Welcome to the Maven’s haven.

Thank you for knocking on our door. Kiss the Mezuzah and step right in.

Garden behind Home

Q: Our back door opens onto a wonderful garden, complete with playground equipment for the children and patio furniture for the adults. It is fully enclosed by a fence, and its sole access is through the back door of my house. I was told to put the mezuzah on the right of the back door going out to the garden. But how can that be so? The garden is not a room!

A: Although the Sages exempt an entrance into a garden,[1] many contemporary authorities note that this would only apply to gardens used exclusively for growing fruits and vegetables and not for human habitat. In contrast, our gardens are multi-faceted recreational areas, often used for eating and other domestic purposes.

Consequently, your garden would be defined as a “courtyard,” which needs a mezuzah even though it is not a room. Your back door, then, is an entrance to this courtyard, and you should affix the mezuzah on the right as you go out to the garden.[2]

[1] Menachos 33b; Agur B’ohalecha 37:8.
[2] Sha’arei HaMezuzah 2:35; Chovas HaDar 2:13:25; Aruch HaShulchan  Y.D. 286:4. These authorities hold that the informal activities that commonly take place in our gardens qualify them as courtyards. Cf. Chazon Ish (Y.D. 168:6) and Agur B’ohalecha (37:8-9), who argue that a true courtyard is a place where intensive domestic activity takes place. Hence, they maintain that the mezuzah should be placed on the right hand of one going into the house.