If the Mezuza were placed on the doorpost unrolled (in a suitable protective wrapping) one would be able to see the words and be inspired.

Why don't we do this?

Maybe it was because of the state of cleanliness in earlier times.

Is there anything to suggest that there is a deeper reason for the Mezuza to be rolled as opposed to unrolled?

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    – mevaqesh
    Aug 5, 2015 at 10:37
  • "Maybe it was because of the state of cleanliness in earlier times." Even if that were the case, I can assure you that, even in modern times, a good deal of damage can be done to an unfurled Mezuzah. Do you want to know if, in fact, it must be rolled, as the common practice that you observe? Are you asking for the source for such a rule that it must be rolled? Or are you asking for a conceptual/logical basis for such a rule?
    – Seth J
    Aug 5, 2015 at 14:53
  • If the Mezuza were put in a see through piece of laminted plastic, that would provide ample protection as well as the opportunity to see the writing. I am asking for the logic behind not having the mezuza unrolled. Hazoriz below says that the command is to write the Mezuza and not to see the words, different from Tzitzis. However, what would be the purpose of writing and then never seeing what is written?
    – user2817
    Aug 5, 2015 at 16:09
  • @user9874 by knowing that it is there and what is written in them (we are commanded to learn torah; so we know what is written in them even without looking) there will still be a purpose (from the link in your comment below "At the root of the mitzvah [of the mezuzah] lies the purpose that it should remind a person about faith in G-d every time he [or she] enters the home or leaves it."), some have a custom to put there hand on it when they walk threw a doorway judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/12051/…
    – hazoriz
    Aug 5, 2015 at 19:00
  • @user9874 you can say "However, what would be the purpose of writing and then never seeing what is written?" by the mitzvah of mila what is the purpose of the physical bris (covenant) if it is usual covered. or by a sotah what is the purpose of writing the parsha if you will then erase it. (maybe the bris is a bad example)
    – hazoriz
    Aug 5, 2015 at 19:04

1 Answer 1


"one would be able to see the words and be inspired."

Is by tzitis, but there is not command (from the holy one blessed be he) to see the mezuza the command is to write it and set it on your door/gate post


It might be because is needs to be a scroll

Menachois 32b

Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel, If one wrote it like a letter, it is invalid. Why? — Because of the inference that is made by the expression ‘writing’, which is used here [in connection with the mezuzah] and also there in connection with the scroll. °10

(°10) In connection with the mezuzah it is written (Deut. VI,9 ): And thou shalt write them, and in connection with the Book of the Law it is written (Ex. XVII, 14): Write this for a memorial in the book; as the latter must be written with accuracy as to spelling and upon ruled lines, so the mezuzah too must be written with accuracy and upon ruled lines. Rashi also suggests the inference from the writing of’ a divorce (lit., ‘a book of divorcement, v. Deut. XXIV, 1), which must also be written with accuracy; but see Tosaf. s.v. vc,f

Menachois 31b

R. Helbo said, I have seen R. Huna rolling up the mezuzah beginning at ‘one’ and finishing at ‘hear’;

  • Thank you hazoriz for you answer. However, please see here chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/310885/jewish/… where there is a quote from Ibn Ezra that Mezuzah is like Tefillin and Tzitzis as a reminder for all the Mitzvos.Thank you for referencing the Gemoro in Menochos.
    – user2817
    Aug 5, 2015 at 17:51
  • @user9874 i think the original is hear daat.ac.il/daat/mahshevt/mahadurot/yesod-2.htm והציצית [במדבר יה] למען תזכרו בראותו בכל רגע וככה וקשרתם וכתבתם (and the tzitzith (Numbers XV) ‘so that you should remember’ when you see it at every moment and so by "and tie (tefilin)" "and you should write (mezuzois)") it may be part of a point but i do not understand clearly the connection to what he wrote before.
    – hazoriz
    Aug 5, 2015 at 19:09

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