Does a door to a balcony on second or third floor require a Mezuzah? (The balcony has no stairs connecting to the ground.)

Update 03/01/2015: What I meant to ask was: Does a balcony door to a home need a mezuzah from a balcony. I had no consideration at all that an outside balcony needed a mezuzah. It is not covered; I wouldn't think it was a room at all.

  • 1
    It depends on the dimensions of the balcony
    – Loewian
    Mar 1, 2015 at 1:55
  • Does it have walls? A ceiling? A doorway? A lintel? What is it used for?
    – Double AA
    Mar 1, 2015 at 2:03
  • @DoubleAA question on p'sak? Mar 1, 2015 at 3:19
  • 1
    I don't think so, @Noach. Neal, please note that you shouldn't rely on halachic information you receive here in practice; this stuff should be treated as if it came from a crowd of your friends. You might also want to see "Why is it necessary to ask a rabbi?" for more info. We hope to see you around!
    – MTL
    Mar 1, 2015 at 3:46
  • 1
    @sabbahillel I don't think it's a duplicate; a second or third floor balcony might be very different from a deck. ...some ideas from the answers there might be relevant here, though.
    – MTL
    Mar 1, 2015 at 4:54

1 Answer 1


from: http://www.koltorah.org/ravj/Do_Walk_In_Closets_and_Porches_Require_a_Mezuzah_2.html

The Gemara (Sukkah 3a) teaches that we are not required to attach a Mezuzah to a house which is smaller than four Amot (cubits) by four Amot. The Rishonim debate whether the Gemara requires a minimum length and width of four Amot (Rosh Hilchot Mezuza number 16) or just an area of sixteen square Amot regardless of length and width (Rambam Hilchot Mezuzah 6:2). For example, if an area is eight Amot long and two Amot wide, it is sixteen Amot square, but is not four Amot wide. In such a case, a Mezuzah is required according to the Rambam but not according to the Rosh. This issue is quite relevant, as many walk-in closets have narrow corridors but are quite long.

Many individuals do not have Mezuzot attached to their walk-in closets, and they certainly have many opinions upon which to rely. One who adopts the strict view and attaches a Mezuzah to a walk-in closet (either to the right or left side) should most likely omit the Berachah in deference to the many opinions who rule that walk-in closets do not require a Mezuzah.

In practice, one should inquire of his Rav as to whether walk-in closets and porches require a Mezuzah and to which side it should be affixed. Moreover, it is highly recommended for one to invite his Rav to visit his home for an inspection to insure that Mezuzot are affixed in all of the required areas and that they are attached to the proper side of the doorway.

In response to the question's edit I'll add a quote from the same site:

Rav Akiva Eiger (commentary to Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 286:13) places a further limitation on the four by four Amot exemption. He believes that it does not apply if the area that is less than sixteen square Amot leads into an area that requires a Mezuzah. He rules that one is required to affix a Mezuzah to the right side as one leaves the small area into the larger area. Even though the small area is in and of itself exempted from a Mezuzah, one is required to affix a Mezuzah just as one places a Mezuzah on the doorway to his home. In that case, one places a Mezuzah on the right side entering the house, since one enters from an area that does not require a Mezuzah (the outside) to an area that requires a Mezuzah (one's home)...Although the Aruch HaShulchan (Y.D. 286:23) rules in accordance with Rav Akiva Eiger, some Acharonim dispute or limit his view... Rav Moshe Feinstein (Teshuvot Igrot Moshe Y.D. 1:181) writes that Rav Akiva Eiger's assertion is "bewildering" and that "in practice one is not required to accommodate his view." Rav Ovadia Yosef (ad. loc.) does not even consider the opinion of Rav Akiva Eiger in his ruling (he cites Rav Moshe as one of his many precedents for this approach). > A similar issue applies to affixing a Mezuzah to a porch (or a deck). A porch would seem not to require a Mezuzah, since it does not have a roof (Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 286:14). However, one could claim that it does require a Mezuzah either because it is normal for a porch not to have a roof (similar to the approach of the Chamudei Daniel) or that one should affix the Mezuzah on the right side as one enters the house from the porch based on Rav Akiva Eiger. The Aruch HaShulchan (ad. loc.) explicitly applies Rav Akiva Eiger's ruling to an area that does not have a roof. A consensus view has not emerged among contemporary Poskim regarding this issue. The Chazon Ish (Y.D. 168:5) rules that one should affix a Mezuzah on the right side as one enters a house from a porch, while Rav Ovadia Yosef (ad. loc.) cites many Poskim, such as Rav Yaakov Emden and Rav Shlomo Kluger, who rule that it should be placed on the right side as one leaves one's home to enter the porch. Rav Yosef concludes that essentially a porch does not require a Mezuzah, but one who affixes a Mezuzah at the entrance to his porch "will have a Berachah bestowed upon him." Rav Yosef rules that those who affix a Mezuzah to their porch entrance should do so on the right side as one leaves the house to enter the porch.

  • 1
    I don't see how this answers the question. What does this say about balconies?
    – MTL
    Mar 1, 2015 at 3:47
  • It was in the link but I added it in now explicitly.
    – Loewian
    Mar 1, 2015 at 5:41
  • -1 removed. But please see meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/q/75/5323 and meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/q/3403/5323
    – MTL
    Mar 1, 2015 at 6:15
  • Interesting how we have opposite views. I was thinking about entering the home, does the home need a mezuzah from a balcony. I should have worded my question: Does a balcony door to a home need a mezuzah from a balcony. Mar 1, 2015 at 15:58
  • Rereading many years later. Obviously a door a house need a Mezuzah, even if it is the back door, right? If you were on the ground floor, people could enter your house from the outside world through your back door. So what if it has a porch or not? But with a balcony, you can only leave your dwelling, and re-enter. People from the outside would not enter that way. Does it have to do with the flow of people, or going from a bigger room to a smaller room. But a porch is not a "room", it just a platform on the back of your house. Apr 24 at 18:53

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