7.25" long, 1" wide
Made in Poland
Artisans Aleksander Prugar and Helena Czernek, of Mi Polin, travel across Poland to find traces of mezuzahs from the pre-war homes of the country's millions of vanished Jews. They then cast these traces in bronze, with the address of the trace engraved on the size of the mezuzah. Behind each cast mezuzah is a slot for inserting a scroll. When you affix the mezuzah to your doorframe, you fill the emptiness and give it a second life. Touching the mezuzah activates a link between past and present. Kosher scroll is not included.
This is their first mezuzah from the Ukraine. Before the Second World War, a large part of present-day Ukraine belonged to Poland. We call these regions the Kresy (Eastern Borderlands). Before WWII, the Kresy were inhabited by the largest Jewish community in pre-war Poland. The Kresy Jews possessed some unique characteristics: they lived in densely-populated towns, more often than not as a majority rather than a minority.
Historical research for this mezuzah is still in progress. Before World War II, Yakiv Orenshtein Street as it is named today, was called Kamionecka Street. Today at number 8 in this street there are ruins of a 19th century synagogue, and a little further down the street, in house number 20 – the house with a mezuzah trace on the door – lived Szyja and Fani Rosen. From an address book we know they still lived there back in 1938. Unfortunately, there are no further records of the Rosens. We do not know whether they survived the war, emigrated, or even how they were related to each other – whether they were married or just brother and sister. The documents from that period no longer exist.