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Removing a Mezuzah Permanently

Removing a Mezuzah Permanently

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I'm moving to a hew home. Can I remove the mezuzahs from the doorposts when I leave?

As a rule, a mezuzah should not be removed from a doorpost, leaving the room or house without a mezuzah, unless it will be put back or replaced with another mezuzah.

Thus, when moving to another house or apartment and the next tenant is Jewish, the mezuzahs should not be removed, unless there is concern that if the mezuzahs are left behind they would be discarded or defaced.

If the new occupant has his own mezuzahs and wishes to use them rather than the ones you leave on the doorpost, it is preferred that the new occupant should himself remove your mezuzahs when installing his own, or that, at least, it should be he who instructs you to remove the mezuzahs. This law is a very serious matter and should not be treated lightly. A competent rabbi should be consulted if in doubt as to how to proceed.

If the new occupant wants the mezuzahs, you are obligated to leave all of the mezuzahs in their place. If your mezuzahs are of a high quality and expensive, you may replace them with less expensive ones before you leave, providing that they are 100% kosher. The mezuzah cases may certainly be exchanged for inexpensive mezuzah covers.

You may also request that the new occupant pay you for the mezuzahs, in which case one will be obligated to compensate for the mezuzahs at fair market value.

If one is in the midst of moving and temporarily owns two homes and is actually living in both homes, or storing items in both homes, then one is obligated to have mezuzahs in both homes.

Compiled by Dovid Zaklikowski, based on materials by Rabbi Aaron Wolf, Lubavitch of Center City Philadelphia, and other sources.
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Rabbi Yossi Grossbaum, for Chabad.org Folsom, CA August 2, 2017

RE: Moving If it is permitted to take the mezuzahs off the old apartment (as explained in the article above) then it is fine to use them in the new place.
Once you are taking down the mezuzahs to move to the new place, it would be an appropriate time to have the mezuzahs checked by a competent scribe to ensure that they are still Kosher. Reply

Anonymous Union NJ July 28, 2017

Moving Am I correct in my understanding that when we move to a new apartment we are to obtain a new mezuzah to affix to the doorway rather than take our old one with us? Reply

Yehuda Shurpin for Chabad.org via jewishriverside.com November 6, 2014

Re: Question As explained in the article, if there is a real concern that if the mezuzahs are left behind they would be discarded or defaced, one can indeed take it with them. Reply

Anonymous via jewishriverside.com November 3, 2014

Question My mother is moving into an apartment, which she purchased, and is selling the house now that my father is in a nursing home, and we are all grown. Our concern is that whomever gets the house most likely will have no idea what the mezuzah is, and will destroy it, since we are in an area of the country where people don't know. Do I need to consult with a Rabbi first, or are our concerns sufficient to move them to her new place? Reply

Shaul Wolf August 23, 2014

Re: Painting a house The Mezuzah may be removed before the house is painted. Being that the mezuzah is removed with the intention of immediately re-affixing it, a new blessing is not made when it is put back up. Reply

Rochel Chein for chabad.org August 23, 2013

Construction The mezuzot should be remounted afterward as explained in the final section of this page. Reply

Anonymous NYC metro August 19, 2013

what about temporarily? I'm about to embark on a major construction project (taking walls down). What should I do regarding my mezuzas? Reply

Anonymous london September 27, 2010

renting out my flat I am moving from my flat into a house we just purchased.
Does the flat I am vacating and renting out (no tenants have yet been found) need mezuzot?

many thanks Reply

Menachem Posner for Chabad.org January 22, 2010

RE: Rented house Since that the non-Jewish property owner has no obligation to have mezuzahs on his doorways, you should take yours with you when leaving. Reply

Anonymous Boca Raton, FL January 20, 2010

rented house to purchased house I now live in a rented house and have affixed my own mezuzah. When I move to my own house, I don't know who will be living in the house next, whether Jewish or not. Can I then take my mezuzah for my new house? Reply

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