When to place a Mezuzah on a rental home

When to place a Mezuzah on a rental home:[1]

When one purchases a home, the Mezuzah is obligated to be placed on the doors of the home as soon as one moves into the home. This applies even in the Diaspora. If, however, one is renting or borrowing the home, the laws differ between Eretz Yisrael and the Diaspora.

A. Outside of Eretz Yisrael:[2]

When renting, or borrowing[3], a home outside of Eretz Yisrael, one is not obligated to place a Mezuzah on it for the first thirty days that he lives there.[4] [Nevertheless, some Poskim[5] rule that if one chooses, he may place a Mezuzah on with a blessing even within the thirty days.[6] Furthermore, some Poskim[7] rule that if one agreed to rent the home for more than thirty days, then he becomes obligated in mezuzah on the first day. Practically, the custom is to place a Mezuzah without a blessing immediately upon moving in.[8]]

Chabad custom:[9] The current Chabad Custom[10], as advised by the Rebbe, is to place the Mezuzah on without a blessing immediately upon moving into the new home. After the thirtieth day[11], one is to remove one of the Mezuzahs to be checked and then replace it with a more Mehudar Mezuzah.[12] Prior to replacing the new Mezuzah, one is to recite a blessing over it and have in mind to include within the blessing all the other Mezuzah’s that were already placed. [If one is unable to replace the Mezuzah with a more Mehudar Mezuzah, then one may replace the checked Mezuzah with a blessing if some time has passed between the removal and replacing.[13]]

B. In Eretz Yisrael:

When renting, or borrowing[14], a home in Eretz Yisrael, one is obligated to place Mezuzahs on all the doors immediately upon moving in.[15]

C. Hotel:[16]

When staying in a hotel one is not obligated to place a Mezuzah for the first thirty days, even in Eretz Yisrael. [The Rebbe Rashab, however, was accustomed to place a Mezuzah immediately upon entering his hotel room. This is not a directive for the public.[17]]

D. Renting from a Gentile:[18]

One who rents a home from a gentile is obligated in placing a Mezuzah [on its doors]. [In the above laws, it makes no difference if one is renting the home from a Jew or Gentile, and in either case the Mezuzah obligations begin after 30 days in the Diaspora, and in Eretz Yisrael immediately upon moving in.[19] If, however, there is suspicion that placing a Mezuzah on the non-Jews home will enter him into danger, then he is exempt from palcing it.[20]]

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[1] 286/22; Menachos 44b

[2] Michaber ibid; Menachos ibid

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that even in the Diaspora one is obligated to place a Mezuzah onto the door immediately upon moving. [Poskim brought in Sdei Chemed Kelalim Mareches Mem 112; See Chovas Hador 3/2]

[3] Rama ibid; Beis Yosef in name of Rebbe Manoach

[4] The reason: As it is not yet considered a home within the first 30 days. [Shach 286/28; Tosafus Menachos 44a]

Does the obligation begin on the 30th or 31st day? Michaber ibid writes the exemption is for thirty days. Shach 286/29 writes “after thirty days”; Kuntrus Hamezuzah 286/194 in name of Chikrei Lev 3/128 that the obligation begins on the nigfht of the 31st day. See Chovas Hadar 3 footnote 6; Nesivos Besdei Hashlichus1/91 footnote 15; In Igros Kodesh 13/169; 15/389 the Rebbe states to replace the Mezuzah with a blessing on the 30th day. In Igros Kodesh 10/219 the Rebbe writes “When the thirty days is complete”

When is the first day counted from: Some Poskim rule the first day is counted from the day one moved in, even if it was close to sunset. [Kuntrus Hamezuzah 286/194 in name of Chikrei Lev 3/128] Other Poskim however leave this matter in question. [Daas Kedoshim 286/33; See Mikdash Me’at 58] The thirty days do not begin prior to moving into the home [one’s items] even if the rental already began. [Minchas Yitzchak 10/93]

[5] Ashel Avraham 286 and O.C. 14/2, Rav Meshulam 1, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 286/17; Igros Moshe Y.D. 1/179

[6] The reason: This similar to a borrowed Tallis of which we rule that the blessing is optional for the first thirty days. [ibid]

[7] Chikrei Lev 3/128; Nachals Tzevi 286 based on Derech Hachaim; Rav Akiva Eiger in Teshuvah Kesav Yad; Shevet Halevi 6/160; See Poskim in Kevius Mezuzah Kehilchasa 4/7 footnote 14

[8] Aruch Hashulchan 286/49; Toras Mordechai Y.D. 145; Igros Moshe Y.D. 1/179; Shevet Halevi 6/160

[9] Igros Kodesh 10/219; 13/169; 15/389 [printed in Shulchan Menachem 5/226; Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag 3 126]; Sefer Haminhagim p. 81 [p. 187 in English edition]; See Nesivim Bisdei Hashlichus 1/92; See also

[10] Custom of Rebbe Rashab: There is a testimony from Rav Yaakov Landau OBM that the Rebbe Rashab waited approximately two weeks before placing on the Mezuzahs. The reason for this was told to Rav Landau from the Friedeker Rebbe in the name of his father, that the Mezuzah is a Makif, and being that one needs to draw the Makif inwards, it requires Avodah, which thus caused the delay of putting up the Mezuzah. The Rebbe Rashab stated that “In my home not one splinter of wood will remain unrefined.” The Rebbe however explained that this custom of the Rebbe Rashab is not a custom meant for the public, as we are not on levels in which we can affect the drawing of the Makif inwards through our Avodah, and thus there is no reason to delay placing on the Mezuzahs as soon as one moves in. [Rebbe ibid]

[11] In Igros Kodesh 13/169; 15/389 the Rebbe states to replace the Mezuzah with a blessing on the 30th day. In Igros Kodesh 10/219 the Rebbe writes “When the thirty days are complete”; See regarding if the obligation begins on the 30th or 31st day: Chovas Hadar 3 footnote 6; Nesivos Besdei Hashlichus1/91 footnote 15

[12] The Rebbe emphasizes that it is necessary to a) check the removed Mezuzah; b) Replace the Mezuzah with a more Mehudar one. This is possibly because a) One is not to remove a Mezuzah without due reason, and b) One is not to say a blessing on a Mezuzah that is replaced fater checking. Vetzaruch Iyun!  

[13] See Igros Kodesh 15/389 “Remove one Mezuzah to be checked, and if possible switch it with a nicer one”

Saying a blessing when replacing a checked Mezuzah after some time: So rules: Aruch Hashulchan 289/4 that if placed the next day then certainly a blessing is said; Rav Raskin in Siddur Miluim p. 670-671; Pischeiy Shearim 289/12; See however Birkeiy Yosef 289 in name of Lashon Limudim, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 289/1; Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 11/7 who leaves this matter in question.

[14] Rama ibid; Beis Yosef in name of Rebbe Manoach

[15] The reason: In order to settle the land of Eretz Yisrael. [Michaber ibid]

[16] Michaber ibid

[17] Toras Menachem Reshimos Hayoman p. 210

[18] Michaber 286/23; Hagahos Maimanis in opinion of Rambam; Semag in name of Yerushalmi

[19] Shach 286/29

[20] Shach 286/29 based on Rama 286/1

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