New Study Finds That Mezuzos Don’t Spread Disease

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mezuzahDoctors at Maimonides Medical Center, in Brooklyn, have determined that mezuzos do not spread disease, thus refuting an earlier study that claimed they did, The New York Daily News reports.

Infectious disease experts initially believed the mezuzahs harbored dangerous germs and bacteria, as it is customary to touch or kiss them upon passing by. But after swabbing 100 of the them at the hospital, they discovered this was not the case.

“There were some microbes that grew but none that can cause an illness,” said Dr. Monica Ghitan, one of the doctors who worked on the study, which will be published in the Journal of Infection Control in the next few weeks.

Ghitan and her team’s research contradicted a 2009 study by a group of Israeli doctors in which 70 mezuzahs in Assaf Harofeh Hospital were found to host a “significant bacterial load.”

Of course, the staff at that hospital said it avoided cleaning the mezuzahs out of fear of ruining the religious artifact. At Maimonides on the other hand, the hospital deploys aluminum boxes – and the staff is instructed to sanitize them regularly.

Algemeiner Journal

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  1. This sounds pretty asinine. This is no different than the cart at the store you go to to shop or any other object. Bacteria and viruses are spread. So if you live with sick people, be careful and wipe down your mezuzah probably.

  2. A mezuzah is like a door handle – people touch it all the time and it needs to be disinfected regularly. It’s not surprising that if you don’t clean it, it gets germy. The real issue is staff washing their hands before working with a patient. The staff should wash their hands *after* kissing the mezuzah, obviously. By the way, you’d be surprised at the trouble hospitals have getting staff to wash their hands (doctors are the worst offenders). If you need to go for medical care, keep an eye on the nurses and doctors, and if they don’t wash their hands before examining you, call them on it.

  3. You don’t actually have to touch or kiss the mezuzah. Touching is only a minhag. Nowhere in halacha does it say to kiss your fingers, but it’s brought down by the Arizal – al pi kabbala – that one should kiss his fingers after touching the mezuza.


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