Closed Parsha in Mezuza

When it comes to the parsha relevant for vehaya im shamoa it is clear that it needs to be stuma since that's how it's written in the torah.
In Hilchot Tefillin the SA brings lehalacha the de'a of the Rambam, which is to write the end of shma at the end of the line and on the next line to leave a space of 9 letters ( lechatchila gedolot [+ 2 ketanot, MB]) before writing vehaya. This is parsha petucha according the the Rosh.

MB brings the well known Taz who came up with a "solution" of writing a parsha stuma according to everyone. He says to leave less than 9 otiyot ketanot at the end of shma, do the same at the beginning of vehaya on the next line and it's as if by combining the two lines we would have a parsha stuma for all de'ot (which can only happens when there's a space of 9 letters in the middle of the same line).

MB further writes that a normal parsha stuma for all de'ot isn't possible simply because each parsha needs to be written in a separate column, therefore shma and vehaya can't be in the same line.

MB brings that Rema MiPanu, GR"A and Pri Megadim agree with the Taz and in Biur Halacha he brings that GRa"Z holds the Taz's solution to be pasul and Ma'amar Mordechai is also doubtful.

Lema'ase I've learnt that one should follow the minhag of his family in choosing between Rambam or Taz.

My questions are:

1) For many people that don't know their family minhag, ba'alei teshuva, geirim etc I understand that either they follow what their Rav decides or if they don't have one single Rav they can choose which way to go. I'm interested in what other sofrim would say if they were given the choice.
On the one hand, to be lechatchila (according to most opinions) you need 9 otiyiot gedolot, which is only possible according to Rambam. But if you go like Rambam it isn't aliba dekulei alma.
On the other hand going like the Taz a) not everyone holds that the tzeiruf concept (combining the two lines) is acceptable, in which case according to them it's bediavad at best, pasul gamur at worst and b) even if it is, since the parsha is 9 otiyot ketanot it's not really lechatchila to most opinions (definitely not mehudar).

2) The fact that shma and vehaya must be written in two separate columns is brought in hilchot tefillin. Regarding mezuza there are many de'ot how to do this parsha. Pitchei Shearim brings many opinions, including that Mahari Abuhav (I was once told that this reference is a mistake and should be someone else, but I can't remember who) holds to write the end of shma and vehaya on the same line to make a true parsha stuma aliba dekulei alma. Pitchei Shearim then says that this is "תמוה לכו"ע". Also when I asked R Mordechai Friedlander of Mishmeret Stam in Jerusalem he said this can't be done because the need to be written on separate lines. My question is why? I haven't found a source as to why in a mezuza they must be on two separate lines. Possible answers I've heard over the years are:
a) Since in the torah they aren't mamash stuma next to each other, therefore they must be on separate lines.
b) Since according to kabbalistic source the shadai must be written corresponding to vehaya and must be visible when rolling up the mezuza. Therefore by writing them on the same line shadai will be at the other side of the mezuza and will be covered up when rolling. (this to me can be refuted by simply, however unconventional, rolling the mezuza in such as way that it has a very large diameter and can still see the shadai. Albeit a case will be hard to come by).
c) Since in tefillin they are two separate columns so to in mezuza they must be two separate lines.
But I've never found a definitive source. Thoughts?


  1. *Note: when I say that it's clear the parsha is stuma, I mean regarding the accepted halacha.

    There are opinions that hold it should be petucha.

  2. I think the reason that the mezuza must be on separate lines is because there is a kabala from the geonim (quoted in rishonim) to write it 22 lines, and the begining of the 7th line is vehaya.
    True, you will ask what is the reasoning of the geonim (or this kabala) to separate vehaya. I don't know.
    BTW in tefilin also I don't know the hallacic reason why each parsha in shel yad must be a separate column - why is it asur to write (for example) the whole shel yad in 3 columns, so that the vehaya would be a stuma after b'sh'eracha on the same line.
    The first reson you gave makes sense - since these parshiyot are separate in the tora, chachamim or early sofrim where metaken to write them with some distinction, in mezuza separate lines, in tefilin separate columns.

  3. Oy!
    I forgot my talmud - there is an argument between Rashi and Tosafos Menachos 33a, Rashi if the mezuza was written 2 pages (b'pashtus 2 columns) is pasul, Tosafos is kosher.
    SA YD 288 paskens l'chatchila one should write on 1 column [as rashi] but if written on 2 columns is kosher [as tosafos].
    I remember someone comments that tfilin shel yad are the same, according rashi each parsha may not be in 2 columns, [according tosafos maybe bdieved kosher??]

  4. I've seen the same regarding tefillin - I had just never seen sources for mezuzot.

    For mezuzot, we can still write 22 lines, just the 7th won't start vehaya. Isn't this a satisfactory compromise if we can make a parsha mehudar according to all? No posek seems willing to carry this decision...

  5. If i recall reb moshe feinstein z"l says that a baal tsuva should choose one minhag and follw through with everything-a sfardi baal tshuva may choose ashkenaz minhagim and an ashkenazi baal tshuva may choose sfardi minhagim -anybody remember where the tshuva is?


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

shin in "Alter Rebbe" script

Not a "khaf"