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I understand that a mezuzah is required only on the doorways permanent dwelling places.

How is the term "permanent" defined? Is it defined by the physical location of the structure or by how the person uses the structure, and defining it as his "home"?

For example, if a person is a salesperson who constantly travels to different places, yet he sleeps in his car or trailer. Would that be considered a permanent dwelling place even though the place is physically being moved? Is there a minimum time limit to stay in one place to be considered "permanent"?

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    Trailer like an rv motorhome type vehicle? +1 regardless. – user6591 Nov 29 '16 at 17:43
  • @user6591 exactly – DanF Nov 29 '16 at 18:04
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Shulchan Aruch YD 286, 11 said that the house which is in a boat is Patur:

סוכת החג בחג והבית שבספינה והחנויות שבשוקים -- פטורים.‏

Aruch Hashulchan added (paragraph 27):

וכן יראה לי הך דבית שבספינה, זהו כשעשו בית עראי בספינה. אבל בספינות שלנו שיש בהם בתים קבועים, וגם בספינות ההולכות על הנהרות שיש בכל ספינה בית קבוע וקורין לה קאיוט"א – חייבת במזוזה, שהרי היא דירה קבועה.‏

‏ (ודין ספינה לא ידענו מקורו. והב"ח כתב שמצא כתוב דתוספתא היא, עיין שם. וחפשתי ולא מצאתי.)‏

Our ships in which there are fixed appartments (permanent dwelling places according to the OP words), needs Mezuza. . . .

So if someone lives in motorhome, or a trailer, that's the same din. Physically moved is not a problem.

But a simple car is less than 4 amot X 4 amot, thus, it is definitely Patur.

  • Something here confuses me. He states that river boats have a set (permanent) dwelling space. Is he referring to a cruise ship or some other type of boat. Seems to me that a cruise ship has no "permanent" dwelling spaces as they are designed for short cruises were different visitors board the boat. – DanF Nov 29 '16 at 22:25
  • @DanF see this en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Péniche_(barge) – kouty Nov 30 '16 at 0:38
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According to this mezuzah site, #38, a car would never need a mezuzah. A trailer camper or winnebago which is used on a more permanent basis is questionable and should have one put up without a bracha.

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Rabbi Kaganoff says that the point is not that it is mobile but how it is used. That is, it appears that even if he drives around in it, if he lives in it permanently he should put up a mezuzah (though possibly without a bracha). It appears that the reason is that its purpose is to provide a dwelling. On the other hand, a car, whose purpose is transportation, does not require a mezuzah.

What about a Mobile Home?

The Minchas Yitzchak (2: 82) discusses whether someone who lives permanently in a mobile home is required to put up a mezuzah, concluding that he is required to do so; however the Minchas Yitzchak is uncertain whether he should recite a brocha when he puts it up.

Rabbi Kaganoff mentions this concept when he discusses whether an elevator would require a mezuzah

Dayan Weiss questions whether an elevator requires a mezuzah, since it constantly moves and cannot be considered a residence. He compares an elevator to a moving residence, regarding which we find a debate as to whether it requires a mezuzah. Rav Avraham Dovid of Butchatch, usually called “the Butchatcher,” rules that a moving residence requires a mezuzah. According to this opinion, someone who lives in a van or truck requires a mezuzah on the door, even if he constantly drives it to new locations (Daas Kedoshim 286:1)!

The major annotator to the Butchacher’s commentary, the Mikdash Me’at, disagrees, contending that a moving residence is considered a temporary dwelling and never requires a mezuzah. In a different responsum, Dayan Weiss deliberates whether mobile homes require a mezuzah, since people often reside in them, whereas using a bus or automobile as a residence is considered temporary and does not require a mezuzah (Shu’t Minchas Yitzchak 2:82; see also Chovas HaDor pg. 37).

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