Halacha by Keyword:
Halacha by Subject:
Halacha For - Thursday ,  - November 27, 2014

The Danger Regarding Removing Mezuzot from One’s Home

Question: Is it correct that there is a danger involved in removing the Mezuzot from the doorposts of one’s home when moving to another home and if so, what can be done for one who invested a hefty sum in purchasing beautiful Mezuzot?

Answer: The Gemara (Baba Metzia 102a) states: “Our Sages taught: When one rents a house to another, the tenant must affix a Mezuzah. When the tenant leaves this house and wishes to move into a new home, he should not take it and leave (rather, one should leave it affixed on the doorposts of the house one is vacating). Once, an individual took a Mezuzah with him (in order to affix it in the new home he was moving into) and he buried his wife and two sons.” This means that even when one is moving out of a house or apartment, one may not remove the Mezuzot from the house one is vacating and doing so poses a danger that his wife and children will die, G-d-forbid.

The Nimukei Yosef (authored by a later Rishon named Rabbeinu Yosef ibn Haviva, one of the great Spanish scholars) quotes the Ritba who says that the reason why one may not remove the Mezuzot from a house one is vacating is because through the Mezuzot, the divine presence of Hashem rests upon the house and by removing them, the presence of Hashem leaves as well.

The Ritba writes in his commentary on Masechet Baba Metzia (ibid.) that the reason why there is a danger to remove the Mezuzot from the house is because since the Mezuzah serves to protect the inhabitants of the house, one who removes them is causing danger to befall the following inhabitants of this house; thus, it is measure for measure that the individual who was not concerned with the deaths of another’s children who required protection ended up burying his own wife and children. Clearly, there is great depth behind this reasoning, for the primary obligation to affix a Mezuzah rests on the new tenants moving into the house and not on those who lived there before. Nevertheless, the simple understanding of this issue is that our Sages were extremely concerned with the danger present as a result of a lack of Mezuzot in a Jewish home; thus, since it is possible that some time will pass before the new inhabitants of the house affix new Mezuzot, our Sages prohibited the vacating tenants to take the Mezuzot with them.

If one has truly beautiful and expensive Mezuzot at home and has difficulty (financially or otherwise) obtaining other such Mezuzot, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l that there is room to take these Mezuzot down by taking them to be checked by a certified Sofer (scribe) in order to ascertain their Kashrut while taking care to immediately replace them with kosher, lower quality Mezuzot. When one receives the high quality Mezuzot back from the Sofer, one may take them and affix them in one’s new home. In this way, there is no concern whatsoever, for our Sages were only concerned that the new tenant not be left without Mezuzot causing a possible danger to his children; however, in this way where one immediately affixes other Mezuzot for the next tenant, there is no concern. It is preferable to do so several days before vacating the house. One is likewise entitled to payment from the new tenant for the Mezuzot one has left him.

For those residing outside of Israel, if one knows that the next tenant to move into the house or apartment is a non-Jew, one should not leave the Mezuzot affixed to the doorposts, for the Mitzvah of Mezuzah applies only to the Jewish nation. (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De’ah, Chapter 291, Section 2)   

  Recent Halachot
The Danger Regarding Removing Mezuzot from One’s Home
Entering a Synagogue with a Weapon
Knives During Birkat Hamazon
Behavior at the Western Wall
The Kotel-The Western Wall
Flying Over the Temple Mount
The Temple Mount
Cooked Wine
The Laws of a Jew Who is Non-Shabbat Observant Regarding Wine
Question: Is it halachically permissible to drink brandy, cognac, or champagne produced without kashrut supervision?
Non-Jewish Wine
When the Sanctity of Shevi’it Will Apply to Fruits and Vegetables and More on “Heter Mechira”
The Laws of Shevi’it in a Cooperative Garden
Forbidden and Permissible Forms of Work During Shevi’it
Sprouting Avocado Pits During Shevi’it and the Blessing on Hydroponic Produce

Page of 52
766 Halachot found

  15 Most Popular Halachot
The Laws of the Holiday of Sukkot
Listening to Music during the “Three Weeks”
Erev Yom Kippur
The Laws of Mishloach Manot
The Fast of Esther This Year (5774)
The Eruv Tavshilin One Should Make this Year (Rosh Hashanah-5775) and the Laws of Showering on Yom Tov
Motza’ei Yom Kippur-Unique Laws for this Year
The Laws of Chametz and Kitniyot (Legumes) on Pesach
Some Laws Regarding Megillah Reading
Laws and Customs of Selichot
The Custom of the “Commemoration of the Half-Shekel” and the Seventh of Adar
The Customary Order of Rosh Hashanah
Lighting Candles on Rosh Hashanah and Preparing on the First Day of Rosh Hashanah for the Second
The Proper Time for Lighting Chanukah Candles
The Pesach Seder-Kadesh