Covering the mezuza

Someone asked me if they may have a mezuza on their door since it is facing another door with a tzelem hanging on it and it might not be proper kavod to the mezuza.
I think that it is allowed if it is covered (i.e. that you cannot see the Sh-Ka-i (Hashem's name) on the parchment). Although the tzelem is considered as (at least safek Avodah Zarah)idolatry (Yoreh Deah 141:1 Rema and Shach ibid:6), still it should be similar to the halacha that one must cover ervah infront of a Sefer Torah, tefillin, sefarim or mezuzas etc... (Mishna Berura 240:27 etc...). It is required kli betoch kli. Perhaps the case is similar to a mezuza in front of tinuf (Yoreh Deah 286:5) where the shulchan Aruch writes only " tov lichasost hamezuza" - (which is more lenient) provided there is no ervah.

In any case would a plastic non translucent case with a ש printed on it work? (I believe that some rabbonim say it is fine for kli betoch kli, although I do not understand the reasoning for this, since the case is designated for the mezuzah).
I believe some Rabonim require a cloth or the like to cover the mezuza (on top of the case), it makes sense halachikly speaking, however it does not seem to be the main practiced view. I would appreciate your help on these questions.


  1. One way to avoid the above mentioned problem, would be to double wrap a non translucent paper around the mezuza from the inside, which would suffice for kli betoch kli.

  2. Dovid, thanks for the question, it's a very interesting one.
    I searched a bit if there is any mention of a sefer tora/tefilin/mezuza seeing or standing opposite a avoda zara, meanwhile didn't find anything in the poskim.
    I guess I am lacking in "yo'gaty" so therefore "lo matzasee".

    Anyway, I think it only should resemble tinuf as tzoa, but I don't think there is any resemblance of avoda zara to erva in concept.

  3. Reb Moishe please find a mekor, I dont see why it is tzoa either

  4. I didn't find. I spoke to someone here and he said that adraba since chazal didn't mention the isur of wearing tefilin against a tzelem, it seems they did not prohibit it, which obviously will be the same law for a mezuza.
    I didn't mean in my comment that it is definitly like tzoa, only that a possible equation of avoda zara to tzoa could be [leaving Dovids question open] but I don't see any equation of avoda zara to erva.
    Although I don't have a makor and agree with you [as my friend here in yerushalim] that we can not say a definite psak that it is forbidden since I don't have a makor, I still think the question is worth a thought and I leave it open.

  5. Concerning Tefillah in a place where there is A"Z tzelem etc... the Rema Orach Chayim 94:9 writes one should not pray their (unless no other choice, only then in a corner ). The Mishna Berura ibid:29 explains this is derived out from when Moshe left Mitzrayim to go pray (end of Parshas Vaeira)since the place was full of idolatry.
    In Shabbos 127,b there is a story with R' Yehoshua who entered into the house of the "matronisa" and before R" Yehoshua entered within 4 amos he took off his Tefilin the gemara explains this since one should not have a "davar kedusha" in a "makom tumah".
    Accordingly we can say that a mezuza should not be within 4 amos (probably not to be visable either) of a tzelem which is ruled as a makom tumah. This needs more iyun on this subject, I would like some input on this matter.

    Interestingly, I also found in the Derech Pikudecha (mitzvah lo saseh 11 in the hagah) that there is a kabalah in his hands that books of minim and apikorsim are like avoda zara mamash and tzoa (that is the lashon tzoa next to avoda zara).

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Note that S A. HaRav 94:10 and Mishna Berura ibid, only mention one should not bring a davar kedusha in a house of idolatry (skipping out the part of 4 amos). I do not have any clear maskanah on this issue with the mezuza facing a tzelem yet. However I belive that it should be covered if in front of a tzelem.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. I asked R' Shammai Gross. He said the mezuzah should be covered completely (i.e. don't put it in a "see through" case.)


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Not a "khaf"

shin in "Alter Rebbe" script