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It is broadly known and codified that one has 30 days to put up a mezuza when renting a home outside Eretz Israel. I heard that this dated from the times where Jews might be expelled in their first 30 days therefore they were only "home" after 30 days. But after digging into the topic, this appears incorrect. A more interesting story emerges instead.

The source is a braita in Menachot 44a

One who resides in an inn in Eretz Israel is exempt from affixing a mezuzah for a full thirty days. From then on he is obligated. However one who rents a house in Eretz Israel must affix a mezuzah immediately on account of the mitzva of yishuv (settling) Eretz Israel.

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (11:21) codifies this into halacha

One who rents a house outside Eretz Israel is exempt from mezuza for 30 days because [the residence of a renter for the first 30 days] is not considered a permanent dwelling

Artscroll's notes on Kitzur Shulchan Aruch say

A renter is not yet settled for the first 30 days and he may yet change his mind and move elsewhere.


But today someone moving in to a new apartment considers it a permanent dwelling from day 1. No one moves in to a regular rental to move out within 30 days. So should we be liable to put up mezuzot from day 1?

Indeed artscroll continues

If one is renting for a long period of time it is proper to affix the mezuzot immediately but without reciting a blessing. After 30 days one should remove or touch the mezuza and recite the blessing.

R Herschel Schachter in a lecture on whether mezuza is a mitsva d'oraita or d'rabbanan (since the accepted view is that it is d'rabbanan for renters) concludes

[The view of the Shach] is that in a rental situation, the landlord may evict his tenant in the midst of the rental period; [...] nowadays, when landlords do not have the right to evict tenants in the middle of the rental contract [...] the renter would be obligated in the mitzvah of mezuzah from the Torah.

Does anyone have sources showing one might need to put up a mezuza right away after renting or moving in?


PS. As a side note, as to the reason that the halacha is different in Eretz Israel: Menachot 44a and Shulchan Aruch 286:22 say this is because of the mitzva yishuv Eretz Israel. Minchat Chinuch 423 [cited in Artscroll's gemara] explains that the mezuza is an incentive not to leave his dwelling since one cannot remove the mezuzot when leaving a dwelling if a Jew will move in (KSA 11:22). And even if he leaves, the presence of mezuzot will encourage other Jews to move in therefore helping settle Eretz Israel.

  • +1 but note that the Minchat Chinukh cited in the last paragraph is just saying what Rashi said 800 years earlier. – Double AA Dec 24 '15 at 17:09
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    Aruch HaShulchan says to put it up right away with a blessing. The fact that it's only a rabbinic necessity does not change anything as we make many blessings on rabbinic acts. – user6591 Dec 27 '15 at 4:11
  • @user6591 do you have a source for the Aruch HaShulchan? Would nicely complement my answer below. Thanks – mbloch Jan 28 '16 at 6:59
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    @mbloch see the parenthetical statement at the very end of siman 286. – user6591 Jan 28 '16 at 12:43
  • R. Schach in Avi Ezri holds like R. Schachter I believe – wfb Mar 8 '16 at 0:20
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Since I wrote up the question, a related question was asked and answers there bring very interesting and relevant sources for my question here. I think we can now answer positively that indeed anyone renting a dwelling in chutz laaretz for more than 30 days needs to put a mezuza immediately and make a blessing according to the majority opinion

From dinonline

The reason why a flat outside Israel is exempt when renting for less than thirty days (Yoreh De’ah 286:22) is that it is not considered a diras keva. If a person rents for long-term, it is considered a diras keva from day one, and the obligation is immediately incumbent. This is the opinion of Chayei Adam, 15:22; Nachalas Tzvi to 286:22; Ben Ish Chai, year 2, Ki Tavo; and others. Although this position could depend on a dispute between Rashi and Tosafos (Menachos 44a; see Pischei Teshuvah 286:18, based on Tosafos) concerning the status of a person until he has lived in a place for thirty days, one may follow this majority opinion. This is also the ruling given by Rav Moshe Feinstein (Iggros Moshe, Yoreh De’ah 1:179).

Others disagree with the need to make a bracha due to the machloket although they don't cite sources.

Since writing this I have become aware of an OU article which is very explicit and confirms the above

One who owns the dwelling in which he resides (Berachot 17b; YD 291:3), whether in Israel or elsewhere, is required to put up mezuzot immediately upon moving in (Tosafot, Avodah Zarah 21a, s.v., hu amar; Gilyon Maharshah, YD 286:22). Similarly, a renter in Israel is obligated to affix mezuzot as soon as he takes up residence (Menachot 44a; SA, YD 286:22). In all of these cases, there is no grace period allowing for a delay in fulfilling the mitzvah beyond the move-in date. In other words, the day one moves into a residence, he must affix mezuzot on all the doorways in the house. Indeed, some authorities prohibit one from dwelling in a home where mezuzot are lacking.

As always CYLOR for a practical ruling.

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