Halacha for Wednesday 14 Tammuz 5779 July 17 2019

The Proper Time to Affix One’s Mezuzot

Question: We are moving into a brand new house which we just purchased in approximately one month and we have already affixed the Mezuzot. Was it correct to do so?

Answer: The obligation of the Mitzvah of Mezuzah rests upon one who resides in the house. However, if one has a completely empty house which he does not reside in, one need not affix a Mezuzah to it. Our Sages (Baba Metzia 101b and Rashi’s commentary on Pesachim 4a) derive this from that which is states in the verse, “The doorposts of your home”-only a doorpost which you go in and out of. The Rambam (end of Chapter 5 of Hilchot Tefillin) rules likewise.

Maran Ha’Chida therefore writes in his Sefer Birkei Yosef (Orach Chaim, Chapter 19) that if one is about to move into a new home, whether it is rented or purchased, one should not affix the Mezuzot before one begins residing in the home, for one is not yet obligated to do so. When one comes to live in the house, one should immediately recite the blessing of “Likbo’a Mezuzah” and affix the Mezuzah.

Based on the words of Maran Ha’Chida, the Mishnah Berura (Chapter 19, Subsection 4) writes that one should only recite the blessing on affixing the Mezuzah immediately before beginning to live in the house, just as one recites a blessing on a Tallit only immediately before wrapping one’s self in it.

On the other hand, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l (in his Halichot Olam, Volume 8, page 218) disagrees with the Mishnah Berura and writes that one need not affix the Mezuzah specifically before beginning to live in the house; rather, one may affix the Mezuzah when one is preparing the house to begin living in it, such as by bringing some furniture, bedding, and other appliances into the house, for one becomes obligated in the Mitzvah of Mezuzah from then just as one who has ten houses must affix Mezuzot on each of them although he only enters the house once a year and does not live there steadily. He quotes most of the great Acharonim as ruling likewise.

Summary: When one is about to move into a new residence, one must affix a Mezuzah. The Mezuzah should be affixed when one begins bringing in some household items, such as furniture, into the house. Nevertheless, one should not affix a Mezuzah when the home is completely empty and one only plans on living there at a later time.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

Affixing a Mezuzah to One’s Porch

Question: Where should one affix the Mezuzah to the doorpost of one’s porch: On the right of the entrance from the house to the porch or on the right of the entrance from the porch to the house? Answer: The Gemara (Yoma 11b) states that our Sages derived from the verse “On the doorpos......

Read Halacha

Kissing the Mezuzah and Wearing a Mezuzah for Protection

Question: May one place a Mezuzah on a necklace and wear it around one’s neck as an amulet? Similarly, is it proper to kiss the Mezuzah and Sefer Torah? Answer: The Mitzvah of Mezuzah has a special property in that in its merit, Hashem protects the doorways of the houses of the Jewish natio......

Read Halacha

The Mitzvah of Mezuzah

There is a positive Torah commandment to write the two paragraphs of “Shema Yisrael” and “Ve’Haya Im Shamo’a” on parchment and affix this parchment on the doorpost of one’s home, as the verse states, “And you shall write them on the doorposts of your h......

Read Halacha

The Proper Time to Affix One’s Mezuzot

Question: We are moving into a brand new house which we just purchased in approximately one month and we have already affixed the Mezuzot. Was it correct to do so? Answer: The obligation of the Mitzvah of Mezuzah rests upon one who resides in the house. However, if one has a completely empty hous......

Read Halacha


Opening a Faucet and Soaking Seeds in Water on Shabbat

Soaking Seeds on Shabbat We have been asked regarding people who have a pet parrot at home and they must soak different kinds of seeds in order to feed them to the parrot. Is this permissible on Shabbat or not? At first glance, it would seem that this should be prohibited based on what the Ramba......

Read Halacha

Personal Modesty

The Gemara (Yoma 47a) states: “Our Sages taught: Kimchit had seven sons, all of whom served as Kohanim Gedolim (High Priests). The Sages asked her, ‘What have you done to merit this?’ She replied, ‘The beams of my house have never seen the braids of my hair.’” Ras......

Read Halacha

Placing Flowers in a Vase on Shabbat

Question: Is one permitted to place a bouquet of flowers into a vase filled with water on Shabbat or is this forbidden? Answer: In the previous Halacha we have explained that one of the forbidden works on Shabbat is planting. We have also quoted the Gemara which states that water trees or seeds o......

Read Halacha

The Forbidden Work of Planting on Shabbat

The Torah (Shemot 20) states: “Remember the day of Shabbat to sanctify it. Six days you shall work and perform all of your labor and the seventh day shall be a Shabbat for Hashem, your G-d etc. For in six days Hashem created the Heavens and the earth and on He rested on the seventh day. Thus, ......

Read Halacha