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Chapter 11:4-6
The Mitzvah of Mezuzoh

4.When there are two rooms, each of which possesses a doorway to a thoroughfare or to a courtyard, and there is a partition between them which also has a doorway, there is a question concerning the side on which the mezuzoh should be placed. The determining factor in this regard is hekeir tzir; i.e. it is dependent on the side of the door the hinges (tzirim in Hebrew) are placed, since the door will open in that direction.

[The direction to which the door opens] is considered as more important, and the mezuzoh is placed on the right side as a person would enter in this manner.*

* {When a door opens up to the public thoroughfare, the way it opens is not significant and the mezuzoh is always placed on the right side as one enters the house. However, if there is a courtyard behind a house and the only way of entering it is from a door in the house, that courtyard is considered just like any of the rooms of the house, and the mezuzoh is placed on the right side as one goes out to it (Misgeres Hashulchon 2).}

The above applies only when the use of both of the rooms is of equal importance. However, if the use of one of the rooms is of primary importance, then the side on which the hinges are placed is not considered the determinant factor. Rather, the mezuzoh is placed on the right as one enters the room which is principally used, even if the door opens into the other room.*

* {Different rules apply regarding the placement of a mezuzoh at the entrance to the rooms of a house when it has only on entrance to the public thoroughfare. (The fact that it has a back or side door which opens up to an enclosed yard is not significant.) The Misgeres Hashulchon(3) explains that in this instance, the determinant factor is the manner in which one enters the room as one proceeds from the entrance to the house. Nevertheless, other authorities consider hekeir tzir on the importance of the room's function as the determinant factor.}

5. The place to which the mezuzoh is affixed is the beginning of the top third of the entrance.* It is still acceptable if it is placed higher than that, as long as it is more than a hand-breadth away from the lintel. If one affixed it below the top third, one must remove it and affix it at the proper height. A blessing must be recited.

* {If the doorway is very high, one should place the mezuzoh at the height of one's shoulders, even though this is below the top third of the doorway (Misgeres Hashulchon 4).}

Should one have affixed the mezuzoh within a hand-breadth on the lintel, it must be removed and affixed at the proper height. However, another blessing is not recited.

[If the entrance way is wide], one should place the mezuzoh within a hand-breadth of the outside end. However, if one did not follow this practice, the mezuzoh need not be moved.

6. How must on affix it? One should roll it from the end to the beginning-i.e. from echod to Shema - place it in a tube or other container, and affix it with nails to the doorpost. It should be placed at an angle, with its head-i.e. the word Shema - pointed towards the house and the final line pointed toward the outside.

Should the doorpost be narrow, the mezuzoh may be affixed upright. This is preferable to affixing it behind the doorpost.

It is not acceptable to merely hang a mezuzoh, without affixing it in a permanent manner. Therefore, one should nail it both at the top and the bottom, so that it will not be considered as hanging.

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Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 1999 Project Genesis, Inc.

 

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