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It is a Mezzusah, in the Jewish tradition this is a rectangular recptacle that is hung on the doorpost of the home. In the recptacle is a small parchment that speaks to the holiness and sacredness of life. It is my understanding that as a person enters the home, they pause to remember that the place they are about to enter is holy.
What a beautiful tradition! I learned about it from Rev. Erie Chapman President of the Baptist Healing Trust who invited hospitals to place a Touch Card of Rmembrance at the door of each patient's room as a visual reminder for the caregiver that the patient in that bed is vulnerabl and in need-and that we are entering into a sacred space...where need is met by love.