Building a Fence Around One's Roof

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  1. There is a positive Torah command to build a fence on the roof of a house that’s used for living.[1]
  2. The fence on the roof must be ten Tefachim (86 centimeters) and strong enough so it would prevent someone from falling. [2]

Which Roofs?

  1. Any flat roof requires a maakeh (a three-foot wall to keep people from falling off), even if people only walk on the roof occasionally. [3] A roof that is not used does not need a roof.[4]
  2. Shuls and Batei Midrash are exempt from putting a fence on the roof since these buildings aren’t meant for living. [5]
  3. Some say that there’s no obligation for a slanted roof. [6]
  4. A building used for storage or animals doesn’t require a fence on the roof. [7]

Other Things

  1. If one has a pit in one's property one must erect a fence of ten Tefachim around it or cover it up so that someone doesn't fall in.[8]
  2. Some say that a window that can be opened and is situated less than ten Tefachim from the floor requires a fence outside of it,[9], as a child could innocently open the window and fall out. Although others disagree Halachically, they agree that one should for safety reasons. install a fence of some sort without a Bracha.[10] Moreover, some say that glass itself can never be used for a fence,[11] as it doesn't fulfill the Rambam's definition of being able to sustain the pressure of someone leaning on it, but others disagree, since thick glass walls do fit that definition.[12]


  1. The beracha of Asher Kidshanu Bimitzvotav Vitzivanu Laasot Maakeh is recited when building the fence. [13]



  1. Based on the pasuk Devarim 22:8 כִּ֤י תִבְנֶה֙ בַּ֣יִת חָדָ֔שׁ וְעָשִׂ֥יתָ מַעֲקֶ֖ה לְגַגֶּ֑ךָ, Sefer Hachinnuch 546, Rambam Sefer Hamitzvot Aseh 184, Sefer HaMitzvot Hakatzar of the Chofetz Chaim 77, Kitzur S"A 190:1
  2. S”A C”M 427:5, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 190:1
  3. Sh"t Rivivot Ephraim 1:35
  4. Kitzur S"A 190:1
  5. S”A C”M 427:3 based on gemara chullin 136a
  6. See Mishneh Halachot 4:243, Yalkut Yosef (Chupah VeKiddushin pg 669)
  7. S”A C”M 427:1, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 190:1
  8. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 190:1
  9. Emek Beracha page 34, Rav Hershel Schachter (Bava Kamma 5778-9 #6)
  10. Shu"t Teshuvot veHanhagot vol. 1 Siman 648
  11. Emek Beracha page 34
  12. Shu"t Machazeh Eliyahu vol. 1 Siman 121:1-2, Aruch HaMishpat Siman 427 page 32
  13. Rambam Berachot 11:8