Mezuzah sales soar as Jews show pride in face of prejudice

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Mezuzah sales soar as Jews show pride in face of prejudice

Hundreds flock to buy the sacred symbol of Judaism as the community look for ways to reaffirm their Jewish identity

Demand for mezuzahs has increased by more than 300 per cent across the UK since the 7 October , according to a leading Orthodox organisation.

According to Chabad UK, there has been a rise in demand across the country as people in the community look for ways to reaffirm their Jewish identity.

Rabbi Yehuda Pink, who coordinates Chabad UK’s national mezuzah campaign, told Jewish News: “There has been a massive uptick in demand for mezuzahs, as well as people asking us to check if their mezuzahs are kosher.

“In some areas, we would fit one mezuzah a month. Now in those areas we are seeing four or five times that amount, sometimes more. I have fitted mezuzahs in homes, where there has never been a mezuzah before. It is very emotional and very encouraging to see people being proud to be Jewish.”

Rabbi Pink, who represents Chabad in Solihull, where there is an 80 per cent intermarriage rate, said: “There are some people who are worried and nervous [about showing their mezuzah] but there are many who want to proudly identify as Jewish, and displaying their mezuzah is one way of doing it. Taking them down is giving in to terrorism.”

Judaica shops are reporting a sharp increase in sales of mezuzahs since 7 October

Rabbi Benzion Alperowitz, of Chabad in Bournemouth, has seen a significant increase in the number of requests for mezuzahs in the area – especially from university students. As a result, he launched a campaign whereby local Bournemouth residents sponsor or donate a mezuzah to a Jewish student living in the coastal town – with prices for each mezuzah starting from £52.00.

“In the past, I would put up to three mezuzahs a year on a Jewish student’s dorm door. Over the past two weeks, we have put up 15. This has never happened before,” he said. “I have put mezuzahs on the front door of student accommodation where all the flatmates are Jewish, or on the bedroom door of a Jewish student living with non-Jewish flatmates.”

“This is a time when we should be proud of our Jewish identity, and proudly display a mezuzah on our front door,” he said, noting that people concerned about their safety might turn to the discreet ‘Camozuzah’, a discreet mezuzah case designed to look like a security device – designed by Ireland’s Rabbi Zalman Lent.

Private businesses have also seen an increase in the demand for mezuzahs.

UK-based Danya Kay, of Contemporary Judaica, told the Jewish News that the sale of mezuzahs had almost doubled since 7 October.

Kay, whose company sells a range of Judaica, said there had also been an increase in sales of Shabbat items, Chanukiahs and Jewish jewellery, like Magen David and Chai necklaces.

She said: “I am finding it all very heart-warming and comforting that the Jewish community is standing proud and seemingly more in touch with their Jewish identity than ever before,” adding: “I’m also happy to see that international sales to Germany, Netherlands and France have also increased.”

Kay, the head of the UK-based company, added: “I have read stories of people feeling nervous and thinking about taking the mezuzahs down, but I have not seen any evidence of nervousness. If anything, it is the complete opposite. I am getting beautiful emails from customers supporting what I do and knowing that I am in turn supporting Israeli and other Jewish artists from around the world.”

However, Bernard Benarroch, of Sofer Stam in Golders Green, said he noticed more people looking to conceal their mezuzahs. He said customers were asking if it was “okay” to remove mezuzahs from their front-doors, in the wake of rising antisemitism across the UK since the 7 October  atrocities.

“We do have customers, especially those who live outside north-west London or who live alone, who now feel more comfortable putting their front door mezuzahs on the inside of the doorframe, in order to not attract attention to their Jewishness.”

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