Mezuzah Maven

For the week ending 14 July 2018 / 2 Av 5778

Only One Doorpost

by Rabbi Ze'ev Kraines
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Q: Our new home was designed in a style called “open plan.” In plain terms, this means that the living areas sort of flow into one another without a lot of conventional doorways with two posts and a lintel. Can you blame me for being a little confused about whether I need mezuzot at all!

A: The Sages debate whether the Torah’s use of the plural “doorposts” indicates that a doorway with only one post does not require a mezuzah. In practice, if the sole doorpost is on the left of the person entering the room, no mezuzah is necessary.

If the post is on the right, and on the left the wall continues without a break, a mezuzah should be affixed to the right post, without a beracha.

If no wall continues on the left of the right post, no mezuzah is necessary.

However, if the left wall ends within three tefachim of the right post, they are deemed to be in alignment enough to require a mezuzah on the right post. Even so, no beracha is recited.

  • Sources: Shach Y.D. 287:1; Aruch HaShulchan 287:8; Shevet HaLevi 5:160; Agur B’ohalecha 20:8,10; Chovas HaDar 7; Mezuzos Beisecha 287:1

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