Does a storage room require a mezuzah?

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Shulchan Aruch clearly rules that a storage room requires a mezuzah – without bringing any dissenting opinion. It is clear from the Shulchan Aruch that one would make a beracha when affixing the mezuzah. Yet there are a number of Acharonim who suggest that it is best to avoid making a beracha since there are Rishonim who rule that no mezuzah is required at all.

While it seems as though the general custom is to allow a beracha when affixing a mezuzah on a storage room, certainly if one has the ability to make a beracha on another, more certain chiyuv, that would be preferred. The mezuzah on the storage room can then be affixed immediately after, and included in the beracha. In addition, it is important to keep in mind the following factors which are very much relevant in determining the “level” of obligation of a particular storage room.

 
 

How often does one walk in and out?

Some poskim maintain that in order for a storage room to require a mezuzah, the owner needs to enter the room every so often to bring items into it and/or remove items from it. This is because they argue that the reason a storage room requires a mezuzah is since they are considered as part of the home since they service “living” in the home. Hence, if one only enters the storage room once every half a year or so, it can’t be said that the storage room is servicing one’s “living” in his home – and it would therefore be exempt from mezuzah.

Others deny any such requirement and maintain that even if the owner may not enter the room for a year or more, the obligation stands inasmuch as when the owner needs the items stored there, he will enter the room to collect them.

Some understand that this is because the reason a storage room requires a mezuzah is not because they are considered as part of the home since they service “living” in the home. Rather, storage itself requires a mezuzah.

Others understand that indeed the reason a storage room requires a mezuzah is because they are considered as part of the home since they service “living” in the home. And even if one only enters the storage room once a year or so, that also services one’s “living” in the home.

The classic example which would bring this disagreement to the fore is a storage room used exclusively for Succah paraphernalia and/or Pesach keilim which one enters only once or twice a year. The first opinion would exempt the owner from any mezuzah obligation, while the second opinion would say that a mezuzah is required in such a case as well.

 

Location

An additional factor to consider is the location of the storage room. Some poskim maintain that only a storage room in or near the home requires a mezuzah, inasmuch as it services “living” in the home. If, however, one owns or rents a storage room some distance from one’s home which they only visit on rare occasions, there is no chiyuv mezuzah.

 
 
 
Storing units
Storage units

Others reject this differentiation and require a mezuzah in both circumstances.

The reasoning behind the opinions would seem to run along similar lines to the above disagreement.

Size

A common “problem” when discussing storage rooms is the size of the room. As previously discussed, rooms only require a mezuzah if they are 4×4 amos. We also mentioned a dispute whether this refers to total square footage, or if the room literally must be a minimum of four amos in each direction. When the room only meets the total square footage of 4×4 amos, a beracha is not recited.

It is extremely common for storage rooms to have more than four amos in length, but not in width.

Summary

To summarize: if one has a storage room which

  1. he enters and uses relatively frequently, and
  2. it is in or near his home, and
  3. is larger than 4×4 amos

he may affix a mezuzah with a beracha. If any of these conditions are missing, it is best to avoid making a beracha.

Rabbi Reuvain Mendlowitz

Author of "Inside STA"M - A Complete Buyer's Guide"

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