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soc.culture.jewish FAQ: Worship, Conversion, Intermarriage (5/12)
Section - Question 11.9.10: Symbols: Are there any Jewish housewarming rituals?

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                                  Answer:
   
   In traditional Judaism, there are none, save for putting up a mezuzah.
   
   However, folk custom involves bringing wine, bread, and salt to the
   house in addition to the mezuzah? Why? The answer may be found in
   Reform Judaism's ceremony for the consecration of a house.
   
   According to "Gates of the House" published by the Reform movement,
   the items needs for the consecration of a house are a mezuzah, a
   bible, wine, challah, and salt. The ceremony begins with the
   Shema/Vehafta. The Challah is then dipped in the salt and hamotzi is
   said. The specific symbolism is not said, but it may be to symbolize
   that there will always be food in the house. The blessing is then said
   over the wine, which symbolizes the joy that will occur in the new
   house. The bible symbolizes the Torah, and a blessing is said
   (...bemitzvotav laasok bediverei Torah) that there will always be
   learning and doing in the house, and the house will be filled with
   love of Torah. Psalm 15 is then said. The affixing of the mezuzah
   follows, with the appropriate blessing (...bemitzvotav vetsivanu
   likboa mezuzah). There appears to be no speciifc blessing for entering
   the new house, other than shehechianyu.

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