inside? How is it used? What is it for?
There are many things you can learn by owning and using a mezuzah. If you were raised Jewish, in a secular way, as I was, it can teach you more deeply of your own tradition. If you are a practicing Jew, you already know that hanging mezuzot on the doorposts of your home full-fills one of the sacred obligations of Judaism; and if you are just discovering your Jewish origins, or want to come to Judaism, or simply want to share this one beautiful custom, the mezuzah will take you as far as you want to go.
Once you own a mezuzah carved from the branch of a tree that was gathered by a person who found meaning in the object and continues to find meaning in the making, my hope is that you will feel a little more connected to nature, to history, to yourself and to me. When you see the mezuzah, or touch it, you are making contact with yourself and with more than yourself.
Approximate dimensions: 3 3/4" h x 3/4"w x 3/8" thick.
The slot for the scroll is 1/4"w x 3/8"d x "h. Smaller (7cm) kosher scrolls will easily fit.