Must stairs have a guardrailing?

Stairs-Are stairs which reach a height of 10 Tefachim obligated to be fenced?[1]

Some Poskim[2] rule that according to those who rule that a ramp is exempt from being fenced so too stairs are likewise exempt from being fenced or have a guard rail placed on their side. This applies even if the stairs eventually reach a height of 10 Tefachim from the ground, as people are aware when they walk upstairs that they must be careful not to fall off. Accordingly, we find many external stairs in Jerusalem that do not have a fence or guardrail.[3] Other Poskim[4], however, rule that even according to those opinions who exempt a ramp from being fenced, require stairs to be fenced.[5] Practically, one is to be stringent to put up a fence without a blessing.[6]


[1] See Imreiy Yaakov 10 Biurim “Gago”

[2] Eretz Chaim 427 in name of Divrei Rav on the Sifri

[3] Divrei Rav ibid

[4] Eretz Chaim 427 in his second approach which negates the opinion of Divrei Rav; Shevet Halevi 7:229-5

[5] The reason: As the exemption only applies by a ramp which is very wide and is difficult for people to fall off as opposed to narrow stairs. [Eretz Chaim ibid]

[6] Imreiy Yaakov ibid

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