Insights from the Institute

Q: Does a walk-in closet in my house need a mezuzah?

A: Many of the doorways of the various rooms in a person’s house are required to have a mezuzah on the doorposts; however, not every doorway is halachically obligated to bear one. Whether or not a particular room needs to have a mezuzah will depend upon the location of the doorway, the intended use of the room, and other factors. A complete exposition of all relevant halachos is beyond the scope of this article. We will limit ourselves to one specific question: What are the specific measurements that a walk-in closet would need to meet in order to halachically be considered a “room”? In other words, when is a walk-in closet large enough to require a mezuzah and when is it small enough that it does not?

A large walk-in closet is halachically considered to be a room if it is four amos wide and four amos deep, or larger.1 Four amos is equivalent to 6 feet according to Rav Chaim Noeh, 7 feet 1 inch according to Rav Moshe Feinstein, and 7 feet 7 inches according to the Chazon Ish.2 Rabbi Heinemann, shlit”a, paskens that one should not recite a bracha unless the closet is larger than 7 feet 1 inch by 7 feet 1 inch.3

Not every closet is square in size. A closet may be rectangular and have a floor area of 16 square amos, even though one of its sides is less than four amos long. For example, a closet may be eight amos wide and two amos deep, or two amos wide and eight amos deep. In such a case, a mezuzah should be affixed without a bracha.4 16 square amos is approximately 38 sq. ft. according to Rav Chaim Noeh, 50 sq. ft. according to Rav Moshe Feinstein, and 57 sq. ft. according to the Chazon Ish.

If the closet has built-in shelving, the floor area under the shelves is not included when calculating the floor area of the closet. However, if the closet contains furniture that is not attached to the walls, the floor area under the furniture is included when calculating the floor area of the closet.5

A room which has a floor area of less than 16 square amos is generally exempt from a mezuzah. However, the Chamudei Daniel is of the opinion that a room which is fully functional for its intended purpose is required to have a mezuzah, even if it has a floor area of less than 16 square amos. According to the Chamudei Daniel, a walk-in closet is required to have a mezuzah.6 Other Poskim disagree with the Chamudei Daniel,7 and the Chazon Ish is quoted as having said that one may be lenient and not concerned about the chumrah of the Chamudei Daniel.8

Reb Akiva Eiger suggests a different reason as to why this walk-in closet requires a mezuzah. He points out that the doorway of the walk-in closet connects two areas, the area of the walk-in closet and the area of the larger room to which the closet is attached. Even though the walk-in closet may have a floor area of less than 16 square amos, the room to which the closet is attached has a floor area of more than 16 square amos. Reb Akiva Eiger says that the doorway does not require a mezuzah due to the closet, but it does require one due to the larger room.9

Therefore, for different reasons, the Chamudei Daniel and Reb Akiva Eiger both agree that the doorway of a walk-in closet with a floor area of less than 16 square amos requires a mezuzah. However, there is a significant difference between these opinions. According to the Chamudei Daniel, the mezuzah should be affixed to the doorpost on the right side when walking from the larger room into the closet, and it should be positioned slanting towards the closet. However, according to Reb Akiva Eiger, it is the larger room that necessitates the mezuzah which should be affixed on the right side when walking from the closet into the room (the left side when walking from the room into the closet); it should be positioned slanting towards the room.

Other Poskim disagree with Reb Akiva Eiger and pasken that the larger room does not necessitate a mezuzah on the doorway of the closet.10 Rabbi Heinemann, shlit”a, paskens that one should be choshesh for the opinion of Reb Akiva Eiger and affix a mezuzah without a bracha to the doorway of a walk-in closet with a floor area that is less than 16 square amos.11 The mezuzah should be attached to the left side when walking from the room into the closet. If the floor area of the walk-in closet is so small that one does not actually walk into it when retrieving objects from the closet, then the doorway of the closet does not require a mezuzah.12


  1.  שו”ע יו”ד סי’ רפו סעי’ יג
  2. בשיעורי תורה להגר”ח נאה עמ’ ר”נ כתב ששיעור האמה הוא 47-49 ס”מ, ובשו”ת אג”מ או”ח ח”א סי’ קלו כתב ששיעורו הוא 23-¼21 אינטשעס, ובשיעורין של תורה עמ’ סג כתב שלדעת החזו”א שיעורו ⅔59-⅔57 ס”מ
  3. שמעתי ממו”ר ר’ היינעמאן שליט”א
  4. שו”ע שם וש”ך שם ס”ק כג
  5. עי’ בספר חובת הדר פ”ד סעי’ ח
  6. פת”ש שם ס”ק יא בשם החמודי דניאל, ובדעת תורה שם סעי’ יג כתב שכן משמע בט”ז סי’ קעא ס”ק ט
  7. מנחת פתים שם וחיי אדם כלל טו סעי’ יב וקיצור שו”ע סי’ יא סעי’ יז
  8. בספר ארחות רבנו ח”ג עמ’ קסה כתב שהגר”ח קנייבסקי שליט”א אמר ששמע מגיסו הגר”ש ברזם זצ”ל ששמע ממרן החזו”א שאין לחוש לדברי החמודי דניאל, אמנם הגר”ח קנייבסקי בפירושו למסכת מזוזה (פרשה סדורה פ”א ס”ק יד ופ”ב סוף ס”ק מב) לא הביא שמוע זו ורק כתב שמדברי החזו”א ושאר אחרונים לא משמע כדברי החמודי דניאל
  9. חי’ רע”א על השו”ע שם סי’ רפו סעי’ יג
  10. עי’ בגדולי הקדש שם סי’ רפט ס”ק ט, ועי’ בשו”ת אגרות משה יו”ד ח”א סי’ קפא שתמה על דברי רע”א וחלק עליו
  11. שמעתי ממו”ר ר’ היינעמאן שליט”א, ועי’ חזו”א יו”ד סו’ קסח ס”ק ה וסי’ קסט ס”ק ב ושו”ת שבט הלוי ח”ב סי’ קנב וסי’ קנו (בהערה על סי’ רפו סעי’ יג) ופרשה סדורה פ”ב ס”ק מב, ובספר ארחות רבינו ח”ג עמ’ קסה כתב שהחזו”א אמר בכה”ג לקבוע בלי ברכה
  12. שו”ת מנחת יצחק ח”ג סי’ קג וח”ד סי’ צב