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  • Mezuza

Mezuzah on balconies with sliding doors

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Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Av 16, 5781
Question
Hi Rabbi, I have a question that I would be most grateful for your help with, as I have been unable to determine the correct answer. I purchased an apartment but I have not moved in yet, so I have not yet affixed mezuzot. It has two balconies - the balconies are high up the building, so do not exit to a street. Each balcony has a floor to ceiling large glass sliding door leading out onto the balcony from the apartment. The first balcony has a sliding door that opens from left to right as you exit to the balcony - the wall is on your left as you exit (and on your right as you come back inside). The second balcony has a sliding door that opens from right to left as you exit to the balcony - the wall is on your right as you exit the balcony (and on your left as you come back inside). My question is do the balconies each require a mezuzah and if they do, where do I place it? - and is a bracha required when affixing these "balcony mezuzot"?. The only place I can think to place a mezuzah is on the wall that the sliding door slides out from (so you can see the mezuzah as you exit and return), but in that case one balcony would have it on the left on the wall and one on the right on the wall, so I am just concerned that I do the correct thing. Also should the mezuzot be placed inside the building on the wall or outside the building? Many thanks in advance
Answer
ב"ה Shalom There are many variables involved, and with all you important descriptions, not all is clear to me. There are many poskim who are of the opinion that in a balcony such as you described it is exempt from a Mezuza. This is especially so if the balcony is not enclosed and if the balcony doesn’t have 4X4 Amot which is approximately 2X2 meters. In addition, it is not clear to me if the entrance to your balcony has two door posts. If the entrance does not have two door posts that is another reason to exempt the balcony from Mezuza, or at least to exempt the mezuza from A Beracha. The balcony with the door post on the right you could place a mezuza, depending upon the other parameters described before. It is not clear to me, what you have on the right side of the the first balcony. In any case, when you put up the mezuzot in your new home, you make only one bracha for all the mezuzot that you will put up. Therefore, in any case you would not make a Bracha for putting up a mezuza at the entrance to the balcony. If based on what I've said, you see your balcony as a place which does need a mezuza, you can put up the mezuza on the right wall at the entrance to your balcony. However, for the first balcony which has a sliding door that opens from left to right, I'm sorry I can't picture what you do have on your right as you enter the balcony to tell you where to place the Mezuza.I suggest you invite your local Rabbi to see your balcony or send him photos. (SEE: שו"ת יחוה דעת חלק ד סימן נא, ש"ך יורה דעה סימן רפז ס"ק א) All the best
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