פורום בינלאומי לנושא סת"ם

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mezzuza afixing

2 questions on fixing a mezuza:
I am wondering what is the custom concerning placing a Mezuza on a gate (or door etc..) when it is placed on the outside of the door and not within the Oivei Hapesach (since it is very thin). The Pischei Teshuva in Yoreh Deah 290:10 writes that the bottom of the mezzuza should be alachson pointed towards the door while the outer part should be going pointed away from the door. Is this the accepted practice, I have seen by many that in this case the exact opposite, (i.e. the top is pointed towards the door and the bottom pointing away from the door)?

2) In a bedroom (which has windows) and the only door the heker tzir opens out from the room. Should the mezuza be placed as walking into the room (against the heker tzir) or following the heker tzir (from the inside of the room going out)? Possibly in this case minhag chabad is to follow heker tzir, while others go by the conventional way to enter the room from the outside?

If a Rabbi (non Sofer/ Magiah) who occasionally checks mezuzas and is not a mumcha (I can tell by obvious kosher scenarios where he says they are posul for geniza, or he circles with pencil on top of the letters), would it be lashon harah for me to say that they are kosher to use or better to remain quiet. I ask this because a family gave me 4 mezuzas for geniza (from this Rabbi non sofer) and they were fine, at most a shaylos tinok for 3 of them.

Thank you


  1. in regard to question 1: I see here in Eretz Yisrael that this practice [as written by PT quoted] is followed.

    I think it is better in this scenario to affix the mezuza standing straight as Rashi's opinion closest to ovei hapesach, and not to follow the directive of the PT, for 3 reasons:
    a) the hallacha follows rashi not RT, it is only the ashkenaz custom to tilt the mezuza in honor of RT shita, but in this case since there is doubt what exactly should be done according RT, it is better just to stick to rashi's opinion which is the hallacha.
    b) in a normal case - affixing the mezuza inside the challal hapesach, the whole width of the challal area is its place worthy for the mitzva, although mitzva lechatchila b'tefach hachitzon. But in this case it is only kosher because it is within a tefach to the challal (IE it actualy is out of place, only that till 1 tefach is considered as included in the challal) therefore it definitly is more important to put it as close to the challal and not to distance it from the challal even within this tefach, for any reason.
    c) The most important issue - I have seen in many such cases, that the mezuza in this scenario that it is tilted, that half the mezuza (or more) is sticking out of the shiur tefach, which is mamash pasul. Many people dont understand the directive of shiyur tefach, and trying to follow this chumra custom, nebach forfeit the mitzva.
    Therefore I recommend to follow the simple hallacha in this case - affix the mezuza straight (not tilted) closest to the chalal as possible.

  2. in regard question 2 - as you wrote the minhag chabad is to follow heker tzir affixing the mezuza to the right of one leaving the room. In a regular bedroom one should be careful to wrap the mzuza in a double cover כלי בתוך כלי because of the law in regard to tznius involved.
    The minhag of the rest of the world is to affix it outside the room, right of the enterance as you wrote.

    In regard to the question about the rabbi - you should tell people what is correct in regard to the laws of mezuza, I dont think there is any lashon hora involved by explaining the correct hallacha, although the outcome may/will be that people understand that this rabbi's knowledge of hilchos tfilin/mezuza is ...
    But this has to be brought down to practical terms, in a honorable way not to cause machalokes etc. Therefore it would be correct to first speak to this Rabbi in person explaining the detailed hallachot involved -
    if this doesnt work (and I can imagine the situation) ask somebody that correctly understands this particular situation - so there won't be machalokes, chilul hashem etc.... chas veshalom.
    Hashem ya'azor!!!

  3. both answers well written
    I would like to share my experience with you as well.As reb Moishe writes " it would be correct to first speak to this Rabbi"-often the rabbi or other sofer explains to a person living in a million dollar home and driving an expensive car that this mezuza should be replaced.The am haaretz tells you "the rabbi said posul" I am therefore very careful before i contradict another rabbi or sofer especially if i am not familiar with the situation.

  4. Concerning question 1# on the Pischei Teshuva quoting the Chomos Yerusahlayim that "sofah somuch lapesach..."
    Rav Shechter (author of Pischei Shearim) told me that the P.T. was only referring when this is on a door post going out from the room, however if the scenario is entering a door (like in a front door) the ruling is the opposite (i.e rosha letzad hapesach). This explanation is written in
    Mezuzas Melachim Halacha lemoshe 68 see the beutiful reason explained in the Shalom Vaemes.


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