Mezuzah Maven

For the week ending 1 September 2018 / 21 Elul 5778

Garage Doors

by Rabbi Ze'ev Kraines
Library Library Library

Q: My garage door rolls down along fitted railings. I don’t know whether to put the mezuzah on the railing or rather on the brick walling so that it will be on the outer tefach (handbreadth) of the house?

In general, can you explain why a garage needs a mezuzah if nobody lives there?

A: Most authorities rule that a mezuzah must be affixed to storage rooms and garages, even with a beracha. Although nobody “lives” in them, they are fully obligated if the owner or renter uses them and enters them from time to time.

The general custom seems to follow the opinion that the mezuzah should be affixed on the outer tefach of the brick wall under the lintel. Consequently, one would measure from the floor to the lintel to determine the top third.

Those who hold that, in general, mezuzot should be placed on fitted posts within wide doorways would rule that the mezuzah should be put on the railing. If one follows that opinion, he would measure from the floor up to the casement and place the mezuzah on the top third of the railing. Since it is under the lintel, it can be affixed facing out.

  • Sources: Mezuzos Beisecha 286:14, citing Teshuvos Rabbi Akiva Eiger 66; Agur B’ohalecha 34:4:9, 22:3; Aruch HaShulchan 286:9; Cf. Minchas Yitzchak 10:96; Teshuvos V’Hanhagos 1:647 allows a beracha only if the garage is attached to the house

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