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    Bare wall – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Why do some people leave a section of the wall in their house bare?

    A. The practice is not widely followed these days outside of Eretz Yisra’el, but it has much to commend it.

    The idea is to leave bare a square cubit of the inside wall facing the door to recall the destruction of the Temple. In the past this section was painted black but today that might be self-defeating, as black is sometimes part of the internal décor. The rule about leaving a section bare applies if the house was built by a Jew for Jewish occupants.

    Magen Avraham (Orach Chayyim 560:1) says that if a house bought or rented from Jews does not have an undecorated square one should peel off one to expose the brickwork.

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