MEZUZAHS ON BOMB SHEL­TERS

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE - RABBI JU­LIAN SIN­CLAIR

MIL­LIONS of Is­raelis are spend­ing much of their time in bomb shel­ters these days. Do these rooms in base­ments and un­der­ground re­quire a mezuzah?

We are com­manded to in­scribe the words of the To­rah “on the door­posts of your house and on your gates”. From here, the sages learn that a mezuzah is only for a space that is fit for dwelling. Our shel­ter has an old TV and a loo, but oth­er­wise it’s bare con­crete and you wouldn’t want to spend a lot of time there.

Store­rooms fall into a grey area. We do not live in them and yet pop in and out of them fre­quently. So the rab­bis rule that you should af­fix a mezuzah on the door­way of a store­room but with­out mak­ing the bless­ing for the mitz­vah of mezuzah. Rabbi Ova­dia Yossef ruled since that a bomb shel­ter is only ever used in case of an en­emy at­tack (hope­fully not a fre­quent oc­cur­rence), and re­mains empty the rest of the time, it does not re­quire a mezuzah.

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