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If a Jewish person works in a 'non-Jewish' workplace (that he does not own) to what extent does he need to place a mezuzah on the doorposts of his personal/shared office and other building entrances? Regardless of whether others mind or not, is this Jew obligated or is it reshut?

If there are any cases where he would place a mezuzah, would he say a beracha if he was placing it on a doorpost that involves an area that isn't owned by him?

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He does not own or rent the space and has no legal or halachik right to it, therefore he is not obligated in a mezuzah. If he wanted to put one up, it could arguably be a problem since he might not be able to guarantee its respectful removal if he moved on from that job and forgot it there. (If he did, he would not make a bracha.)

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    As always, citing sources for your claims would be most valuable. – msh210 Apr 23 '15 at 2:06
  • This page from Chabad says you might be obligated, but also cites no sources. (They agree on not saying a b'racha.) – Monica Cellio Apr 23 '15 at 3:12
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    As a comment, a Jewish astronaut (Garrett Reisman) placed a mezuzah over his bunk in the International Space Station when he spent three months there. Of course, the space station is not just a work place but is a residence as well. I think he brought the mezuzah back with him when he returned to earth. – Dennis Apr 23 '15 at 19:00
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I researched this as we are moving offices (in Israel - but for a global 'non-Jewish' corporation).

The practical halacha is that one places a mezuza in an office but without a blessing. Since an office is not a permanent dwelling in the same was as a house, there is a doubt if it absolutely requires one. On the other hand, since in our times, people spend significant periods of time in offices and eat there, it has certain characteristics of a dwelling. Thus the mezuza but without the blessing.

Specifically to be obligated in mezuza, a house needs to be a dwelling place - an office doesn't fully qualify (Mishne Torah, Hilchot Mezuza, 6:1, SA YD 286:11 speaking of a store, see also Shulchan Haruch Harav here and here)

Note an office where one sleeps might have a different law. CYLOR.

Addendum: I saw now that R Eliezer Melamed rules that one may say a blessing in a store or office if one eats there (Peninei Halacha Likutim vol. 1, Mezuza ch. 6)

It seems that if the sellers are accustomed to eat there over the course of the day, one may recite a beracha upon affixing the mezuza.

  • you may be interested in this article from Tradition (Summer 1977) mesora.org/mezuza-gordon.pdf – Double AA Nov 13 '17 at 16:56
  • @DoubleAA I thought this was an extremely interesting article and thank you very much for locating and sharing it. In many respects it reminds me of the monography R Slifin wrote on how the mitzva of shiluach haken evolved over time from a rationalistic to a mystical understanding (recommended reading if you haven’t done so) – mbloch Nov 15 '17 at 20:04
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    @DoubleAA Re mezuza I think the battle between rationalistic and non-rationalistic can’t be expressed better than by the braita in Menachot 32b (cited on p. 21) where a misplaced mezuza is judged by Rashi to be a danger in terms of spirits attacking the house and R Tam thinks the danger is to hit one’s head on the mezuza and get hurt :-> ! – mbloch Nov 15 '17 at 20:04
  • Shkoyach Did you see the Arukh haShulchan I referenced, who argues that we don't rule like the Rambam you cite about it needing to be a dwelling place, and therefore Chanut is really obligated for us? – Double AA Nov 15 '17 at 20:07
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If the Jew does not own it, he's not chayav, as it's not שעריך (See YD 286:1 where the whole conversation is about partnerships with Non-Jews).

The fact that it's an office seems to be secondary, and it's in general subject to Machaloket. So, if he's actually renting the office for more than a month and there's no sakana, then we can talk, (Yoreh Deah 286:23 only obligates a socher, not a shoel) but if he's just being allowed to use the space, Rav Moshe writes how he's not obligated. See Yoreh Deah 286:11, Taz and Pitchei Teshuva ad loc, Rav Pe'alim 2:YD:36, Iggerot Moshe Yoreh De'ah 1:178, and Yabia Omer 10 Yoreh Deah 58:28.

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