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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Some minhag Chabad questions:

A prominent Chabad rabbi here asked me the following two questions, both of which I need the advice of Reb Moshe or anyone else for that matter who may be able to shed some light on the following:

1) A door which is a secondary external door - it is not the front door per se but is a main door of a building leading to a parking lot which on weekdays is probably used more than the front door as an entrance - should we follow heker tzir or yemin haknisah? I know this is a machlokes in chabad but what do we do lemaasseh in this case particulalry.

2) There seems to be a minhag in Chabad which was more common 40 years ago and less common today - to put  a mezuzah in a paper or thin plastic wrapping directly onto the door. (The idea of see through coverings comes from the Remah, I do not think it is relevant to this discussion). I know that Chabad's philosophy was always to use simple cases because the main hiddur should be the actual mezuzah klaf and not the case. however today we have simple plastic cases which in actual fact protect the mezzuah better as it does not get squashed.
Is the minhag just to have simple cases (in which todays's hard simple cases suffice) or is ther esomething about the paper, thin plastic where you can actually feel the mezuzah klaf?

3 comments:

  1. In regard to question 1 it seems pashut that minhag chabad is to follow yemin cnisa not heker tzir in this case, since this is a regular exit/entance from the house.
    The minhag to follow heker tzir on a secondary external door [mentioned in minhagei chabad], is only if it is not used that much.

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  2. Question 2, See Nesivim Besadeh Hashlichus (Rabbi Raskin, London) p. 94 -there is a shmua that the Rebbe in the early years (1942-3) instructed to certain individuals to use these thin wrappings, that it is ol pi kabbalah. The author did not find an open makor to this, however he attempts to give an explanation to this instruction, see there.

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  3. In regard to question 2 I suggest that the minhag comes since in this manner there is no chatzitza between the mezuza and the door(see pische tshuva beshem haGR"A-see aruch hashulchan who says GR"A never said this.)(can we suggest it was graz?)
    If you roll the mezuza and insert it in a case then the paper which wraps the mezuza can be a chatzitza however if the paper its rolled in gets tacked to the wall there is no chatzitza since the mitzva is לוקח קנה חלול and affix it to the wall,the mezuza is touching the wrapper that is connected (and cosidered part of)the wall.
    If I am correct then you can selve the problem in 2 other ways.
    1)don't wrap the mezuza
    2)wrap the mezuza candy style and have the ends of the wrapping paper stick out in manner that the nails pass through the paper

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