Study: Kissing Mezuzahs Will Not Make You Sick

Despite the findings of a previous study, mezuzahs are safe to touch Read More

By / October 18, 2013

God-fearing germaphobes can breathe a sigh of relief.

A Maimonides Medical Center study found out last week that with a little TLC, mezuzahs are not necessarily cesspools of bacteria and disease, the New York Daily News reports. Researchers swabbed 100 boxes throughout the hospital, finding no dangerous microbes.

The results contradict a 2009 study done at Assaf Harofeh Hospital in Israel, which after examining 70 mezuzah covers, found traces of potentially harmful bacteria—including traces of fecal matter and fungi—and recommended against kissing the mezuzahs to prevent the transference of disease.

So what accounts for the disparity?

The staff at that hospital said it avoided cleaning the mezuzahs out of fear of ruining the religious artifact.But at Maimonides, cleanliness is next to godliness: the hospital deploys aluminium prayer boxes — and the staff is instructed to clean with impunity, hospital officials said.

Do you own a mezuzah? You may want to give it a good scrub.

(Photo by dominique landau/Shutterstock)