Last weekend I came home to my Upper West Side apartment to find my mezuzah gone, seemingly torn off. Staring at the bare doorpost scratched up from the recent act of vandalism, I felt nervous, unsure whether to even replace it. Mezuzahs were still on my mind today as I read about Montana’s “Kosher Cowboy,” a rabbi on a mezuzah mission:
Rabbi Chaim Bruk, an orthodox vigilante of sorts, has made it his mission to adorn each and every Jewish home in the Big Sky with a mezuzah. His plan? To get Jews in Montana to consider the mezuzah a basic protection alongside the right to keep and bear arms.
“I’m young. I’m 31. I got a long life ahead of me — God willing — and I hope to get every house,” he says. “Montana should be the most protected state in the union. Not only because of our weapons but because of our mezuzahs. We’ll be protected by the Second Amendment and by the mezuzahs.”
Bruk is the co-director, along with his wife Chavie, of Chabad-Lubavitch of Montana. He’s currently traveling across the vast state with the help of two rabbinical students to complete his task. According to the AP, Bruk found that most Jewish homes in Montana were without mezuzahs, and those that did have them were displaying them all wrong. Bruk plans to fix that with a phone call and a blessing. And he’s said his goal isn’t to make his fellow Montanans Orthodox—he just wants them to be “comfortable with their traditional Jewish lifestyle.”
If each Jewish home in Montana will soon be safeguarded with mezuzahs, so to should each New York home. Today I replace my mezuzah in Bruk’s honor.