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My father was Jewish. Sadly, my mother was not. I have always had an interest in my father's religion, even though he was non-practicing. I am very ignorant about anything more than general knowledge with regard to Judaism, but would be very keen to learn more. This requires more than a few simple questions, but I felt the need to give you some background.

The question I have for you is this: I was given a Mezuzah by a Jewish neighbour, who became a close friend. When she sold her flat, she left her Mezuzah. The flat is now rented by a non-Jewish couple. I called her and asked whether I could take the Mezuzah and hang it on my door. I have recently been diagnosed with a chronic disease, and rightly or wrongly she said "yes", as she felt I was in need.

I followed the rules very strictly when hanging the Mezuzah. However my next door neighbour, who is also Jewish, told me I was "breaking the rules".

I did not do this for fun. I take things like this very seriously. It means a great deal to me to have a Mezuzah on my door, I understand a little of the meaning, and was given this by someone who cares about me.

Have I done anything wrong according to the law?

Very many thanks. Miss J. Belger

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    Welcome to Mi Yodeya, Miss J. Belger, and thanks for bringing your question here. I have to warn you though, that we ask people not to rely exclusively on our advice. You should take what you learn here as suggestions, and then, with that knowledge, ask a rabbi about your particular situation. – Scimonster Jan 17 '15 at 18:41
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    Scimonster, I hope that was the correct form of address. Thank you for your welcome, and thank you also for your speedy response. I have a synagogue a few doors from my apartment. I have visited, but in my ignorance, felt unsure of approaching the rabbi without having any kind of appointment. Aside from admitting to my ownership of a mezuzah, I do have many things I would like to ask. – user8743 Jan 18 '15 at 7:50
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    @user8743 Feel free to approach the rabbi! One of the main reasons he is there is to help answer people's questions. – Daniel Jan 18 '15 at 17:18
  • @user8743 asking the rabbi is just fine, as Daniel said. It's probably best to introduce yourself when you're there (like during the social after services) but make an appointment to have the real conversation. Lots of people will want to talk with him after services; that's not the best time to ask your question about the mezuzah. The benefit of introducing yourself is that when the appointment shows up on his calendar he'll have a little context. – Monica Cellio Jan 18 '15 at 18:27
  • @user8743 welcome to Mi Yodeya! You might find it helpful to register your account, which gives you access to more privileges and means you can access your account from more than one browser and computer. – Monica Cellio Jan 18 '15 at 18:28
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As one can see from my answer to the question Can a Mezuzah be given to a respectable and trustworthy non-Jew?, there are definitely those that hold there is no problem giving a Mezuza to a non Jew, so long they will respect it properly. This sounds like your case and therefore you are not breaking the law. However for a proper ruling it is best to ask a local Orthodox Rabbi.

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From my studies, it looks like you are certainly permitted to have a mezuzah, but it is better not to put it up on the door. You need not worry about losing the protection from the mezuzah though; even if it is not on the door, the Guardian of the Doors of Israel will guard you as well, since you sought His help, and will be following His mitzvos as they apply in your case. (There is a story in the Yerushalmi, Pe'ah ch. 1, that Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi gave a mezuzah to the Persian King Artaban as a segulah and for protection.)

I am not a rabbi though. Go ahead and call one up!

(And don't worry if it turns out that putting up the mezuzah was a mistake. Hashem sees the heart, so He'll forgive you. Just talk to Him about about it!)

Source: Sheva Mitzvos Hashem, p.46:

ז. אבל מצות שצריכות טהרה וקדושת הגוף, כגון לכתוב ספר תורה תפלין או מזוזה, אסור להם לכתוב. וכן לא יניחו תפלין כלל, ולא יקבעו מזוזה על פתח בתיהם. ([70] רדב״ז הל׳ מלכים שם, גנת ורדים מצוין בהערה הבאה.)

כללו של דבר, כל מצוה שהיא בין אדם לחברו או בין אדם למקום ויש בה טעם שכלי ותועלת לאדם או לעולם מותר להם לעשות. אבל מצוה שאין בה תועלת [מצד הטבע] אלא שהיא אות לעם ישראל, כגון ציצת מזוזה ותפלין, ([71] עי׳ רמב״ם הל׳ ציצית פ״ג ה״ט ושו״ע או״ח סי׳ כ דאסור לישראל לתת ציצית לנכרי שמא כו׳, וכן לענין מזוזה כת׳ רמ״א יו״ד סי׳ רצה בשם מהרי״ל שאין מוסרין להם מזוזה מטעם דומה לציצית הנ״ל. ופשוט שטעם זה אינו שייך לכאן לב״נ כשר הרוצה להתעטף בציצית או לקבוע מזוזה, מ״מ נראה שיש טעם כללי שלא יתדמה לגמרי לישראל, ולכן יש להורות להם שלא ילבשו ציצית ושלא יקבעו מזוזה על פתח ביתם. עי׳ בגינת ורדים [לרבי אברהם הלוי] או״ח כלל ב סימן כח, מבאר דהא דאיתא בירושלמי פאה פ״א דרבי מסר מזוזה לארטבון היינו רק שיחזיקנה אצלו [לסגולה ושמירה] ולא שיקבענה בפתח ביתו, כי אין לגוי שום ענין בזה כלל. ומשמע מדבריו דלא רצה רבי שיקבענו בפתח ביתו. ותפלין פשוט דלא יניחום משום דבעי קדושת הגוף.)

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