A recent Friday at 10:21 a.m.: On a Mission District block that's surrounded taquerias and colorful murals, Rabbi Noa Kushner kissed her own hand and touched the mezuzah she had just installed on the door frame of the Mission's first Jewish deli. The owners of Wise Sons Delicatessen, Leo Beckerman and Evan Bloom, invited Kushner to hang the mezuzah at the opening of their restaurant because they were excited to tell the neighborhood who they are. "It's important for everyone to know it's a Jewish home. It's a Jewish restaurant," Bloom said. The mezuzah, which holds a small, handwritten scroll of quotes from the Torah, could fit in the palm of your hand, but its meaning is much larger. "The custom is to kiss your hand and touch the mezuzah as a way of reminding yourself: When I walk into this room, I want to bring holiness," the rabbi said. "This is before iPhone alarms. This is before Post-its. It's literally this teeny, tiny reminder." After the brief ceremony, the line spilled onto the sidewalk with customers anxious to get their hands on a loaf of challah before it sold out. It soon did. "I don't think the actual box is going to bring anything. It's more of a reflection of who are. ... It's a community, a family, a place where we hope everybody comes and feels comfortable and enjoys good food," Beckerman said.
To see a multimedia production of this piece, go to sfgate.com/cityexposed. If you have ideas for the City Exposed, e-mail Mike Kepka at email@example.com.
Read more: sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/02/BASM1NF1NC.DTL#ixzz1o0YKNw69