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Mikshah tefillin are tefillin battim which have no filler material in the titurah (base). Why is filler material even necessary?

The photo below illustrates the thickness with a piece of filler (roughly a third of the titurah).non-mikshah bayit

Photos credit of R' Melech Michaels

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Not entirely clear on what "filler" is....mind commenting/editing your answer to explain more? – Shokhet Jul 3 '14 at 3:02
    
@Shokhet On tefillin.co.il, they describe it under the description of chumrot. tefillin.co.il/english/help/help.html#miksheh – Noach MiFrankfurt Jul 3 '14 at 14:15
    
@NoachmiFrankfurt, that link explains it all. "If the leather is not very thick, as is the case with most Tefillin, when folded completely there will not be room for the straps to pass through". What is your question? – Yishai Jul 3 '14 at 14:31
    
@Yishai, a cursory look at the above bayit shows that there would be room were the filler removed, as the hole in the mabarta need not be as thick as it is. – Noach MiFrankfurt Jul 3 '14 at 16:53

The filler material (typically a piece of leather) is needed to ensure the parallelism of the base with the rest of the tfilin, as the base is typically not thick enough on its own to be parallel.

There are special tfilin made in one piece but they are more expensive. See here for instance under "One Piece" and "Hardened" Tefillin.

I remember researching this before buying my son's tfilin and I didn't find a halachic opinion that considered this a hiddur (beautification).

Addendum: I have further looked into this. R Reuvain Mendlowitz in his book Inside stam (p. 172) writes

There is no halachic advantage to mikshah echad battim. The truth is that their supposed superiority is one of the great myths of the tefilin-purchasing process.

Nevertheless the quality of mikshah echad battim is often superior [...] as those who make mikshah echad battim are usually careful in many other halachic areas as well.

He brings a number of references incl. R Elyashiv. See also the very end of this article from R Moshe Flumenbaum in Hamodia.

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Mikshah ("hardened") tefillin are a recognised hiddur, particularly in Chabad. However, most authorities hold that it is unnecessary and makes an already costly pair of tefillin into a much larger investment. – Noach MiFrankfurt Nov 30 '15 at 18:21

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