Ramba"m states that there is a mitzvah for every individual to write his own Torah. This mitzvah can be accomplished by writing one letter.

Why is there no mitvah for writing a mezuza. It seems that the Torah commands that we should write our own mezuza, as it says:

"You shall write them on the mezuzot of your houses and gates" (Devarim 6:9)

It seems that this is a commandment for every individual to write a mezuzah!

  • Procedurally, this isn't that different from most Mitzvot that have preparatory processes, like no Mitzva to build a Sukkah, bake Matza, bind a Lulav, blow the Shofar, etc. But you're right that here the verse, by Mezuzah, specifies writing unlike most of those. I don't know that you have such a good question about Tefillin.
    – Double AA
    Jun 14, 2018 at 16:31
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    It's seems like the writing of a mezuzah is contingent on living in a house,a Torah seems like a specific mitzvah of writing a Torah for yourself, and I believe there are shittos which hold buying seforim fulfills this mitzvah. Also the main mitzvah is to have the mezuzah, by the Torah writing "you should write " seems to be general talking which can include anyone as long as you have the mezuzah written and placed on your door post
    – sam
    Jun 14, 2018 at 19:27
  • @sam You're analysis is largely, though not totally credible. You fulfill the mitzvah of writing a Torah by having someone else write it, too. I have a feeling that regarding writing Torah writing, the word lachem is used, and I think that word, alone, is what makes the difference.
    – DanF
    Jun 14, 2018 at 20:53
  • @sam Yup! See my answer, below. It has אדמת יהודה 's hashgacha!
    – DanF
    Jun 14, 2018 at 21:17
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    What about ועשו להם צצית?
    – Alex
    Jun 14, 2018 at 23:23

1 Answer 1


נפל האסימון - It hit me:

All Torah mitzvoth that have the word לכם mean that one must do it for himself.

Regarding a Sefer Torah Ramba"m Hilchot Tefillin Mezuzot veTorah 7:1 says:

מצות עשה על כל איש ואיש מישראל לכתוב ספר תורה לעצמו שנאמר ועתה כתבו לכם את השירה כלומר כתבו לכם תורה שיש בה שירה זו לפי שאין כותבין את התורה פרשיות פרשיות

It is a positive commandment for every Jew to write a Torah for himself, as it says, in Devarim 31:19 says "write for yourselves this song". This means that you should write for yourselves Torah that has this song, for we don't write a Torah in individual sections.

Excerpt from אדמת יהודה commentary:

מפסוק כתבו לכם משמע כל אחד ואחד דלכם כתיב כדאשכחן בארבע מינים שבלולב דאינו יוצא בלולבו של חבירו מדכתיב ולקחתם לכם

From this verse that says "Write for yourselves", we learn that it is obligatory for everyone to write for himself. We see similar language regarding lulav which also says "take for yourself" and thus, one does not fulfill the mitzvah by using someone else's lulav.

Similarly, counting of the Omer also says "for yourself". Thus, each person must count the Omer and one cannot count for someone else.

The commandment for mezuzah does not state the word lachem. Thus, there is no mitzvah for each person to individually write a mezuzah.

Ramba"m does state that one fulfills the Mitzvah of writing the Torah by having someone else do it. That's a separate discussion as to why that works, but it is not the "ideal" standard indicated by the Torah. G-d willing, I will edit in some information as to why that works. It's among some of the commentaries. Others are welcome to edit an explanation of that aspect into my answer.

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    By Tefillin it does say והיה לך לאות על ידך
    – Double AA
    Jun 14, 2018 at 21:54
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    @DoubleAA Isn't he distinguishing between writing and using? Everyone has to write a Torah, and everyone has to use tefillin, but everyone does not have to write tefillin because the לך by tefillin is not in reference to writing it but in reference to using it.
    – Alex
    Jun 14, 2018 at 22:37
  • @alex yes I still thought it was worth noting
    – Double AA
    Jun 14, 2018 at 22:38
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    @DoubleAA Although I don't think this answer is so accurate. For instance, by lulav לכם is not saying that YOU have to do it; it's saying that the lulav has to be yours.
    – Alex
    Jun 14, 2018 at 22:41
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    I don't understand the logic of this. If the Torah had just said כתבו את השירה הזאת without saying לך then there would be no command to write it? What then would verse mean?
    – Alex
    Jun 14, 2018 at 22:49

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