A Unique Blessing for a Mezuzah
While discussing the laws of a mezuzah, R. Yehiel Michel Epstein, the author of Arukh ha-Shulhan, says that “ויש מי שרצה לומר כשנכנס לבית שיש שם מזוזה יברך אקב”ו לדור בבית שיש בו מזוזה ואינו עיקר דלא מצינו ברכה זו בשום מקום” (“And there is someone who wanted to say that when one enters a house [in order to live], and there is already a mezuzah, they should bless ‘…who has sanctified us through his commandments to live in a house that has a mezuzah’. And this is not essential since we haven’t found this blessing anywhere”) [Arukh ha-Shulhan YD 291:2]. So who is this “someone”? It turns out that this someone is most likely R. Avraham Gumbiner, the Magen Avraham. In his comments on ShAr OH 19, the Magen Avraham says that it might be possible that if someone affixed a mezuzah to a house, but didn’t live in that house until a later date, when they do enter the house to live in it they should bless “אקב”ו לדור בבית שיש בו מזוזה”. Most poskim did not think too much of the Magen Avraham’s blessing, but there was at least one who seemed to support it. R. Akiva Eger says that when one enters a home and the previous tenant left a mezuzah there, the new tenants should still say a blessing, which blessing he doesn’t specifiy, since it is now a new mitzvah. He says that the same applies to someone who goes on an extended trip for a few days, that when they return home they should say a blessing since this is a new mitzvah, analogous to when one leaves their sukkah for some time and then returns to it later on. At the end of this responsum there is an interesting note. Apparently after he had already written the responsum R. Eger received the commentary on the ShAr by R. Hayyim David Azulay, the Birkei Yosef, in which he opposes the Magen Avraham’s blessing. After citing the Birkei Yosef, R. Eger says that the issue needs to be investigated further. If anyone knows of any source before the Magen Avraham which speaks of such a blessing I would be interested to know about it.