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Jewish Journal

The Mezuzah

Jewish life in Orange County and the lesson of Passover

by Johanna Hershenson

March 30, 2000 | 7:00 pm

My family lives in tract housing in Mission Viejo. The thing about tract housing is that families are always coming and going. They buy a house, stay a few years, and move on to a slightly nicer tract with the few bucks of profit made on the first house. Recently, the growth of the technology industry in Orange County has brought in new residents daily.

So when our new neighbors moved in several months ago, I paid little attention. It wasn't until a few days after their arrival that something happened that made me take notice. A mezuzah appeared on their doorpost. I can't articulate what joy I felt when my eye caught the glimmer of sunlight reflecting off the brass of that mezuzah. The simple ornament, that identifying tag, opened my heart to these new neighbors. I felt compelled to catch them outside, washing the car, walking the dog, bringing in the mail, any opportunity to say hello, wave, let them know that our family is Jewish, too.

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