Mezuzah Covers

We are now in the process of purchasing mezuzahs for our new home. We are buying the mezuzahs themselves from a reputable seller, but we don’t know anything about buying the covers! Are there are any laws or restrictions we should know about?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

Mazal tov on your new home first of all! May you and your family make it into a beautiful Jewish home.

In terms of the mezuzah covers, basically all materials and designs are fine. But there are a few rules to be aware of, as below.

(1) Mezuzahs on doorways which are exposed to the elements should be waterproof. If the case is not completely waterproof, it’s a good idea to wrap the mezuzah inside it in a good protective cover.

(2) Some have the custom to buy transparent cases, or at least cases which have a small “window” near the top, so that God’s name is visible. This serves as a reminder of the mezuzah’s sanctity (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 11:23-24). Note that this should not be done in rooms of a house where there might be immodest dress or behavior.

(3) Mezuzahs which are visible inside of bedrooms used by married couples or where people regularly dress and undress, change dirty diapers and the like, require a double cover, one of which must be opaque and not designated for the mezuzah (such as the cover itself; Taz 286:5, Chochmas Adam 128:10). (In general one should change in a modest way or in the bathroom. See Shulchan Aruch O.C. 2:1-2.)

(4) The cover design should be respectful and appropriate. Beyond that, almost all designs are fine. However, certain images are problematic when in relief. See this related response.

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