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Nails vs. Tape

Q: Last night, after midnight, when the movers finally left, we remembered that we needed to put up our mezuzot! We couldn’t find the double-sided tape, so we put up the mezuzot with scotch tape and mounting putty. We said the berachot as well. Did we do the right thing?

A: Ideally, the mezuzah should be affixed with two nails, top and bottom[1] or with double-sided tape strong enough to last for a long time.[2] Scotch tape and mounting putty are not appropriate as they are less permanent.[3]

Even so, your mitzvah was performed according to a minimal standard, and your berachot were not recited in vain. Nevertheless, you should make sure to put them up properly as soon as possible, without a new berachah.[4]

[1] Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 289:4; Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 11:6; Chayei Adam 15:19.
[2] Bach 289:7; Shach Y.D. 289:7; Aruch HaShulchan  289:15; Sha’arei Mezuzah 15:18, citing many authorities. Cf. Teshuvos V’Hanhagos 1:646.
[3] Sha’arei HaMezuzah 15:18:29.
[4] Agur B’ohalecha (10:6:14) suggests that since scotch tape needs to be torn to be removed, it is still minimally valid. Mounting putty would seem to be minimally valid according to Agur Bohalecha 10:17:38 and 10:18.

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