Mezuzah Maven

For the week ending 28 April 2018 / 13 Iyyar 5778

On the Post or on the Wall?

by Rabbi Ze'ev Kraines
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Q: The sides of my doorway are just brickwork, like the rest of the house exterior. Fitted into that doorway is a wooden door with actual doorposts. Should I put the mezuzah on the wooden posts, or should I put it on the brickwork so that it should be on the outer tefach of the house? Which is more important?

A: There are two customs in this regard, and either may be followed. Some authorities opine that when a doorway is fitted with actual doorposts of wood or metal, the mezuzah should be affixed on these rather than on the walls of the doorway. This is true even if it would mean that the mezuzah will be more than a tefach away from the outer edge of the doorway.

According to these opinions, even if there is no space on the inner face of wooden post to place the mezuzah, it should be affixed on the front of the wooden post rather than on the walls of the doorway. Since the mezuzah is within the doorway and under the lintel, it may face outward.

Other authorities hold that one should put the mezuzah on the cement or brick surface if that is the outer tefach. However, even these authorities point out that if the wooden doorpost is thick and protrudes into the doorway more than a tefach, the mezuzah must be placed on it.

  • Sources: Chovas HaDar 8:3; Sha’arei HaMezuzah 12:9; Aruch HaShulchan 287:7; Agur B’ohalecha 14:4 and 13:6
Mezuzah on wall Mezuzah on doorpost under lintel facing out

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