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Which doorways require a mezuzah?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

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  • We are required to affix a Mezuzah to the right-hand1 doorpost of every doorway of a Jewish residence. This includes storage rooms, garages and basements rooms. Even a doorway which is rarely used or the entranceway of the courtyard of a Jewish home requires a mezuzah. 2
  • Only a house which is inhabited by a Jew requires a mezuzah. A Jewish-owned home which is rented to a non-Jew, does not require a mezuzah. Conversely, a Jewish residence must have Mezuzahs even if the house is owned by a non-Jew.3
  • There is a dispute amongst the Halachic authorities whether a doorway without a door requires a mezuzah. We, therefore, affix a mezuzah to such a doorway, but without reciting a blessing.4
  • Only respectable living areas are graced by mezuzahs. This excludes bathrooms ("How would you like to spend some time in my newly remodeled bathroom... it has gold plated fixtures!"), bathhouses, and mikvahs.5
  • A Jewish owned store or office requires a mezuzah. An office which is owned by a non-Jew, but is used by a Jew for business purposes requires a mezuzah only if the office is used exclusively by Jews. A rabbi should be consulted whether a blessing is recited before affixing a mezuzah to a workplace doorway.6
  • See also How large must a room be in order to require a mezuzah?

Footnotes

  • 1. Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 289:2.
  • 2. Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 286:1-2.
  • 3. Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 291:2.
  • 4. Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 286:15.
  • 5. Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 286:4-5.
  • 6. See Minchat Yitzchak Vol. 4 Siman 89.

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Halachic
Pertaining to Jewish Law.
Mezuzah
A rolled up scroll containing certain verses from the Torah which is affixed to the right-hand doorpost of doorways in a Jewish home.
Mezuzahs
Plural form of Mezuzah. Rolled up scrolls containing certain verses from the Torah which are affixed to the right-hand doorposts of doorways in Jewish homes.