For several summers growing up our church would do a week of VBS called “Marketplace 29 AD”. Since my mom was the children’s pastor, this meant that our family was very involved in putting this amazing operation together. We would “time warp” back into the days of Israel when Jesus was doing his ministry.
Each day we did different Hebrew crafts, including brick making, wood carving, basket weaving, jewelry making and more. We learned how to dance the hora and sing songs in Hebrew. Groups of about 10-15 children were part of a “tribe” with a tribal mother, dressed in ancient robes, learning together in tents outside. It was during this time that I learned so much about the Jewish culture including the and significance of Sabbath rituals. It was also during this time that I learned about a little box called a mezuzah.
The mezuzah means “doorpost” in Hebrew and contains a passage of scripture taken from Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21. This is the first passage Hebrew children learn and, placed in a little box on a doorpost, is meant to remind the Jews that there is only one God.
Knowing we were going to study Israel this week I planned on making mezuzahs, but only last night in my thoughts figured out how I could make it work….using matchboxes!
Using little matchboxes the kids chose a colored paper to wrap their mezuzah in and decorated them with stickers, buttons and bows. I printed a part of the mezuzah in Hebrew and we rolled it up like a scroll and placed it in their little box. Then, they each attached their mezuzahs to the doorposts of their bedrooms and we finished by attaching Cardiff’s to our doorpost outside.
When a Jew enters their home, they touch the mezuzah with their first two fingers, then touch them to their mouths. The kids practiced this as we entered our home with our new mezuzah and as they entered their rooms.