Take the 2-minute tour ×
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. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What is the minimum width of tefillin straps?

For example: if one's tefillin straps partially tore, how much is required to remain for the tefillin to remain Kosher?

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 27:11 says that the straps should be at least the width of a grain of barley. The Halacha Berura says that this amounts to 1 cm, or 2/5th of an inch, but one should preferably ensure that the Tefillin be at least 1.1 cm, or .44 inches, wide.

share|improve this answer
    
This. From Sefer Hamitzvot too - How are the straps made? We take leather straps [at least] the length of a barley-corn in width. If they are wider than that, they are acceptable. –  zaq Aug 2 '11 at 19:52

Minimally the retzuah must be 9mm wide. For Ashkenazim they should preferably be 11mm according the the Chazon Ish. 10mm width is sufficient for Sephardim.

share|improve this answer
3  
Can you source these lengths? –  Double AA Sep 19 '12 at 19:10

Rambam rules (Tefillin 3:12) that the minimum width for the straps is a barleycorn. In :19 he notes that anything narrower is invalid.

The Semag (Aseh #22) rules that the straps should be between a barleycorn and the width of a grain of wheat (I'm not sure how big that is). If they are wider or narrower than that, though, they remain valid.

Rosh and the Tur (OC 27) rule that a barleycorn is the ideal width, but they too accept that narrower straps are kosher.

The Shulchan Aruch (OC 27:11) rules that straps narrower than a barleycorn should still be worn (it seems with a Bracha) when no other straps are available. While the Mishna Berura there limits this to where the straps are at least the width of a grain of wheat, the Aruch haShulchan there (27:22) does not and calls the whole requirement for any minimum width only a Hiddur Mitzva.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

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.