Chicago Mitzvah Campaign, Inc.

Beis Heh
Phone NumberCall 866­-697-2224

Medicine isn't the only thing that can help you feel better!

Chicago Mitzvah Campaign, Inc.

Beis Heh
Phone Number866­-697-2224

Medicine isn't the only thing that can help you feel better!

Affixing Mezuzahs

Proper placement of Mezuzah

QUESTION:
Where, exactly, is the mezuzah to be mounted?

ANSWER:

Figure 1A

The mezuzah is placed on the right hand side of the door as you enter. The mezuzah should be affixed on a slight angle with the top of the mezuzah toward the inside of the room and the bottom pointed toward the outside (Ashkenazic custom). See Figure 1A.

 

It should be affixed in the lower part of the upper-third of the doorpost. In most homes, the doors are approximately 78 inches high. Hence, the lowest permissible height should not exceed twenty six inches from the top.

 

Figure 1B

The Mezuzahs should not be placed lower than the upper third, nor should it be placed within four inches from the lintel. See Figure 1B

One is obligated to attach a mezuzah to a doorway only when the doorway has two doorposts and a lintel connecting the doorposts. If these conditions do not exist, an observant Rabbi should be consulted to determine whether or not that entryway may still require a mezuzah.

QUESTION:
What if my doorpost is very high or very low?

ANSWER:
If your door is much higher than 78 inches (90 inches or higher), many Rabbonim would instruct you to affix the mezuzah according to shoulder height, even if the shoulder-height is lower than the upper third of the doorway.

If the doorpost is very low, an observant Rabbi should be consulted in order to determine where the mezuzahs should be mounted.

QUESTION:
Can I mount the mezuzah lower than the upper third of the doorpost, in order to enable my children to reach and kiss the Mezuzah?

ANSWER:
No.

QUESTION:
If a doorway can be utilized as an entrance from either side, how do I then determine what is considered the right (as opposed to left) side? What if I’m not sure if all of my mezuzahs are affixed properly?

ANSWER:
The laws defining the terms ‘entrance’ and ‘exit’ are multifarious and complex. It is therefore advisable to have a reliable observant Rabbi visit your home to make that determination. For a free home visit, you may call THE CHICAGO MEZUZAH CAMPAIGN AT 1-866 697-2224.

QUESTION:
What if it is physically impossible to affix the mezuzah on the doorpost itself (i.e., there is no space on the doorpost, or a swinging door is installed which interferes with the mezuzah)?

ANSWER:
In extenuating circumstances, such as the aforementioned examples, it would be preferred to carve out a groove, less than a handbreadth deep, into the doorpost and place the mezuzah into the groove.

If that is not possible, then it would be permissible to affix the mezuzah behind the door provided it was placed on the doorpost under the lintel. (See Page 35 - Illustration 3)

This halacha also applies if one is genuinely concerned that the mezuzah will be stolen or defaced were it to be mounted on the actual doorpost.

QUESTION:
If there is a stationary chest or the like in the doorway on the right side, where should the mezuzah be affixed?

ANSWER:
The mezuzah should be affixed on the side of the chest, provided the chest is ten handbreadths high (approximately 32 inches). If the chest is lower than ten handbreadths high or if the mezuzah will not be secure in that position, then the mezuzah should be attached to the right doorpost

Figure 2A

Figure 2B

QUESTION:
Should I always affix my mezuzah at the horizontal center of my doorpost?

ANSWER:
No. The mezuzah should be mounted on the outermost handbreadth (approximately 3.25 inches) from the outside of the doorpost. If the doorpost or archway is very wide, caution should be exercised not to mount the mezuzah in the center of the doorway. Use the above measurement to determine the proper placement of the mezuzah.

However, when there is a protrusion along the height of the doorpost, some Rabbonim would advise you to affix the mezuzah on the protrusion.

Figure 3A

Figure 3B

QUESTION:
Am I obligated to use nails or screws to mount the mezuzahs?

ANSWER:
No. You may, also use glue or mounting tape. For this purpose, regular scotch tape or masking tape is not permitted.

QUESTION:
What must I do with old mezuzah cases, old mezuzah wrappings or nails previously used for mezuzahs?

ANSWER:
Nails, screws and tape (that were used for mezuzahs) may be discarded. However, mezuzah cases and mezuzah wrappings should be treated as "SHAIMOS", and require interment after their use.

QUESTION:
Is there a problem with clear lucite cases?

ANSWER:
It depends where the mezuzah will be placed. You may not use a lucite case:
• If it faces a bathroom.
• On a doorpost or archway inside a bedroom door.
• On any doorpost or archway of a room where babies’ diapers are changed.
• In a laundry room

QUESTION:
Do all Mezuzahs have to be returned to the same doorpost?

ANSWER:
It is Halachically preferred to have all of the mezuzahs returned to their original doorposts or at least to the same type of entrance way (i.e. from one bedroom door to another, or from one archway to another).

A practical suggestion for anyone removing his or her mezuzahs is to label each mezuzah case with a number (using masking tape or the like). The identical number is then taped on the doorpost itself. You must remember to request the scribe to replace all mezuzahs in their original cases. When the mezuzahs have to be remounted, match the numbers from your cases to the numbers on the doorposts.

QUESTION:
Is there a specific way of inserting the mezuzah in the case?

ANSWER:
Yes, make certain that the scroll is inserted in the proper position. The "ש-ד-י-" is facing up and towards the shin of the mezuzah case.

Figure 4

If necessary, tape should be used to keep the scroll in the exact position.

QUESTION:
Who may affix mezuzahs on my behalf?

ANSWER:
Any Jew above the age of Bar/Bas Mitzvah may affix a mezuzah on your behalf. A non-Jew may not.

BE CAUTIOUS: If you are having your home remodeled, make certain that non-Jewish workers do not remove and remount your mezuzahs.

QUESTION:
May I affix mezuzahs at night?

ANSWER:
Yes.