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How to Hang a Mezuzah

How to Hang a Mezuzah

A mezuzah is a small scroll in a case that is attached to the doorways in Jewish homes.

The scroll includes two sections from Deuteronomy that include references to the mitzvah of mezuzah. The text reads in both places, “inscribe them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” from Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Deuteronomy 11:13-21.

A kosher scroll written by a sofer or soferet, a scribe, is required.

Where do I place a Mezuzah on the doorpost?

Once in hand, the mezuzah is affixed to the doorpost on the right side of the doorway as you enter. It should be placed anywhere on the top third of the doorway as long as it is at least a handsbreadth away from the top of the doorway (Menachot 33a:7 and SA Yoreh Deah 289:2).

The most common way is to place the mezuzah on a diagonal, with its top facing into the home. This is a compromise between two rabbinic positions that suggest it should be vertical or horizontal. By putting it up at an angle, we are able to fulfill both positions simultaneously (SA Yoreh Deah 289:6).

At the moment of affixing the mezuzah, one recites the following blessing:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לִקְבֹּעַ מְזוּזָה:

Barukh atah Adonai eloheinu melekh haolam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav vitzivanu, likboa’ mezuzah.

Praised are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the Universe, who makes us holy and commands us with the mitzvot to affix the mezuzah.

If one is putting up multiple mezuzot, one after another, you only have to recite the blessing the first time.

Which rooms require a Mezuzah?

In general, most rooms require a mezuzah since they are appropriate to “dwell in” and can “enter or exit” them.
Rooms that are smaller than four by four amot (arm lengths, roughly eighteen inches each) are exempt.
Bathrooms are exempt from mezuzot because they are not considered “appropriate places to dwell in.”
 
Sources: (SA Yoreh Deah 286:4, Yoreh Deah 286:13, Yoreh Deah 286:18)

When do you need to put up a Mezuzah?

According to the sources, there is a distinction between when one is renting their dwelling or have purchased it as a permanent residence. (SA Yoreh Deah 286:22)

If one purchases a home, a person is obligated immediately.
If one is renting in the Diaspora, a person is exempt from the obligation of mezuzah for thirty days.
If one is renting in Israel, a person is obligated immediately.

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  • Rabbi Jeremy Markiz

    Rabbi Jeremy Markiz is a teacher and consultant. Based in the Washington, DC area, he teaches the Torah of personal growth, meaning and intentionality, and making the world a better place. He writes a newsletter called, With Torah and Love. Rabbi Markiz helps clergy, congregations, and Jewish organizations grow and communicate clearly in the digital world, develop effective strategies, and solve problems with his consulting firm, Next Level Rabbinics.

    View all posts https://rabbimarkiz.substack.com/

Author

  • Rabbi Jeremy Markiz

    Rabbi Jeremy Markiz is a teacher and consultant. Based in the Washington, DC area, he teaches the Torah of personal growth, meaning and intentionality, and making the world a better place. He writes a newsletter called, With Torah and Love. Rabbi Markiz helps clergy, congregations, and Jewish organizations grow and communicate clearly in the digital world, develop effective strategies, and solve problems with his consulting firm, Next Level Rabbinics.

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