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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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< Q11.9.9 TOC Q11.9.11 >

Question 11.9.10:
Symbols: Are there any Jewish housewarming rituals?


In traditional Judaism, there are none, save for putting up a mezuzah.

However, folk custom involves bringing wine, bread, and salt to the house in addition to the mezuzah? Why? The answer may be found in Reform Judaism's ceremony for the consecration of a house.

According to "Gates of the House" published by the Reform movement, the items needs for the consecration of a house are a mezuzah, a bible, wine, challah, and salt. The ceremony begins with the Shema/Vehafta. The Challah is then dipped in the salt and hamotzi is said. The specific symbolism is not said, but it may be to symbolize that there will always be food in the house. The blessing is then said over the wine, which symbolizes the joy that will occur in the new house. The bible symbolizes the Torah, and a blessing is said (...bemitzvotav laasok bediverei Torah) that there will always be learning and doing in the house, and the house will be filled with love of Torah. Psalm 15 is then said. The affixing of the mezuzah follows, with the appropriate blessing (...bemitzvotav vetsivanu likboa mezuzah). There appears to be no speciifc blessing for entering the new house, other than shehechianyu.

The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

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