(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Torah Forum (c) Project Genesis

Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000 22:06:09 -0500 (EST)
From: Russell Hendel <  rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu>
Subject: Re: Mezuzah

QUESTION: What is the proper way to
place a Mezuza on the door. All of his advice is excellent. I just wanted
to add 1 or 2 points.

a) When buying a mezuza one must be certain that the mezuza is HAND MADE by
a reliable Scribe. Machine made mezuzoth are ineligible for hanging. A good
mezuzah costs $30-$50. The organization MERCAZ STAM is one such
organization that produces good reliable mezuzoth. The owner's statement
that they are hand made should not be trusted--you should ask him who made

b) In passing, a good way to tell if a mezuzah is hand made or not is to
look at the left legs of the hebrew letter HAY. They should all look
different--if they don't the mezuzah was probably made by machine.

c) The Mezuzah is preferably placed on the doorpost 2/3 of the height from
the floor (this is about Shoulder height and enables you to kiss it when
you walk in). You can place it any place on the upper third provided it is
at least 4 inches from the top. The Mezuzah is placed on the right hand
side of the doorpost as you walk in ("Walking in" is defined as "walking
in" to the most habitable room (eg porch to kitchen but not kitchen to porch).

d) It should be rolled properly (The store owner can help you with that).
It should NOT be placed inside the house--if there is vandalism one should
nail or glue it on (if further difficulty arises one should consult a Rabbi)

e) Although it should be tilted nevertheless the 'tilt' should be more
towards a vertical position than a horizontal position (It is permissable
to simply have it upright). If it is tilted it should be tilted towards the
most habitable place.

Hope the above helps.

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA; Math Towson University
Moderator Rashi Is Simple; http://www.shamash.org/rashi/