Photo Credit: Jobi Gideon/Flash90

One is required to affix one’s mezuzot in a manner that ensures that they will remain securely fastened in place. A mezuzah affixed in a loose or flimsy manner is disqualified.1 Common custom is therefore to use nails to affix a mezuzah to the doorpost.2 Indeed, some authorities define a mezuzah as “securely fastened” when special tools or excessive force is needed to remove it.3 In ancient times, mezuzot were fastened into a recessed groove in the doorpost that was made especially for this purpose.4

Nevertheless, many authorities maintain that “securely fastened” does not mean that the mezuzah must be nearly irremovable. Rather, it suffices for the mezuzah to be affixed so that it does not move or sway under normal conditions.5 This ruling is especially relevant for those who need to affix a mezuzah on a short-term basis.6


Based on the above, a growing number of authorities permit one to affix a mezuzah with glue or other heavy-duty fasteners that are available today.7 There is even an opinion that strong glue is preferable to nails.8 The use of tape is somewhat problematic, as the sticky side of tape often dries out over time and loses its adhesiveness. Should this happen, the mezuzah will no longer be considered “securely fastened,” thereby disqualifying it for the mitzvah. An especially durable and heavy-duty adhesive tape, however, may be used without reservation.9 A mezuzah should be affixed to the doorpost at both the top and bottom of its casing.10

A widespread custom is to avoid using a metallic mezuzah case. This is because metal represents the sword and the shortening of life, while a mezuzah represents mitzvot and the lengthening of life. Some say that this excludes iron cases.11 It is also reasonable to suggest that there is no problem with using gold or silver mezuzah cases when it is clear that the intention is to beautify the mitzvah. It goes without saying, of course, that metal nails may be used to fasten the mezuzah case to the doorpost.12



  1. Menachot 32b.
  2. Yerushalmi Megilla 4:12; Rambam, Hilchot Mezuza 5:6; YD 289:4; Pitchei Teshuva, YD 289:3; Eretz Tzvi 90.
  3. Da’at Kedoshim, Hilchot Mezuza 289:16.
  4. Rambam, Hilchot Mezuza 5:6.
  5. Bach, YD 289.
  6. Yerushalmi Megilla 4:12; Shach, YD 289:7.
  7. Aruch HaShulchan, YD 289:15, 16; Chelkat Yaakov, YD 164; Divrei Malkiel 5:65; Az Nidberu 3:61; Yechave Da’at 6:58. But see Minchat Yitzchak 7:72 for an opposing view.
  8. Pitchei She’arim 289:87.
  9. Ibid., 289:88.
  10. Ibid., 289:92.
  11. Da’at Kedoshim, Hilchot Stam 289:1; Afrakasta D’anya 99.
  12. Chayei Adam 15:19; Pitchei She’arim 289:86.

Previous articleUnited Hatzalah Launches International Training Sessions in Wake of Rising Antisemitism
Next articleGaza Should Be Run by “Gazans Who Are Opposed to Hamas”
Rabbi Ari Enkin, a resident of Ramat Beit Shemesh, is a researcher and writer of contemporary halachic issues. He teaches halacha, including semicha, one-on-one to people all over the world, online. He is also the author of the “Dalet Amot of Halacha” series (9 volumes), the rabbinic director of United with Israel, and a rebbe at a number of yeshivot and seminaries. Questions and feedback are welcomed: [email protected].