Hanging a mezuzah on the doorpost is an important part of Judaism. The mezuzah contains a passage from the Torah, and it signifies a Jewish household. To my family, the mezuzah represents religious freedom and a Jewish identity. My grandparents and parents grew up in the former Soviet Union, during a time, when identifying as a Jew was looked down upon. Anti-semitic pogroms led to fear and motivated Jews to hide their identity. My grandparents and parents chose not to hang a mezuzah to protect their safety. My grandma said that before making matzah for Passover, she would close all the blinds and curtains in the kitchen. After 1991, life in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine improved but my parents decided to immigrate to the United States in 1999. My parents wanted my sister and I to have better opportunities than Ukraine could offer. One of the first things that my parents did upon arrival was hang this mezuzah. This mezuzah has moved with my family, from our first apartment to our new house. The religious freedom that is felt in the United States is under appreciated and is only appreciated by those who have had theirs taken away.

Year: 1999

– Victoria

Relationship:  unknown unknown