(Note to self: insert picture of house here as soon as house is clean enough for the whole internet)
Two weeks ago, on Friday night, we were doing various things around the house in preparation of my dad coming to help us paint the following day. One of the things I wanted to do was to hang up our mezuzah since, technically, at that point, we already started living there and I was ready to let people know which house to torch first in the pogroms.
“Where is our mezuzah,” I asked Mr. B, who was wading through boxes.
“I don’t know. Do we really need to hang it up now?”
“I don’t know. Shit’s going to get messed up, I think.”
“You think God has time to look at our house and decide, oh, they didn’t put up a 3-inch piece of plastic, time to rage?”
“God has time for everything. Besides, I think it’s a very nice tradition and it makes me fee-”
“Feel connected to the Jewish people, yeah, yeah I get it….where’s the toilet paper?”
I went to our third-floor office, for now covered with piles of books, rooted around, and found it. I put in the scroll, and went downstairs.
“Do we have any nails?”
“Maybe,” Mr. B said, and went to try to hang the mezuzah. At this point, it was about 5 pm and not dark, but becoming darker. He banged and banged and banged, but the nail was too big, and the mezuzah fell to the ground.
“Is this a bad omen?” I asked him.
“Yeah. It means we don’t have any nails. Also, we just messed up our door post. Take that thing with you, we’ll go to Home Depot and get some.”
“Why do I have to take it with me?”
“To make sure it fits the nail.”
So, here I was, at sunset on Shabbat, witha mezuzah in my pocket, driving to Home Depot to get some nails.
When we got to the nail aisle, Mr. B made me take it out of my pocket and measure it against several nails, which we had to take out of their pre-packaged boxes and put back in again, to make sure they fit its hole. All of the Americans in the aisle looked at us with skepticism. I was starting to feel like Larry David in that episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm where he uses a nail from Jesus’s cross to hang his mezuzah.
We finally got home, at which point the sun had already set. “Should we do this now,” I asked Mr. B skeptically. What would our Gentile neighbors think? We were the Worst Jews Ever.
“Yes, let’s do it now. We already spent so much time on it,” Mr. B said, exasperated.
“Do you at least have your kippah,” I asked desperately.
“No, why would I need that?”
“I think you’re supposed to wear it when you hang a mezuzah.”
“I think it’s in my other pants pocket.”
“Why do you carry a kippah in your pants pocket?”
“Whatever, let’s get this show on the road.”
“Wait. I need to Google what I’m supposed to say after you hang it.”
So there we were, after sunset on Shabbat, kippah-less, holding a laptop to read the correct prayer, and hanging a mezuzah.
Neighbors, I don’t think you need to pogrom us. I’m pretty sure God will beat you to it.