2

If a Jewish person owned a store as a small business, do they have to put a mezuzah on their store doors? Or would this not be considered a “dwelling place” which requires a mezuzah?

This is all of course if they own the store for more than 30 days in which they would be obligated in mezuzah. Sources for the Halacha or responsa very much appreciated.

6
  • 30 days is only relevant to home rentals outside israel. Other cases are obligated in mezuza immediately.
    – Double AA
    Nov 1, 2023 at 15:05
  • ohr.edu/8068
    – Shmuel
    Nov 1, 2023 at 15:15
  • Thanks, but I’m talking outside of a store’s doors, not an internal office building where one spends their time @shmuel
    – Kirk
    Nov 1, 2023 at 15:50
  • @DoubleAA, a friend of mine, who has beki'ut in Chovat haDor actually says that the 30 days aren't relevant outside of Israel for a lease. He's also a sofer, so I trust his understanding of the halachah Nov 2, 2023 at 4:40
  • @NoachMiFrankfurt I'm not a sofer and I don't have beki'ut yet (despite working on it :->) but I agree with your friend, see Does one really have 30 days to put up a mezuza outside Eretz Israel?
    – mbloch
    Nov 2, 2023 at 7:20

1 Answer 1

3

The practice is to put up a mezuza without a blessing. The simple summary (from aish) is

Some of the earlier authorities did not consider an office a true place of residence since we do not truly live there. Later authorities, however, disagree since people typically do eat and sometimes nap or sleep in their offices. As a result, today the practice is to put a mezuzah up in an office, but without a blessing.

dinonline brings the halachic reasoning

The Shulchan Aruch (YD 286:11) rules that a store in the marketplace does not require a mezuzah. The Levush (YD 286:11) and Shach (ibid 21) explain this is because a store is a temporary dwelling, and the Torah requires a mezuzah only on permanent residences. The Shulchan Aruch compares a store to a succah on Succos and a ship’s cabin in their (non)-mezuzah obligation.

This halacha puzzles contemporary poskim since we are required to affix a mezuzah on storage room doorposts, and if comparing their doorpost’s volume of traffic, stores rate much higher. Besides, a store is also used to “store” merchandise both when open, and closed. Why, therefore, should a store require a mezuzah less than a storage space?

  • The Taz maintains (YD 286:10) that a store is only used during the day and not at night, and in order for a space to be considered inhabited it has to be used for its designated purpose both day and night. Although it also serves to store merchandise, the space is not intended for storage. Rather, its main purpose is commercial, and storage is only a secondary use.
  • The Yad Haketana (Mezuzah 2:21, quoted in Pischei Teshuva footnote 10) disagrees with the Taz’s explanation. In his opinion, the Shulchan Aruch refers here to a storefront from which merchandise is removed every night, or a stall in the marketplace that is used only on market days. This is the kind of store for which a mezuza not required, but other stores do require a mezuzah. (This opinion is also mentioned in the Ben Ish Chai [Rav Pe’alim II YD 36:3). [...]
  • Rav Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe YD I, 178) rules that if a business is not active every day it is certainly exempted from mezuzah. Apparently, he follows the Taz’s opinion that exempts every store and business from affixing a mezuzah despite serving as a storage for merchandise or business tools. He does, nevertheless, take in account the Yad Haketana’s opinion, and therefore requires a mezuzah affixed on a business doorpost, albeit without a bracha.
  • Rav Elyashiv, though (Shvus Yitzchak chapter 2:2) requires a mezuzah affixed on a store with a bracha.

Many poskim rule differently in this matter, depending upon various factors such as if there is a coffee room or not, and how a business is used. Every case requires individual consideration and ruling, and one business cannot be compared to another.

For further halachic references see also here.

1
  • 1
    Thanks very much
    – Kirk
    Nov 2, 2023 at 5:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .