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Moving to a New Home

Moving to a New Home

What are the Jewish preparations for moving into a new home?


"Location, location, location." This real estate truism is also emphasized in the words of the Jewish sages — albeit with a slightly different intention.

In Ethics of our Fathers,1 Rabbi Yochanan asked of his five top students: "Go and see which is the best trait for a person to acquire." One of the students, Rabbi Yossi, felt that the most important "trait" for a person to acquire is a "good neighbor." Maimonides writes:2 "It is human nature that one's views and actions follow those of his acquaintances and fellows, and to behave like his fellow citizens. Therefore one must associate with righteous people..."

You wouldn't consider locating to a slum. Same is true in the spiritual senseFollowing this reasoning, the foremost Jewish consideration when contemplating relocation is the existence of a viable Torah observant community in the area. Available Jewish education, kosher food, mikvah (ritual pool), and an active community which provides a spiritual support system are essential. You wouldn't consider locating to a slum, even if the proposed home was beautiful. Same is true in the spiritual sense.

If you have already settled on a new home, congratulations on the move. According to the Talmudic sages,3 moving to a new location brings a change of mazal (luck, fortune). May this move be accompanied by a noticeable upswing in your mazal!

A good start provides a solid foundation for all that follows. Establishing the Jewish identity of the home from the onset is a way to make the house a vessel for all sorts of blessings. The primary requirement when moving to a new home is affixing a kosher mezuzah on the doorways of the residence. Visit our mezuzah section for all the information you will need on this special mitzvah which provides protection for all the inhabitants of the home.

The following is a list of suggested steps for one moving into a new home:

  • According to an age-old Jewish custom, the first items brought into a new home are bread and salt.4
  • It is recommended to bring some Jewish books5 and a charity box into the home even before the movers bring in the rest of the boxes. This establishes the Jewish flavor of the home; a home which will hopefully be a haven of study and kindness.
  • Tuesday is the most propitious day of the week for scheduling the actual moveTuesday is the most propitious day of the week for scheduling the actual move, the only day when G‑d saw that "it is good" twice.6 Other than Shabbat and Jewish holidays, days of rest when any move would be prohibited, Mondays and Wednesdays are inauspicious days to plan a move. According to kabbalah, the Divine attribute of severity is dominant on these days.
  • Before moving into a new home, some have the beautiful custom of inviting a group of young children to study some Torah in the house. "The existence of the world is dependent on the [Torah issued from the] breath of children."7 The Torah study of young pure souls has a spiritually purifying effect on the entire area.
  • Shortly after entering a new home, it is customary to host a Chanukat Habayit (home dedication) party. At this gathering, words of Torah are spoken and family and friends use the occasion to express their blessings and wishes for a fruitful and happy stay in this new home.
  • See also Is there a blessing recited when moving in to a new home?



Laws of De'ot 6:1.


Rosh Hashanah 16b; Bava Metziah 75b.


While the reason for this custom is unknown, perhaps bread — the basic staple of human sustenance — is a metaphor for the prosperity we hope will accompany the inhabitants of this new domicile; and salt, which never decays, spoils, or loses its flavor, symbolizes the permanence of this new home.


In Chabad circles, it is customary to bring into the home a Chumash (Pentateuch), Book of Psalms, and a Tanya (founding work of Chabad Chassidism).


Talmud, Shabbat 119b.

Rabbi Naftali Silberberg is a writer, editor and director of the curriculum department at the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute. Rabbi Silberberg resides in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, Chaya Mushka, and their three children.
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Adam June 16, 2017

Dear Rabbi Silberberg,

A question about "moving to a new location brings a change of mazal (luck, fortune)". Does this mean that moving homes, even if in the same state or city can bring new mazal or moving to another location entirely (ie. new state or country)? or both? Reply

Mendel Adelman June 19, 2017
in response to Adam:

Hello Adam,

The source of the concept of moving changing one's luck is found in the Talmud (Rosh Hashanah 16b):
"And some say: Also, a change of one’s place of residence cancels an evil judgment, as it is written: “And the Lord said to Abram: Go you out of your county” (Genesis 12:1), and afterward it is written: “And I will make of you a great nation” (Genesis 12: 2).

The Ritva explains why moving helps. He says that when one goes to a place that no one knows him, that lowers his haughtiness and allows him to repent. Then his luck is turned for the better.

Based on that Ritva, only moving to a place where no one really knows you (even if it is in the same city or state) will be helpful.

Have a great day! Reply

Esther Tel Aviv February 18, 2015

Question Chanukat HaBayit When making a Chanukat HaBayit and inviting people, should one be concerned about Ayin Hara? Reply

gershon ks April 20, 2014

never heard of one there is no blessing to be said when exiting your erstwhile home for the last time. Reply

S. Gutmann London. UK April 20, 2014

Home Blessings Is there a Blessing to be said in the old home before leaving for the new one. Reply

Anonymous Tallahassee, FL May 10, 2012

jewish customs when moving into new home is a trumpet blown? Like the Shofar? Reply

Anonymous Abuja, Nigeria March 17, 2012

Salt use in Jewish tradition I knew that salt is very important in our day to day live and I sincerely thank God that I stumble upon this web page.
Please I will like to read to discover more! Reply

interested oak park, michigan December 23, 2010

moving into a new dwelling are honey or sugar also advisable items ? Reply

Naftali Silberberg (Author) August 31, 2010

To Anonymous from Long Beach, CA The advice not to move into a new house on Monday or Wednesday is from the Rebbe, from a letter dated Elul of 5717 (1957) – though he does not provide a reason.

Monday is a day of severity; the seven days of the week correspond to G-d’s seven attributes, and the second attribute, corresponding to Monday, is gevurah, severity. As for Wednesday, I believe that its “severe” nature has to do with the diminishing of the moon’s size which occurred on this day (of the Six Days of Creation).

If anyone has information or sources to add to the discussion, I’d appreciate! Reply

Naftali Silberberg (Author) August 23, 2010

To Rivkie Yes, a chanukat habayit is also done when renting a home. According to Jewish law, renting is also a purchase -- a temporary one. Reply

Anonymous Long Beach, CA August 22, 2010

Mondays & Wednesdays I was wondering what makes Mondays and Wednesdays days of severity? Reply

Rivkie August 22, 2010

chanukas habayis? I thought we only make a chanukas habayis when we buy a house. Do we do it also when renting? Reply

Michael Toronto, Canada December 30, 2009

New Home Bread -- the basic staple of human sustenance -- is a metaphor for the prosperity we hope will accompany the inhabitants of this new domicile; and salt, which never decays, spoils, or loses its flavor, symbolizes the permanence of this new home (Footnote #4). Reply

Naftali Silberberg (Author) June 24, 2009

Re: New Home For your first question, see footnote 4.

As for a good gift, how about a Jewish book, a nice item for the house, a mezuzah, a charity box, or maybe a gift basket containing bread and salt (and sugar?).

Good luck! Reply

Anonymous June 23, 2009

New Home Why do we bring bread and salt into a new home, and when I go to visit what can I bring that is appropriate? Reply

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