Mezuzah Maven

For the week ending 26 May 2018 / 12 Sivan 5778

Electrified Wires above a Car Gate

by Rabbi Ze'ev Kraines
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Q: We built a pedestrian gate into our electric sliding gate for use on Shabbat and Yom Tov. It is a proper door with posts and lintel. The sliding gate itself has posts, but no lintel. Do I need to put mezuzot on both entrances?

A: Surprisingly, neither entrance needs a mezuzah. The sliding gate is exempt, even though it has posts, because it has no lintel. (If it did have a lintel, one would place a mezuzah on the right post framing the gateway.) The pedestrian door, though it is an entrance, is also exempt as it is deemed to be merely part of the larger gate.

Q: Our house, like many in South Africa, is surrounded by electrified wires stretching across the top of a high wall. These wires also run across the front gate of our property. This gate has no lintel above it, but I was thinking that perhaps the electrified wires that run across it could be looked at as a lintel. Does the gate need a mezuzah?

A: This gate would not require a mezuzah. Because these wires are only there for extra security, they are not structural elements and are thus not deemed to be a lintel.

  • Sources: Shulchan Aruch 287:1; Agur B’Ohalecha 22:8. Yad HaKetanah 3:9; Tzemach Tzedek, Piskei Dinim Y.D., cited in Sha’arei HaMezuzah 11:29; Aruch HaShulchan 286:45; Minchas Yitzchak 7:12; She’arim HaMetzuyanim B’Halachah 11:4. Oral rulings of Rav Moshe Heinemann & Rav Yosef Salzer

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