Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Non-Chasidic Ashkenazim wrap their tefilin shel yad inward toward the body when coming over the top of the arm, while Sefardim and Chasidim wrap outward away from the body when coming over the top of the arm. What is the origin of this dispute, the earliest extant sources for each custom, and the meanings and significance ascribed to them?

share|improve this question
Does anyone know how various Teimanim wrap? – Double AA May 6 '13 at 1:28
m.youtube.com/watch?v=A5JqkbCputI they tie like this only the last strap goes around the middle of the hand and not the wrist. I tie this way because it is much better to maneuver with a hand that is free at the palm. – MoriDoweedhYaa3qob May 6 '13 at 6:20
@MoriDoweedhYaAgob That guy is a lefty! So hard to follow... – Double AA Jun 6 '13 at 13:28
@DoubleAA lucky for me I tie on my right as well :). also are you coming to the dark side? uhoh!!! – MoriDoweedhYaa3qob Jun 6 '13 at 21:11
Dupe? judaism.stackexchange.com/q/8308/759 – Double AA Nov 2 '15 at 23:17
up vote 7 down vote accepted

The actual dispute is not about which direction to wrap, but the location of the loop through which the retzua is threaded. We find this dispute in the Biur Halacha (27:2 ד"ה המנהג), he quotes the Beis Yosef in the name of the Mahari Ben-Chaviv who holds that while the "yud" should be located at the bottom of the tefillah the loop should be located at the top. The Biur Halacha then quotes the Darkei Moshe who claims that it is preferable to have this loop directly next to the "yud" on the bottom of the tefillah. This is also the opinion of the Bahag who says that the loop should be closer to the heart (just like the "yud") and the Rosh.

The Biur Halacha adds that he feels that the location of the knot is not me'akev and therefore one should follow his custom.

To add a bit of "Chassidish" meaning, I was once told by a Lubavitch Chassid that one should wrap out, as opposed to in, to remind himself that he should give before he takes.

share|improve this answer
The explanation for wrapping in, as opposed to out, is to publicly show (over the top) the love (in towards the heart) that one has for the mitzvah. – Ask613 Jan 15 at 14:21

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.