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QUESTION

Los Angeles, CA

A woman, for a medical procedure, is temporarily staying at the hotel connected to the hospital.

A. They brought a mezuzah, but were told not to put it on the outside of the doorpost. Can they put it on the inside of the lintel, so that it’s not beyond the hotel door, but is still on the lintel?

B. There are pots and pans in their room that they’d like to use. Libun seems like it’s probably pretty complicated in a hotel room. What would you recommend they do? (Also, perhaps me just bringing them some pots/pans can be an option).

ANSWER

A. There is no need to put up a mezuzah if they are staying there for less than 30 days — Shulchan Arukh YD 286:22,

השוכר בית בחוצה לארץ והדר בפונדק בארץ ישראל, פטור ממזוזה שלשים יום.

While Pitchei Teshuvah YD (286:17) quotes Eshel Avraham that one can choose to put it up within 30 days and even make a berakhah, there certainly is no need to do so.

As to the general question of a mezuzah on the frame behind the door, it is a machloket HaPoskim, and one can definitely be lenient when necessary to do so because of non-Jews, etc. See Shulchan Arukh YD 289:2 in Rema and Shakh YD 289:2,

איזהו מקום קביעתה, בתוך חלל של פתח, בטפח הסמוך לחוץ. הגה – ואם שינה, אינו מעכב, ובלבד שיניחנה במזוזה עצמה

ש”ך  ג – ואפי’ הניחה אחורי הדלת כשרה בדיעבד כן משמע בטור וכן נראה דעת הרב אבל דעת הנ”י והרמב”ם נראה דפסולה וכ”פ הב”י וכ”כ העט”ז הלכך יש לחזור ולתקנו כהוגן ובס’ מעדני מלך ד’ ע”ו סוף ע”א כתב דהנהו בתים הפתוחים לרחוב העובדי כוכבים ומניחים מפני כן המזוזות אחורי הדלת דיש להם על מה שיסמוכו על דברי הטור והרב.

B. If you can bring them pots and pans, that’s obviously the best. You don’t need libunEven if it absorbed really tereifot, you only need libun for frying pans and the like. Anything that absorbed through water can be kashered with water. So, for the pots, fill them up with water and bring them to boiling. In general, the Halakha is that one needs to be concerned with overflow on the outside sides of the pot, and has to put a hot rock in the pot to cause an overflow while everything remains hot. In many cases, this is quite dangerous and impractical. Thus, in cases of need – בשעת הדחק – I would say that after one boils water in the pot, you can do iruy from a kettle on the outside walls of the pot. This is because: (1) soap was used to clean it, so there is an argument that it is all pagum, (2) according to some poskim, we can assume that nowadays there is no beliah with metal (I would never rely on this alone, but would as a snif, especially combined with soap and eino ben yomo) and (3) if there was overflow, it was a case of עירוי שנפסק הקילוח, so iruy should work to kasher it.