May a woman put up a Mezuzah or is only a man to do so?

May a woman put up a Mezuzah or is only a man to do so?[1]

Introduction:

One the one hand we find that women are obligated in the Mitzvah of Mezuzah just like men, which implies that certainly they are valid to put it up.[2] On the other hand, we find that women are invalid to write the Mezuzah, just as they are invalid to write Tefillin.[3] Now, perhaps just as women are invalid to make the Tefillin due to their invalidation to write Tefillin, so too they are invalid to put up the Mezuzah, just like they are invalid to write it. This matter is discussed and debated amongst the Poskim as we will now explain.

 

The law:

Some Poskim[4] rule that it is permitted for a woman to put up a Mezuzah, and it is not required to be done specifically by a man.[5] Other Poskim[6], however, rule that a woman may not put up a Mezuzah and is rather to have a man do so for her.[7] Practically, if a woman/wife put it up, it remains Kosher and does not need to be replaced.[8] Nevertheless, some conclude that initially it is best for a man, such as the husband, to put up the Mezuzah.[9] Nevertheless, if there is no man/husband at home, the woman is even initially to put up the Mezuzah with a blessing and not delay until a man is available.[10]

 

Summary:

Women are obligated in the Mitzvah of Mezuzah and are thus also valid to put the Mezuzah up on their doorpost, and it is not necessary to have it done by a man. Nevertheless, if the husband is at home, it is initially best for him to do so.

 

____________________________________________________________

[1] See Eretz Tzevi 15; Beir Moshe 2:100; Sefer Kevius Mezuzah Kehilchasa 13:8

[2] Michaber Y.D. 186:1; Mishneh Brachos 20a that “Women, children, and slaves are obligated in the Mitzvah of Mezuzah.”; Yuma 11b; Kiddushin 34a

[3] Michaber 281:3; Beis Yosef 281; Gittin 45b; Shach 281:6; Aruch Hashulchan 281:1

[4] Setimas Haposkim who do not write such a Halacha that women are invalid; Possible implication of Admur 14:2 and 39:1 regarding the invalidation of women for Tzitzis and Tefillin that it is because they are not obligated in the Mitzvah, thus implying that if they were obligated, then they may prepare the Mitzvah; Chasam Sofer Y.D. 211 “They are not included in the Mitzvah of writing but are included in the Mitzvah of setting”; Implication of Maharshag Y.D. 57 regarding even gentile; Sdei Chemed Mareches Mem 131; Shevet Halevi 2:158-3 “I saw the opinion of Yeshuos Malko and in my opinion one cannot say this…and there is no doubt in my mind that it is valid.”; Kevius Mezuzah Kehilchasa ibid in name of Poskei Doreinu

[5] The reason: As women are obligated in the Mitzvah of Mezuzah [Michaber 186:1; Mishneh Brachos 20a that “Women, children, and slaves are obligated in the Mitzvah of Mezuzah.”; Yuma 11b; Kiddushin 34a] and therefore they are certainly valid to put it up to fulfill the Mitzvah. [Poskim ibid; Implication of Admur ibid; See Shevet Halevi ibid] Furthermore, some Poskim rule that even a gentile who put up a Mezuzah, the Mezuzah is Kosher. [See Maharshag ibid] Furthermore, some Poskim rule that women are even valid to write a Mezuzah! [See Perisha Y.D. 281:1 in implication of Tur 281, Rif and Rosh who all omit the Gemara in Gittin 45b which invalidates a woman; Now, although we do not rule like this opinion, as writes Michaber 281:3; Shach 281:6; Aruch Hashulchan 281:1, nevertheless, there is no precedent to extend the Hekesh of invalidation also for the Tikkun of the Mezuzah, and only the writing is invalid. See Shevet Halevi ibid]

[6] Yeshuos Malko Hilchos Tefillin Umezuzah [on Rambam] 5 rules the Mezuzah is invalid if placed by a woman; Eretz Tzevi ibid debates this issue and leaves this matter in question

[7] The reason: As women are invalid to write the Mezuzah [Michaber 281:3; Beis Yosef 281; Gittin 45b; Shach 281:6; Aruch Hashulchan 281:1] due to a Hekesh of Keshira and Kesiva with Tefillin [see Gittin ibid; Admur 32:10] and just like women are excluded from all matters of Tikkun with the Tefillin due to this, so too they are excluded from all matters of Tikkun of the Mezuzah due to this, which includes putting it on the doorpost. [See Yeshuos Malko ibid and Beir Moshe ibid who offer two slightly different reasons behind their invalidations based on the above reasoning]

[8] Beir Moshe ibid; Shevet Halevi ibid; Kevius Mezuzah Kehilchasa ibid in name of Poskei Dorein; all Poskim in previous footnotes

[9] Beir Moshe ibid in order to escape the above dispute; Liekwise, an additional reason to precede the husband is because he is the owner of the home, and Mitzvah Bo Yoser Mibeshlucho. [See Daas Kedoshim 289:12; Nachals Tzevi 291 in name of Rav Akiva Eiger]

[10] See Shevet Halevi ibid that there is no doubt in this matter and they are certainly obligated to do so and thus Pashut that they may not delay the Mitzvah simply due to a Chumra of some Poskim

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Leave A Comment?