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Taking Mezuzah Cases When Selling a House

Q: Several years ago, we were privileged to celebrate our son’s Bar mitzvah at the Kotel. While in Israel, we picked out special mezuzah cases for all the rooms of the house. We are now planning to sell that house, and I was told that I must leave the mezuzot for the Jewish family that will be buying it. I have no problem leaving the scrolls and buying new ones, but the cases have great sentimental value for our family. Must I leave them behind as well?

A: You may take your cases with you and replace them with inexpensive plastic ones.[1] However, it is best to stipulate with the buyer before the sale that you will be taking your covers with you, as he may have a potential claim that his purchase includes the home and all its fixtures.

Of course, if the covers are silver or obviously expensive in another way, you could easily counter claim that they were clearly personal items that he could not expect to be included in the sale. Even so, it is best to be clear about your intentions to avoid later misunderstanding.[2]

[1] Sha’arei HaMezuzah 19:5, citing Mezuzas Melachim, Halachah LMoshe 193.
[2] Agur B’ohalecha 42:31.