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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

October 8, 2010


I go to coffee shops. You name coffee shop in the Columbus area and I probably know of the place. Or…..I will find it after you recommend it.

Several of my favorites are in the Bexley area. I don’t live that far from Bexley (25 minutes…it’s all relative). It’s a good stop on the way to the office in order to let the rush hour traffic clear out and it’s convenient on the way home or Saturdays. I take my computer. Do work. Email. Drink coffee. Watch people.

The other day I was in Bexley having coffee and a gentleman rushed in the door and as he did so, he touched the right hand doorpost and kissed his fingers. To the counter he went to get his coffee. I kept working.

Soon he had his coffee and bagel in hand, to go. He rushed out the door, touching the same spot on the doorpost and kissed his fingers. He wore a yarmulke and I knew what he was doing.

The gentleman was Jewish and he wore a skullcap (yarmulke. Yah muh kah). Bexley has many synagogues and the sight of a man wearing a yarmulke is quite common. But it was his touching of the doorpost that caught my attention.

I figured there was a Mezuzah on the doorpost. There wasn’t but the devout man was still touching the doorpost as if a Mezuzah was there. It is a nice thought, since the Mezuzah is often a small brass plaque placed at an angle on the upper right hand doorpost of a Jewish home. It is not a good-luck charm or tied to the blood of the spring lamb of Passover, but a constant reminder of the presence of God within that dwelling. The Mezuzah then has a small piece of paper with the Shema written on it.

The Shema is a command to keep God’s words constantly in our minds and in our hearts. This Shema (“Hear” from the first word of the passage) is derived from Deuteronomy 6:4-9.

The first time I came across a Mezuzah was in Berkeley over 30 years ago. My wife and I lived in seminary married-student housing. Our apartment neighbors were Allan and Deborah. Allan graduated from the seminary and he and Deborah moved out. Dave and Mimi moved in. Dave was a seminary student and he pointed out to me that a Mezuzah was on the doorpost and he thought that was excellent since his wife Mimi was Jewish. Turns out the wife of Allan (the previous resident) was Jewish also and she placed the Mezuzah on the doorpost never realizing that the next Christian seminary student in that apartment would also have a Jewish wife.

Blessings abound!

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

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