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I read in the news about an Israeli designer, Yaakov Merdinger, who created the world's largest mezuzah case.

The mezuzah -- taller than the door.

As you can see in the photo, the mezuzah case is bigger than the door.

Is this kosher?

  • 2
    Mezuzah or mezuzah cover? – sam Jul 19 '15 at 13:08
  • @sam Both, i guess. – Scimonster Jul 19 '15 at 13:09
  • Well halchickly the mezuzah should be placed in the top third of the door post so having the whole mezuzah on the entire door post may be problematic – sam Jul 19 '15 at 14:57
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    In the times of the Talmud, they didn't have separate covers affixed to the door post - they literally drilled a hole into the wall at an angle and inserted the scroll. The modern incarnation of an actual "cover" isn't really a halachic issue... – Isaac Kotlicky Jul 19 '15 at 17:14
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    I suspect the answer is more a matter of proportion to the doorway than an absolute measure of the mezuzah itself. – Yishai Jul 19 '15 at 17:32
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A mezuzah case is really only a way to extend the halachik doorpost such that there is no need to actually insert the klaf into the doorpost itself, so inherently, size should not be a halachik issue. Even with regard to the mezuzah klaf (parchment) itself, as long as it can fit in the appropriate place on the doorpost (bottom of top third, not within the uppermost tefach *), there shouldn't be a problem. According to Ashkenazic custom you might also need a rather wide doorpost as well in order to be able to angle it. On the other hand, you would not need as tall a doorpost since the Ashkenazic custom is to place it at shoulder height if the doorway is very tall (see Shach 289:4 based on Yerushalmi; in contrast, see also Yalkut Yosef YD 285:77 who does not rule differently for tall doorways). See: http://www.halachipedia.com/index.php?title=Mezuzah:

Tall doorway

  • See Rashi Menachoth 33a s.v. “b'techila,” Rambam Hilchoth Mezuzah 6:12, Tur 289, Shulchan Aruch 289:2
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The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch in סימן יא - הלכות מזוזה says that a Mezuza must be placed in the upper 3rd of the doorpost, but at least a Tefach (about 8 cm, 3") away from the lintel.

סעיף ה': מְקוֹמָהּ מִתְּחִלַּת שְׁלִישׁ הָעֶלְיוֹן שֶׁל גֹּבַהּ הַשָּׁעַר. קְבָעָהּ לְמַעְלָה מִזֶּה, כְּשֵׁרָה, וְהוּא שֶׁיַּרְחִיקֶנָּה מִן הַמַּשְׁקוֹף טֶפַח. קְבָעָהּ לְמַטָּה מִשְּׁלִישׁ הָעֶלְיוֹן, צָרִיךְ לַהֲסִירָהּ וּלְקָבְעָהּ כָּרָאוּי וּבִבְרָכָה. וְאִם קְבָעָהּ בְּטֶפַח הָעֶלְיוֹן, יְסִירָה גַּם כֵּן וְיִקְבְּעֶהָ כָּרָאוּי, אֲבָל לֹא יְבָרֵךְ.‏

So if the doorway is high enough, a tall Mezuza can be used. In this case, the doorpost would have to be about 5.70m (over 18 feet) tall. Such doors do exist, in Cape Canaveral.

However, the article is misleading, as it's not referring to a Mezuza, but a Mezuza-case. How to write a Kosher Mezuza that would be that tall, is unclear to me - unless the Sofer uses very, very large margins on top and below the writing. (A Mezuza is traditionally written on 22 lines; so (without monster margins) you're looking at letters about 4cm - 1.5" tall, since the space between the lines should be the same height as the letters. Try using a 108-point font to see what I'm referring to, then try find a quill or feather large enough to write that.)

enter image description here

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    You don't actually need to use a quill or feather, nor does the writing implement need to make each 'stroke' in one motion. You can outline and fill in at will. – Double AA Jul 21 '15 at 17:48
  • @DoubleAA, correct, you can. Good luck to the Sofer who plans on spending days (on a ladder) filling in 1.5" letters, without the ability to fix (almost) any leaks and smudges. Of course it can be done; people have even walked on the moon. I'm also wondering where you plan on getting Klaf that tall; though from knoll.com/product/sabrina-leather-hide I see that 55 sq feet of hide does exist. – Danny Schoemann Jul 22 '15 at 7:38
  • On a ladder? What's stopping you from laying it on the floor and sitting next to it with a paint brush? – Double AA Oct 17 '17 at 14:25

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