This question is inspired by the extremely large mezuzot at Ben-Gurion airport (original image, rehost).

If one attached a complete, kosher sefer Torah to a sufficiently large doorpost, would it fulfill the mitzvah of mezuzah?

  • מעלין בקודש ואין מורידים
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 18:06
  • 2
    – DonielF
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 18:21
  • @DoubleAA Aren't there stricter requirement for a mezuza than for a torah scroll?
    – Loewian
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 1:51
  • 1
    @Loewian You refer to Kisidran? A Torah could be written Kisidran.
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 2:02
  • 2
    @Loewian the Gemara in Menachot uses מעלין בקודש to explain why you can't take a clipping from an old worn out Torah to use as a Parsha of Tefillin, and similarly an old Parsha of Tefillin to use in a Mezuzah. A very important Gemara. (Incidentally the "stricter" law of Kisidran is of dubious origin.)
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 12:15

4 Answers 4


The Bach Yore Dea 290 quotes Shulchan Aruch 288 that a mezuza written on two separate Gilyonos is Possul which is the case with a regular Sefer Torah where "Shema" is written a different page to "Vehoyo im shomoa"

אם כתבן בשני עורות ואפי' אם ידבקם בדבק או יתפרם בגידין פסולה כדלעיל בר"ס רפ"ח ואם כן מספר תורה אי אפשר לעשות מזוזה

Lets say the Sefer Torah became Passul for Leining: If "Shema" is at the Bottom of the page and one writes the Parsha "Vehoyo im shomoa" on the bottom space of parchment below the "Shema", and puts the Sefer Torah on the wall, even though now it might be a Kosher Mezuza, it would still be forbidden to do this as we We cannot descend from a higher level of Sanctity (the Sefer Torah), to a lower level of sanctity (Mezuza)

Shulchan Aruch Yore Dea 290,1

ספר תורה או תפילין שבלו -- אין עושין מהם מזוזה.
A Sefer Torah which withered away and is unusable we should not use it for Tefilin or a Mezuza

Shach explains

כגון שנכתב פ' שמע בס"ת בסוף הדף לא יוסיף לכתוב למטה בגליון פ' והיה אם שמוע דאע"ג דהשתא נכתבו כסדרן וכהלכתן מכל מקום אין מורידין מקדושה חמורה לקדושה קלה

  • We know it's an invalid Mezuza but a Kosher Torah. The question is if a Kosher Torah can fulfill the Mitzva. A Mikvah is Pasul for Netilat Yadayim and a washing cup is Pasul as a Mikvah, but you can fulfill your obligation before bread with either.
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 21:37
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    @DoubleAA netilas Yadayim for bread which is Derabanan and can be done in several ways as the rabanan allowed a substitute of dipping in the Mikva. Mezuza is a Mitzva min Hatorah which dictates that any Scroll that is not ONE Parchment cannot substitute a Mezuza as a Doorpost has to have a SIngle parchment with Shema and Vehaya. This is not the case with a sefer Torah. So no
    – user15464
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 21:54
  • You can say that and I can say otherwise. The options are yes and no. Why do you think saying no to me will convince me? Bring a source that says it!
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 22:00
  • We say בכלל מאתים מנה for Mezuza and Sefer Torah when it comes to Ibbud Lishmah. So you're wrong that it doesn't apply to Mezuzah
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 22:01

I would like to approach this question in two ways

  1. In Tractate Menachos 33a ואמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל כתבה על שני דפין פסולה מיתיבי כתבה על שני דפין והניחה בשני סיפין פסולה הא בסף אחד כשרה ראויה לשני סיפין קאמר And Rav Yehuda says that Shmuel says: If one wrote a mezuza on two sheets it is unfit. The Gemara raises an objection from a baraita that teaches: If one wrote a mezuza on two sheets and placed it on the two doorposts of the entrance, it is unfit. The Gemara states the objection: By inference, if the mezuza was affixed on one doorpost, it is fit, despite the fact that it is written on two sheets. The Gemara answers: The baraita is not referring to a case where one affixed the mezuza on two doorposts. Rather, the baraita is saying that if it was written on two sheets in such a manner that it is fit to be affixed to two doorposts, i.e., there is a space between the writing of the first and second passages, so that one can separate the two sheets for different doorposts, it is unfit. This is in accordance with the statement of Rav Yehuda, citing

Shulchan Aruch Y”D 288:1-2, כיצד כותבין את המזוזה כותבין שתי פרשיות שמע והיה אם שמוע על דף אחד ביריעה אחת ועושה לה ריוח מלמטה וריוח מלמעלה כמו חצי צפורן ובתחלתה ישייר כדי לגול אותה אחר שתכרך. (ובסופה אין צריך להניח כלל) (טור): ב צריך לכתבה בדף אחד ואם כתבה בב' או בג' דפין כשרה:

  1. A nice chiddush that I read in the Sefer Vedibarta Bam quoting the עיטורי תורה quoting the Midrash Rabbah 18.3 in which Korach asked this question regarding a room filled with Sifrei Torah does it need a mezuzah?
  • Please explain the down vote? Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 1:39
  • 2
    This answer is a very interesting piece of text but does not appear to address the question as asked (I am not the downvoter, incidentally) Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 4:02
  • @ Josh K, In my opinion I took it that the question was inferring does the Sefer Torah exempt the Mezuzah because it now in place of a Mezuzah. I feel i did answer it. Please let me know where I went wrong. Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 14:45
  • The Rama clearly permits it if it is written in multiple columns. What is your point here? That it's not Lechatchila?
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 16:55

אֵ֣ת כָּל־הַדָּבָ֗ר אֲשֶׁ֤ר אָנֹכִי֙ מְצַוֶּ֣ה אֶתְכֶ֔ם אֹת֥וֹ תִשְׁמְר֖וּ לַעֲשׂ֑וֹת לֹא־תֹסֵ֣ף עָלָ֔יו וְלֹ֥א תִגְרַ֖ע מִמֶּֽנּוּ׃ (פ)

Be careful to observe only that which I enjoin upon you: neither add to it nor take away from it. Devarim 13:1

Sefer HaChinuch 454 writes:-

שלא להוסיף על המצות ופרושן - שנמנענו שלא נוסיף בתורה שבכתב ולא בתורה שבעל פה, ועל זה נאמר (דברים יג א) לא תוסף עליו. וכיצד יהיה התוספת? כתב הרמב''ם זכרונו לברכה (ממרים ב, ט) כגון המורה שבשר עוף בחלב אסור מן התורה, וזה מוסיף על דבר הקבלה, שכך קבלנו בפרוש לא תבשל גדי וגו' שבשר בהמה וחיה נאסרו לבשל בחלב, אבל לא בשר עוף. וכן אם הורה שבשר חיה מתר בחלב עובר משום לא תגרע, לפי שזה גורע הוא, שכך קבלנו שבשר בהמה וחיה בכלל האסור, עד כאן.

To not add to the commandments and their understanding: That we were prevented not to add to the written Torah, nor to the oral Torah. And about this is it stated (Deuteronomy 13:1), "do not add to it." And how is the addition? Rambam, may his memory be blessed, wrote (Mishneh Torah, Laws of Rebels 2:9), "For example, one who instructs that chicken meat with milk is forbidden by Torah writ - that is adding upon the word of the received tradition. As so did we receive about the understanding of 'you shall not boil a goat, etc.' - that the meat of a [domesticated] beast and a [wild] animal are forbidden to cook in milk, but not chicken meat. And so [too,] if he instructed that meat from a [wild] animal is permitted with milk, he has transgressed on account of 'you shall not subtract.' As this is subtracting, since so did we receive [about the verse's understanding], that the meat of a [domesticated] beast and a [wild] animal are [both] included in the prohibition." To here [are his words].

Also in Sefer Hachinuch 423:3 writes מדיני המצוה. מה שאמרו זכרונם לברכה (שם כח, א) ששתי פרשיות אלו מעכבות זו את זו, אפילו כתב אחד מעכבן, From the laws of the commandment is that which they, may their memory be blessed, said (Menachot 28a) that these two sections impede each other;

Rambam Hilchos Sta"m 5:1 writes כֵּיצַד כּוֹתְבִין אֶת הַמְּזוּזָה. כּוֹתְבִין שְׁתֵּי פָּרָשִׁיּוֹת (דברים ו ד) ״שְׁמַע״ (דברים יא יג) ״וְהָיָה אִם שָׁמֹעַ״ עַל דַּף אֶחָד בִּירִיעָה אַחַת וְעוֹשֶׂה לָהּ רֶוַח מִלְּמַטָּה וְרֶוַח מִלְּמַעְלָה כְּמוֹ חֲצִי צִפֹּרֶן. וְאִם כְּתָבָהּ בִּשְׁנַיִם אוֹ בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה דַּפִּין כְּשֵׁרָה. וּבִלְבַד שֶׁלֹּא יַעֲשֶׂנָּה כְּזָנָב אוֹ כְּמוֹ עִגּוּל אוֹ כְּקוּבָּה וְאִם עָשָׂה כְּאַחַת מֵאֵלֶּה פְּסוּלָה. כְּתָבָהּ שֶׁלֹּא עַל הַסֵּדֶר כְּגוֹן שֶׁהִקְדִּים פָּרָשָׁה לְפָרָשָׁה פְּסוּלָה. כְּתָבָהּ בִּשְׁנֵי עוֹרוֹת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁתְּפָרָן פְּסוּלָה. סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה שֶׁבָּלָה וּתְפִלִּין שֶׁבָּלוּ אֵין עוֹשִׂין מֵהֶן מְזוּזָה. וְלֹא מִן הַגִּלְיוֹנִים שֶׁל סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה אֵין כּוֹתְבִין עָלָיו מְזוּזָה לְפִי שֶׁאֵין מוֹרִידִין מִקְּדֻשָּׁה חֲמוּרָה לִקְדֻשָּׁה קַלָּה:

How is the Mezuzah* written? Two sections of the Pentateuch, those beginning, "Hear, O Israel" (Deuteronomy 6:4) and, "And it shall come to pass" (Deuteronomy 11:13) are written in a single column on one slip of parchment. A space of half a nail's breadth is left as a margin above and below the column. If the Pentateuchal sections were written in two or three columns, the Mezuzah is fit for use. They must not however be written in the shape of a tail (broad at the top line and gradually narrowing to a point), or of a circle, or of a tent (narrow at the top and broadening to the base). A Mezuzah written in any of these forms is unfit for use. If the text was written out of order, for example, if the second section was in front of the first, it is unfit for use. If it was written on two slips of parchment, even though these were sewn together, the Mezuzah is unfit for use. A Scroll of the Law that has become worn out or phylacteries that are worn out may not be used for a Mezuzah. Nor may margins cut off from a scroll of the Law be so used; for anything dedicated to a sacred purpose may not be degraded from a higher to a lower degree of sacredness.

The bottom line is that only these section on Mezuzah are to be written and nothing else as this essence of the argument between Korach and Moshe.

  • 2
    Is having extra text really a violation of Baal Tosif? There are lots of parameters to that. Are you sure this fits the bill?
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 16:55

Chayei Adam 31:44 אסור לתלות ס"ת אפילו כשעומדת בא"הק ותולה הא"הק אסור ונ"ל דאפילו כשהא"הק מחובר ביתידות לכותל אסור

"Its forbidden to hang a Sefer Torah, even when it's in a ark it still forbidden, it appears to me when nailing a ark to the wall and there is no support it's forbidden"(Free Translation)

See also M"B 40:3 (Hilchos Tefillin) enter image description here

  • 1
    The Mitzva is לקבוע not לתלות. To be strict for the Chayei Adam you could just put a support column underneath. What's the problem? A Mezuza can be literally inside the doorpost after all. This is just a side point, not actually addressing the question.
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 16:48
  • KSA 11:6 - one may not hang a Mezuza either! אִם לֹא קְבָעָהּ אֶלָּא תְלָאָה, פְּסוּלָה. וְלָכֵן צָרִיךְ לִזָּהֵר לְמַסְמְרָהּ לְמַעְלָה וְגַם לְמַטָּה שֶׁלֹּא תְהֵא תְלוּיָה. Commented Feb 13, 2019 at 12:46

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