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Mezuzah Placement

Mezuzah Placement

Where on the Doorpost Do I Place the Mezuzah?

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Photo: Ivan Prole
Photo: Ivan Prole

The Mezuzah is affixed on the right-hand side of the door as you enter the room. It should be placed at a slight angle, with the top of the Mezuzah pointing toward the inside of the room and the bottom pointing toward the outside.

The proper place for the Mezuzah is at the bottom of the top third of the doorway. In other words, measure the height of the doorway and divide by three; then align the bottom of the Mezuzah with the point two-thirds of the way up the doorpost (see illustration). In most homes, the doorways are approximately 78 inches high, so the bottom of your Mezuzah should be no lower than 52 inches from the floor.

If your doorway is much higher (say 90 inches or higher), affix the Mezuzah at shoulder height, even if this is lower than the upper third of the doorway. If the doorpost is very low, a rabbinical authority should be consulted in order to determine where the Mezuzah should be mounted.

If the doorpost or archway is wider (thicker) than a handbreadth (approximately 3¼ inches), the Mezuzah should be mounted within the outermost handbreadth of the doorpost, rather than in the center. However, if there is a protrusion (such as a jamb) running along the height of the doorpost, some rabbinical authorities advise affixing the Mezuzah on the protrusion.

The Right Side

There can be confusion as to which is the “right side” of the doorway. Is it the right as you enter a room or as you exit? And what about a doorway that is between two rooms (e.g., a doorway between a kitchen and dining room)?

The basic rules are:

  • For the door at the entrance of the house, the right as you enter is always considered to be the right side.
  • Inside the house, if the doorway can be used as an entrance from either side, the right side is determined by how the door opens. Whichever room the door opens into is considered the primary room, and the Mezuzah is placed on the side that is on the right when entering that room.

The laws defining the terms “entrance” and “exit” are many and complex. If there is no door, if there is a swinging or sliding door, or if you are in doubt that you affixed the Mezuzah correctly, it is advisable to have a reliable rabbi visit your home to determine the correct location for the Mezuzah.

Young Children

When one has young children and they cannot reach the Mezuzah to kiss it, the Mezuzah should still not be placed lower than the top third of the doorway. Instead, you can lift your children up to the Mezuzah or keep a stool nearby so they can reach it on their own. Doing this provides an opportunity to instill in them—and yourself—a valuable lesson: if an ideal is beyond your reach, strive upwards towards it instead of compromising the ideal.

When There Is No Room

There are cases when it is physically impossible to affix the Mezuzah on the inside of the doorpost itself—for example, a swinging door interferes with the placement of the Mezuzah.

In such a case, the preferred approach would be to make a groove that is less than a handbreadth deep, and place the Mezuzah in the groove.

If that is not possible, then it would be permitted to affix the Mezuzah behind the door, provided it was placed on the doorpost.

When necessary, it can be put on either the inner or outer side of the doorpost, as long as it is within about three inches from the opening of the doorway.

You may also place the Mezuzah on the inner side of the doorpost if you are genuinely concerned that it will be stolen or defaced were it to be mounted on the actual doorpost.

Compiled by Dovid Zaklikowski, based on materials by Rabbi Aaron Wolf, Lubavitch of Center City Philadelphia, and other sources.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
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John USA May 16, 2017

I've just moved into a house with my grandfather, after moving home from college. I noticed his front door doesn't have a Mezuzah on it but there is no door post per say to affix it. There is a screen door, a small area between the screen door and the main door but when the main door shuts, it fills the void between doors. Can I affix Mezuzah on the outer facade next to the doorway? I'm really confused on how to put a mezuzah up on this door. Thanks! Reply

Simcha Bart for Chabad.org May 19, 2017
in response to John :

As the article says, if there is no room to place the Mezuzah in the doorway (even straight up) then you may place it on the door frame on the outside. Please see the last 3 paragraphs of the article above.

Reply

Eliezer Zalmanov for Chabad.org November 10, 2016

To Barry If placing the mezuzah on the outside will not interfere with the door's swing then that's where it should be. Otherwise, it can be inside.

But do note that although the doors swing out, the mezuzah is still placed on the right side when walking into the home. Reply

Barry Rudd Delray Beach, Florida November 9, 2016

The front door to my house opens outward, rather than inward as most front doors do. Also the door hinges are on the right hand side as you enter the house my question: Should the mezuzah be placed on the indoor or outdoor side of the doorpost? Reply

Eliezer Zalmanov for Chabad.org February 18, 2016

Re: doorframe too thin If there is room on the inside of the doorframe then that's where the mezuzah should go. Reply

Anonymous February 17, 2016

doorframe too thin If the doorframe from the outside is about an inch thick, so there is not enough space to place the mezuzah, then where should I place it? Reply

jacques . October 30, 2015

For several reasons I cannot put the mezouza outside (entrance to my apartment). On the inside the post is not wide enough. My idea is to put it at the entrance of my bedroom.
Anything speaks against this?
(If it is of importance I am only affixing one mezouza in my apartment). Reply

Shaul Wolf Chabad.org October 9, 2015

Re: The Chabad custom in regards to a door that opens outwards is to place the Mezuzah on the lefthand side. The way to determine which room is considered the primary room, we look at which room the door opens into. The hallway is considered the main room in this scenario, and the Mezuzah is therefore placed on the righthand side of the one "entering" the hallway. Reply

Richard Wiener Westport Ct. September 27, 2015

The door to our bedroom opens from the left side (handle on the left) into a hallway. If we place the Mezuzah on the right, when the door is open you will not see the Mezuzah as it will be hidden by the open door. The door is always left open. Do we place the Mezuzah on the left so that it will be seen as you enter the bedroom or do we place it on the right side in which case, when the door is open, it will not be seen as it will be blocked by the open door. Reply

polly walker marion July 9, 2014

My front door open from the left. So would it be ok to place the Mezuzah on the left outside door frame. Reply

Shaul Wolf July 9, 2014

Re: Thick doorframe The measurement of 3 1/4 inches is not a minimum requirement for a doorpost to have a mezuzah, and a mezuzah may be placed on thinner doorposts as well.
Aside for a mezuzah having to be placed on the righthand side, it must also be as close to the outside as possible, thus incorporating within its protection as much of the house as possible. When a doorpost is 3 1/4 inches thick, if the mezuzah will be placed in the center it will not be as close to the outside as possible, and therefore should be placed further outward than the center. If the doorpost is not that thick, there is no need for concern, and the mezuzah may be placed in the center of the doorpost. Reply

Anonymous California July 8, 2014

What if the door frame for the entryway to the house on the right side is much thinner than 3¼ inches but the left side has the appropriate amount of space? Would it then be permissible to affix it to the left side of the door? Reply

Eliezer Zalmanov for Chabad.org April 27, 2014

Re: placement of Mezuzah with storm door If there is space on the doorpost outside of the storm door, that's where the mezuzah should be placed. If there isn't, then it can be placed between the two doors. Reply

Anonymous Washington, DC April 25, 2014

placement of Mezuzah with storm door I have a storm door along with the regular front door. Should the Mezuzah be placed on the outside of the storm door or between the two doors? Reply

Yehuda Shurpin for Chabad.org February 26, 2014

Re: sliding door - fixed panel Ideally, the Mezuzah should be placed on the fixed panel as that is what is considered the doorway opening (you may need to attach it from the side). In a situation where this seems impossible, you should try to get in touch with a local Rabbi who can check out the doorway personally. Reply

Anonymous Australia January 30, 2014

Sliding doors I have large sliding glass doors, opening onto a verandah, with 1 fixed pane on each side and two slding panes that slide over the fixed one. So there is no way of affixing the mezuzah near the opening. There is no door frame - it is in the brick of the building. Where do I put the mezuzah? Reply

Yisroel Cotlar Cary NC August 26, 2013

Sliding Doors If it slides from right to left (when facing the inside of your home) then the mezuzah is placed on the extreme right side as you enter the home.

If however the door slides from left to right (when facing the inside of your home) then you must affix the mezuzah on the right side of the doorpost, not on the extreme right side of the doorframe. Reply

Anonymous August 22, 2013

sliding glass door My sliding glass door opens from left and slides toward the right. The door frame is on the left as you enter from outside. I could place the mezuzah on the left side of the sliding door since that would be on the right when the door is open. Or should it be placed all the way on the right side frame, next to the stationary side of the glass?
Thank you. Reply

Anonymous FL April 8, 2013

Mezuzah Dilema Hi,
We are having a very hard time trying to figure it out how to place our mezuzah.

The main entrance of our new home is an out-swing exterior door (it opens towards us, as we are getting into the house), and the door has the hinges on the right side (as you enter to the house).

Also the front doorpost and the door is "Flush-Flat" with the wall when it is closed. In other words there is no space on the right-outside doorpost to place the mezuzah. All the space of the doorpost is inside the house or behind the door.

How and where can we place the mezuzah?

Thank you. Reply

Lee Fogel New York, NY October 12, 2012

Height of Mezuzah Placement It's important to mention that according to Rambam (Hilchot Mezuzah 6:12), that "if [the mezuzah] was affixed higher up [than the bottom of the top third], it is acceptable as long as it is at least a handbreadth below the lintel." Reply

Anonymous November 7, 2010

Wanting to be Jewish You need to approach the rabbi a third time, especially if you are wanting to be an orthodox Jew. Reply

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