How much to spend for a Mezuzah

Up to how much money must one spend to purchase a Mezuzah?[1]

One is required to spend up until 10% of his money in order to fulfill a positive command.[2] Possibly, one must spend up to 20% in order to purchase a Mezuzah for a room that he is living in.[3]  However one is not required to spend a large amount of money [which is more than 33% or even more than 20%[4]], even by a passing Mitzvah, just as is the law regarding Tzedaka that one should not give more than 20%.[5] However some Poskim[6] rule that by the Mitzvah of Mezuzah, one must spend even more than 20% in order to purchase it.


Mezuzah Versus Tefillin:[7]

If one cannot afford to buy both a Mezuzah and Tefillin, he should buy Tefillin rather than a Mezuzah, being that Tefillin is a Mitzvah fulfilled with one’s body and thus holds greater importance.[8] However this only applied during times that one would wear Tefillin throughout the entire day, or even today, if one is unable to borrow a pair of Tefillin for the time of Davening. However if one is able to borrow a pair of Tefillin for Davening, then in today’s time’s purchasing the Mezuzah receives precedence, as one cannot borrow a Mezuzah.[9]

[1] Rama 656/1

[2] M”B 656/8 in name of Beis Yosef and Rabbeinu Yerucham just as is the law by Maaser of Tzedaka

[3] M”B ibid, as perhaps by a Mitzvah Overes one must spend up to 20% and only by a Mitzvah that is not Overes, such as Tzedaka is one not required to spend more; See Biur Halacha 656/1 “Yoser Mechomesh” that explains the ruling of Rabbeinu Yerucham and the question of the Beis Yosef on his ruling.

[4] M”B 656/7

[5] Rama 656/1

[6] Minchas Chinuch 423

[7] Rama 285/1; Michaber Orach Chaim 38/12; Admur 38/11; Yerushalmi Megillah;

[8] The reason: Perhaps the greater importance lies in the fact that it refines one’s body, as opposed to the mitzvah of Mezuzah which does not refine one’s body as much.

[9] Admur ibid; M”A 38/15

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