If a renter is leaving their apartment (owned by a non-Jew) and does not know who will be renting it after they leave, can they take their mezuzot?

I have only found discussions when it is known who is moving in--a Jew, a non-Jew, a secular Jew, etc etc. I cannot find anything on what to do when the person leaving has no idea if a Jew or non-Jew will be moving in. I live in the United States, in an area with Jews but not predominantly so.


1 Answer 1


You clarified in comments that you live in an area with Jews but not predominantly so.

R Yirmiyohu Kaganoff deals with your question here (see section "You can take it with you")

[...] the Gemara notes that one who rents from a gentile should remove the mezuzos upon leaving (Bava Metzia 102a). The authorities dispute whether this is simply permission to remove the mezuzah, or whether one is required to do so. Rav Yaakov Emden (Shaylas Yaavetz 2:121) rules that one must remove the mezuzah, out of concern that the gentile will treat it inappropriately, whereas the Aruch HaShulchan (Yoreh Deah 291:3) implies that it is permitted, but not actually required, to remove the mezuzah under such circumstances.

Further down he brings another relevant case

Beis Lechem Yehudah (Yoreh Deah 291:1) rules that one should remove the mezuzos, even if the gentile landlord usually rents to Jews, as long as the next Jewish tenant is not moving in immediately.

You should nevertheless ask your local Orthodox Rabbi for a ruling specific to your case.

  • 1
    Thank you very much for your help, mbloch. Most enlightening. I appreciate it. Shabbat Shalom.
    – Sidney76
    Commented Mar 11, 2021 at 5:41

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