Non-Jews aren't meant to have mezuzot. You are forbidden from gifting one to a non-Jewish friend for this reason.

My question is regarding two scenarios and whether either of these scenarios would make such a gift acceptable.

Scenario 1. - The mezuzah scroll itself is not a traditional scroll. Instead of it containing the traditional lines from Devarim, the scroll is custom. You hire a scribe to write a custom scroll which asks for Hashem to protect and bless the home of this trusted friend of the Jewish people. - In this scenario, the scroll would not function according to the traditional practice and would be a personalized scroll for a specific individual. Not an attempt at keeping a commandment reserved for the Jewish people. You would also be giving work to a scribe and benefiting the local Jewish community in the process.

Scenario 2. - The scroll is non-kosher and inappropriate for Jewish use. Since the scroll itself is imperfect or cannot be used, the non-Jew wouldn't be in possession of a true Jewish religious item. In this context, it would be similar to how you might have a non-Jewish prospective convert keep Shabbat but partially break Shabbat mid-observance as to not violate the restriction of non-Jews keeping shabbat. - Again, this would also be beneficial to the Jewish community since practicing scribes could resell non-kosher scrolls to be used by non-Jews who respect Judaism but don't wish to convert.

How would the Halacha view either of these two scenarios? I know we tend to be restrictive of Jewish articles being used by non-Jews but I have to wonder if we might be able to expand access to non-Jews within specific restrictive terms. Meaning we give non-Jews access to recognize Torah and Judaism and Hashem but we set a separate standard in terms of the items they have access to.

  • 1
    A non-kosher mezuzah could still have sanctity, especially if was kosher at one point. I don't know if there's a technical halachic issue with #1, but distributing fake mezuzos seems like it could lead to trouble.
    – shmosel
    May 4 at 23:47
  • do you have some sources for the assertion that you can't give a mezuza to a non-jew? There is a famous story in the talmud yerushalmi that says differently - sefaria.org/…
    – Menachem
    May 5 at 2:49
  • @Menachem See the Rama to Yoreh Deah 291:2
    – shmosel
    May 5 at 7:05
  • 1
    Contrary to popular belief, the mezuzah is not the case but the scroll inside. In the first scenario you presented, the "mezuzah" is actually not a mezuzah at all. May 5 at 9:05
  • 1
    Sure. But you are creating a michshol for the less learned and/or less frum. The rabbis made many gezeirot of marit ayin for much more obscure things (e.g., sukkah 49 that we don't want it to look like you stored nisuch hamayim in a kli kodesh). I'm not saying your mezuzah example is marit ayin per se. But I am saying it seems like a bad idea.
    – Avraham
    May 5 at 18:37


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