House/Room less than 4×4 Amos

 

A house/room smaller than 4 [6 feet] by 4 Amos [6 feet]:[1]

A. An actual house/building:

A house[2] that is smaller than 4 by 4 Amos [6 feet/1.9 meters by 6 feet/1.9 meters][3] is exempt from having a Mezuzah.

If the house is 362 feet but lacks 4 Amos in one direction: The above measurement does not have to be a square. Meaning, the length and width is not obligated to both be 4 Amos [6 feet], rather as long as the area contains the space of 162 Amos [362 feet or 42 meters], it is obligated to have a Mezuzah. Thus for example, if the length is 8 Amos [12 feet] while the width is 2 Amos [3 feet] it would require a Mezuzah.[4] However since there are opinions[5] which only require a Mezuzah if there are 4 by 4 square Amos, therefore in a house where either the length or width is not 4 Amos, the Mezuzah should be placed without a Bracha, or should be exempted with the Bracha of another Mezuzah.[6]

 

B. The room of a house:

The room of a house which is smaller than 4×4/162 Amos: The inner room of a house that is less than 4×4 Amos, some Poskim[7] rule follows the same ruling as a house that is less than 4×4 Amos, and is hence exempt from Mezuzah. Other Poskim[8] however rule it is obligated in Mezuzah. It is however disputed amongst these Poskim as to which side is considered the Halachic “right doorpost” onto which the Mezuzah is to be placed. Some Poskim[9] rule that the Mezuzah is to be placed on the right side when entering into this small room. Other Poskim[10] however rule it is to be placed on the right side of exiting the small room and entering from it into the larger room. Many are accustomed like this latter opinion.[11] [According to the Chabad custom, in any event we always follow the Heker Tzir, and the same would apply in this case as well.[12] Hence one is to place the Mezuzah on the right doorpost of entering into the room that the door opens into.] One may place the Mezuzah on the door in such a case with a blessing, although those that are stringent not to recite a blessing may do so.[13]

The room of a house that is 362 feet but is less than 4 Amos in one direction: If the room is 362 feet but lacks four Amos in width or length, then some Poskim[14] write one is to place two Mezuzah’s, one on each side of the door. Practically however one is not to do so.[15] One is hence to place a Mezuzah only on the right doorpost of entering towards the inner room.[16] [According to the Chabad custom, in any event we always follow the Heker Tzir, and the same would apply in this case as well.[17]]

 

8×2 Amos=162 Amos

 


[1] 286/13

[2] This refers to an actual house. However regarding the room of a house, the law is different, as will be explained.

[3] 1 meter and 88cm by 1 meter and 88cm;

[4] Michaber 286/13; Rambam

[5] Rosh brought in Shach 286/23 and so rules Admur 366/5 in parentheses “Even if it is very long, if it has less than 4 Amos of width, it is not a place of living”

[6] Shach 286/23; Seemingly this applies even according to Admur ibid as a) this ruling of Admur is in parentheses and b) Even the Shach, who rules like the Rosh and is the source of Admur’s ruling, concludes to place a Mezuzah without a blessing.

[7] Chesed Leavraham 92/1; Shalmas Chaim 2/105-109; Toras Nesanel 33; Maharil 94

[8] Riaz brought in Shiltei Giborim; Minchas Pitim 286; Binyan Tziyon 1/99; Beis Meir 289; Chimudei Daniel brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 286/11; Daas Kedoshim 286/19; Ben Ish Chaiy; Rebbe Akiva Eiger 286/13; Minchas Yitzchak 1/8-9; Shevet Halevi 152; Chazon Ish

[9] Chimudei Daniel brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 286/11; Understanding of some in Rebbe Akiva Eiger 286/13

[10] Riaz brought in Shiltei Giborim; Minchas Pitim 286; Binyan Tziyon 1/99; Beis Meir 289; Daas Kedoshim 286/19; Ben Ish Chaiy; Understanding of some in Rebbe Akiva Eiger 286/13; Minchas Yitzchak 1/8-9; Shevet Halevi 152; Chazon Ish

[11] Shevet Halevi ibid

[12] See Shaar Halacha Uminhag Yorah Deah p. 340 that we go by Heker Tzir even by the side entrance to the public.

[13] Shevet Halevi ibid

[14] Binyan Tziyon ibid

[15] Shevet Halevi ibid

[16] As a) The Rambam and Michaber both rule it is obligated in Meuzah. And b) There are Poskim ibid that rule an inner room is always obligated in having a Mezuzah towards its entrance.

[17] See Shaar Halacha Uminhag Yorah Deah p. 340 that we go by Heker Tzir even by the side entrance to the public.

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