Mezuzah Maven

For the week ending 31 March 2018 / 15 Nisan 5778

Children Putting Mezuzot on Their Rooms

by Rabbi Ze'ev Kraines
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Q: I wanted my children to be involved in the mezuzah ceremony, so I let my nine-year-old son affix his mezuzah on his own bedroom door. When I saw how excited he was by this opportunity, I let him put one on the playroom door as well.

When I told over this story at the Shabbos table, one of the guests suggested that I should ask a rabbi whether a child under Bar Mitzvah can put up a mezuzah. He said that maybe I would need to remove them and put them up again by myself. Is that correct?

A: The Rambam writes: “Minors should be educated to affix a mezuzah to their rooms.” Consequently, several authorities opine that a child is allowed to put a mezuzah on his own door if he is old enough to understand the significance of the mitzvah. They add that even after he becomes Bar Mitzvah, he would not have to remove it and re-affix it.

Incidentally, if you had your son in mind when you made the beracha on all the mezuzot that were to be placed, he should not make his own beracha.

Nevertheless, several other authorities dissent from this view and do not allow a child to place a mezuzah, even on his own room. In deference to these opinions, some authorities rule that if he did place the mezuzah as a child, he should take it down and re-affix it after his Bar Mitzvah.

Although the playroom is generally used by children more than by adults, it is no different than any other public room of the house. As such, you or another adult should have put the mezuzah on its doorway. However, once your son has placed it, it does not have to be removed. Even so, some authorities suggest that when the mezuzah is taken down for routine checking, it should be replaced by an adult.

  • Sources: Rambam, Hilchos Sefer Torah 5:10;Chovas HaDar 1:6:25; Agur B’Ohalecha 7:15, 8:8:15-16, 22; Sha’arei HaMezuzah 16:4-5; Mezuzos Beisecha 289:2

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