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our second mezuzah

our first mezuzah was the one mounted inside her doorframe. we touched it together with our hands clasped over its surface on our last day together, that Friday 11th April. which, that year, was seven days out from the holiday. traditionally the meaning of the mezuzah is that the squadrons of the Angel of Death would pass over the houses of anyone who had this mounted there, as this information was restricted to those of the Jewish tribes: and the result was that any home not displaying this would have its firstborn immediately killed: dad, mom, boy, girl, animal, whoever fit that description . the intent was to kill all those Egyptians and tell the oppressor of the Jews to grant them their freedom. the apprehension was that if P didn't do this, the slaughter would go on.

Scripture tells us that there was scarcely any Egyptian house without at least one dead.

it worked, Pharaoh kicked them out of the Kingdom immediately.

you touch this often in your travels as you pass through your door for protection from your enemies. I touched it to ensure safety on my flight home. Ki touched it for protection on her flight too, as we now know, it was her flight through death and into a new life. she was not going to watch the angel squadrons pass over, she was going to join them, flying the other way to go Home.

we've always thought it quite ironic that the first mezuzahs were not wood or metal at all. they were bloodstains themselves. G-d ordered that every family take a lamb and slaughter it, eat it, save its blood, and brush bloodstains on the right, left, and top of their doorframes (or door openings) so that the Angel would see them and Pass Over that house. so it was that deliverance out of slavery started with the murder of an innocent animal.

well, that was then, this is now.

thus the tradition of Passover, which this year ended at sundown this day, 30 April 2016.


this is our second one. it's turned sideways to show detail, there are two mounting holes in each end to tack it vertically beside your door. this one is quite heavy, machined and etched from one piece of tubular bronze, beautiful in detail, Brad brought it back from Jerusalem, in Sept 2008, where we found it in a tourist bazaar tent, photoed it against Israeli blue. you're supposed to put a verse from the Torah inside, but we did a variation. Brad held a memorial ceremony in Emek Re'faim, "Valley of the Ghosts", in honor of me and all of you --- everyone in my LJ family, Friendslocked or not. It was near where Becky and I had sneaked through the fence to do our "Abandoned Railroad" series some years earlier. he filled it with sand and straw from the spot where we buried the stones, and that very sand and straw are still inside it today. the burgundy tape is non-traditional, he just put it on there when the cap got loose and had to be secured.

there was more personal tragedy here too --- Lois had just been hit by a car, was recovering at Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem when Brad got there. she was nearly killed... and would never really fully recover from her severely damaged pelvis, which they had to reconstruct.

PassOver celebrations are now over --- that 2008 one; this 2016 one (over at sundown); the first one multiple centuries ago.

but the intense theatre of the story remains. as does the strength of the faith that carried all those hundreds of thousands of refugees across impassable swamps and mountains lying across their journeys.

machaya hamatim
this night and all nights.