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I have put up my mezuzot with double-sided tape, but when I took them off to check the scrolls either the paint came off with it or it left a sticky mess behind.

Is there a better way to put up a mezuzah which allows it to be removed without damaging itself or the doorpost?

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I think your choices are tape, which may require scraping and painting, or screws, which will leave holes to be filled in. Either way, when you move out and take your mezuzot you'll have a little work to do, but while you're living there how much do you care? (Peeled paint will be covered when you replace the mezuzah.) –  Monica Cellio Apr 30 '12 at 12:38
    
@MonicaCellio, the problem is checking them. Every time you take them down, you damage the doorpost. –  Seth J Apr 30 '12 at 13:26
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@SethJ, is it progressive damage, though? You take it down to check and some paint peels; you put it back up anyway. Next time there's no paint to peel. (I'm assuming the tape can't damage the wood.) For holes, you re-attach using the same screw-holes from before. –  Monica Cellio Apr 30 '12 at 14:14
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I wonder if a magnetic pad (for use on a metallic doorframe) would be halachically acceptable? Perhaps it would not be considered a proper attachment. But it would not leave a trace! –  Dave Apr 30 '12 at 16:49
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@Dave, nice. Re halachic acceptability (CYLOR for practical advice of course, but for sources and arguments) there's judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/ask. –  msh210 Apr 30 '12 at 17:13
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4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I think that if you're going to remove the whole case, some damage is inevitable. I used to go door to door in apartment buildings in the Jewish parts of towns, and you could always tell when a Jew had recently moved out, because there was still a mark on the doorpost (even when no screws or nails were used).

If you're worried about the way the doorpost looks while you're getting the scrolls checked, I have two suggestions.

  1. Get mezuzah cases that allow you to slip out the scroll without removing the case from the doorpost.

  2. Remove the case, take out the mezuzah, and put the case back up.


In both of these cases there is now an empty mezuzah case on the door post. I'm not sure if that's an issue. (If it is, maybe it's best to leave a note, or to have spare mezuzahs to put up whenever you have to check the regular ones.)


If you're worried about the condition of the doorpost after you move out, there's really no way to put up mezuzahs, that I know of, that won't leave some mark. The question is how much. Tape or other adhesives may require nothing more than some Goo Gone or the equivalent, while screws may require you to get some wood filler and then repaint.

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1) Slice the mezuzah case off using a long razor blade.

2) Use Goo Gone or similar adhesive remover on the Mezuzah and wall to remove the excess tape.

3) Replace the tape.

Another option is to use a high end adhesive that sticks well but comes off easily. (I know of one, but I'm sorry - I don't have the name.)

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Mezuzah, welcome to Judaism.SE, and thanks very much for sharing the benefit of your experience! Please consider registering your account, which will give you access to more of the site's features. I removed your signature from the text of this answer. The right place for such information is in your profile, which is automatically linked from anything you contribute. –  Isaac Moses Apr 30 '12 at 16:45
    
Is painter's tape such an "adhesive that sticks well but comes off easily"? (I don't know. I know it comes off easily, but have no idea ho long it will stay on if not pulled.) –  msh210 Apr 30 '12 at 17:12
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@msh210 Painters tape will come off easily, but only if you take it off within a reasonable amount of time. The last time I had my room painted the guy never finished, so there was still painters tape left over, and I'm not home often enough to care to remove it. This erev Pesach the whole room was repainted and the tape had to be scraped off (along with quite a bit of drywall). –  HodofHod Apr 30 '12 at 17:23
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in college, we were encouraged to use Fun-Tak. It did, after a while, leave a slight stain, but it left paint there and was easy enough to remove if used judiciously.

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Two screws usually do the trick.

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That will certainly damage the doorpost –  Michael Sandler Apr 30 '12 at 13:00
    
If you drill pilot holes first, and use thin screws, there will be no damage at all to the doorpost (except, obviously, the holes where the screws go in). I guess you're referring to an application where even that is not acceptable. –  Dave Apr 30 '12 at 13:20
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Nails alone will keep the m'zuza up, too. (Similar enough to this answer that I'm not posting it as a separate answer.) They have the same damage issues that screws do. –  msh210 Apr 30 '12 at 15:03
    
@msh210, I've found that I have better luck re-using holes (without enlarging them) using screws instead of nails. Nails go where you pound them; driving a screw gives you a little more control. Of course, I'm not very good with a hammer and maybe that's my problem. :-) –  Monica Cellio Apr 30 '12 at 17:06
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