Mezuzah in Office

June 7, 2019 | by Rabbi Pinchas Waldman

I own a small company. I rent office space for it in a nearby business park. Does it require a mezuzah?

The Aish Rabbi Replies

It’s an interesting question. Some of the earlier authorities did not consider an office a true place of residence since we do not truly live there. Later authorities, however, disagree since people typically do eat and sometimes nap or sleep in their offices. As a result, today the practice is to put a mezuzah up in an office, but without a blessing.

Note that the above applies to an office which you are renting out yourself. If you are an employee of a non-Jewish company, then typically you would not put up a mezuzah. The reason is because the office you are in does not actually belong to you. Although your company is obligated to provide you with office space, in normal circumstances you do not have special rights to the particular office you are in. The company could decide to move you to a different office at any time. Therefore, the room you are in at any given time is not your office – but their office that they are allowing you to use. (Some do place a mezuzah even in such a case (after first getting permission and without a blessing), but the more common practice is not to.)

Finally, let’s say you’re the company owner and you have non-Jewish employees. The same reasoning as above applies in reverse. Since you could move your non-Jewish employees to a different room at any time, even the rooms they are in should have mezuzahs (again, posted without saying the blessing). If, however, you are renting out office space to them and the rooms are actually designated for them, then those rooms do not require mezuzahs.

(Sources: Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 291:2, Minchat Yitzchak II 83, IV 89-90, X 94, 96:3, Shevet HaLevi X 4:2, Teshuvot V’Hanhagot I 647).

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