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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 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.

  • 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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