What is the halachic status of a mezuzah that has a printed scroll with what appears to be paper, rather than handwritten on parchment? Is it simply a "cheaper" scroll or is it the mezuzah not kosher without a proper scroll?

  • 6
    Definitely not kosher.
    – rotten
    Jul 18, 2013 at 3:18
  • 2
    "appears to be paper": make sure it's not parchment. Hint: the letters on a valid m'zuza are raised, not embedded in the surface as printer toner would be in paper.
    – msh210
    Jul 18, 2013 at 6:26
  • Note that even not kosher, the paper probably requires גניזה, if it has שם מפורש printed on it.
    – Elist
    Jul 21, 2013 at 19:02

2 Answers 2


In the Mishna Torah (Rambam), laws of mezuzah, chapter 1 sections 9 and 10 clearly state that a mezuzah should be written on duchsustus (the flesh side of the animals skin), and that if it's on klaf (the side of the skin where the hair grew) or gvil (a full piece of skin before it's divided into klaf and duchsustus) it's acceptable. In any event, it must be written on a kosher animal's hide.

ט. אף על פי שכך היא הלכה למשה מסיני אם כתב ספר תורה על הקלף כשר ולא נאמר גויל אלא למעט דוכסוסטוס שאם כתב עליו הספר פסול וכן אם כתב את המזוזה על הקלף או על הגויל כשר לא אמרו על דוכסוסטוס אלא למצוה:‏

י. אין כותבין ספרים תפילין ומזוזות על גבי עור בהמה טמאה ועוף וחיה הטמאים אבל כותבין על גבי עור בהמה וחיה ועוף טהורים ואפילו נבלות וטריפות שלהן ואין כותבין על גבי עור הדג הטהור מפני הזוהמא שאין הזוהמא פוסקת בעיבודה:‏

  • 1
    Since the initial query also raised the question of handwriting vs. printing, I imagine that ought to be reflected in the answer as well.
    – Bar Uryan
    Jul 18, 2013 at 14:30
  • Actually, the Rambam thought duchsustus was the hair side while klaf was the flesh side. He's quite explicit in a number of responsa about this. You're quoting from an edition with a bad girsa.
    – Double AA
    Jul 31, 2017 at 20:52

Not worth the paper it's printed on. The mezuzah is the scroll, hand written with special ink on parchment in the correct order. The (often) pretty case that people tend to call the mezuzah is just that - a pretty case. A kosher scroll is kosher even if attached without a case (suitably protected) but the case cannot be kosher without a kosher scroll inside.

  • 1
    Why isn't it worth the paper it's printed on? More importantly: I know you're correct, but editing in a citation to a source that indicates as much would be valuable.
    – msh210
    Jul 18, 2013 at 6:23

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