Several websites that I have researched say that a mezuzah parchment must be protected from dampness and at least should be have a plastic film on the outside, i.e. it can not be completely inserted into a plastic bag. (See this.)

Most places recommend placing the mezuzah into a case (made of ceramic, wood, etc.). I assume that the case makes it easier to secure and also provides extra protection.

The only place I can recall having seen a mezuzah on the wall without a case was in my friend's work place. My friend is Orthodox, and I assume that he knew this was OK. But then, again, I have also read opinions that since one's office is not a permanent residence, one is not required to have any mezuzah in is office. So, it's possible that he may have just had it there to be "decorative", and it wouldn't really matter halachically in his case (no pun of the word, here) if he used a case.

Halachically, is the case absolutely required? Can one roll the parchment, and just secure the parchment to the wall using tape or any other method that would make it secure?


1 Answer 1


No. The Gemara in Bava Metzi'a 101b-102a says that one could take a mezuzah scroll, tie it in a string, and attach the string to the top of the door frame and leave the scroll dangling at the appropriate height without a case.

That's how a plain reading of the sugya indicates. @user6591 pointed out, though, that Tosfos learns that it means hanging it on a little shelf in a reed tube to keep it steady.

@Chaim added that the Pischei Teshuvah (OC 285:4), based on Sha'alos U'teshuvos R' Akiva Eiger, holds one may not kiss the Mezuzah in the event that it's uncovered. This would seem to indicate that it is permissible.

  • Note that you wouldn't be able to touch or kiss the Mezuza in this situation (as the Maharil suggested to do, as per Rama here: hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=9147&st=&pgnum=223 and Birchei Yosef there for kissing). The Pischei Teshuva there makes this clear, based on a Teshuva from R' Akiva Eiger.
    – Chaim
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 13:50
  • Can i suggest you double check that gemara and decide if that's really what is being said? If you are referring to the guvsa dikanya (top of 102a) than this is a raya listor. That means a reed tube. And Toleh does not necessarily mean dangle. It can mean hang as in a hanging picture. Tosafos defiantly imply this approach.
    – user6591
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 16:44
  • I learned the sugya Bekius, and so I didn't learn that Tosfos. I posted how I had learned the Gemara. I can edit my post, though, to note that Tosfos learns that it means putting it in a reed and putting it on a shelf.
    – DonielF
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 17:09
  • That's not what i said. I said the sugya definitely means he put it in a reed tube. So there is no one who says it was placed without it being in something. At least not in that sugya. At least not until this post. Please translate guvsa dikana according to your 'plain reading of the gemara'.What we see from Tosafos is that it was not dangling and Toleh does not mean what you thought it did.
    – user6591
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 17:55
  • Guvsa d'kana is a thin reed that dangles it from the ceiling. This whole explanation is going in an opinion other than Tosfos', in which toleh is meant literally.
    – DonielF
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 5:45

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