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  • Family and Society
  • Mezuza

Purchased a home with mezuzah


Rabbi David Sperling

Tammuz 5, 5782
Hi we purchased a home from a Jewish family and want to be as respectful as possible…the front entryway has a mezuzah attached and I have read the significance of the object. I am looking for guidance - should we return it to the previous owner? Should it be removed since we are not Jewish? If it should be removed what is the best way in accordance to your faith? Thank you
Shalom, Thank you so much for writing to us with your question. Let me start by saying how lovely it is to receive questions like this, that shows such a love and respect for the Jewish people. May you be blessed with all that’s good – and may your behavior be a shining example to all in how to make the world a better place. Now, as to the Mezzuzah. Your first option is to contact the previous owners and ask them if they are interested in coming over and taking the Mezzuzah with them. It could be that they have already moved, or they may not be so connected to their Judaism, and not want (or be able) to take care of the Mezzuzah. Even if they tell you that they are happy to leave it for you – you should then try the second option. Which is – to contact a local Orthodox Rabbi (perhaps there is a Chabad Lubavitch Rabbi near you – or any Orthodox synagogue) and ask them to come by and take the Mezuzah. If this also doesn’t work, you should carefully remove the entire Mezuzah (it may be screwed on, or nailed, or glued), and carefully place it in a ziplock plastic bag. The Mezuzah box will have a parchment inside it – make sure that you put it all in the bag. Then see about taking it to an Orthodox Jew. They will know what to do with it. (Or they can write to us!). We treat these objects with respect – making sure that it not fall on the ground, be tossed aside, taken into a bathroom, or otherwise disrespected. Again, let me send you many blessings.
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