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

If one's tefillin have tiny white spots on the corners or edges of the batim, do these need to be painted black? Or must the spots be a certain size before anything must be done about them?

share|improve this question
Similar: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/26869 – msh210 Jul 16 '14 at 19:51

Tiny spots, or even larger ones, on the batim do not invalidate the tefillin. (MB 32:184

However, white spots on the straps, especially on the first loop which fastens the bayit to your arm do and must be fixed. These are very common and most people don't notice them right away. (Mishna Berurah 33:3:19)

share|improve this answer
But MB 32:184 actually implies one should be careful about blackness if possible. He doesn't say anything about small spots in particular, but I see no reason to think they should be any different. You're right when you say they "do not invalidate", but the question above is whether to paint them. – msh210 Jul 16 '14 at 19:48

I had that question for a Sofer once. The psak was that if the dot is less than a millimeter "or so" in isolation, then it is fine. In this specific case he looked at the Tefillin to determine, but that was the principle he was stating.

It may be mehudar in terms of making it look nice for the Mitzvah to make it completely black even if the dot itself is of no significance.

share|improve this answer

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.