Also called "phylacteries": a religious object worn by Jewish men, usually during morning weekday prayers.

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Can a non-Jew don tefillin?

May a non-Jew or a person who is in the conversion process don tefillin? If not, what are the reasons that they cannot?
14
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1answer
357 views

Putting Tefillin on Un-educated Jews

May one put tefillin on an uneducated Jew without first explaining to him the laws of keeping his body clean and conveying to him the seriousness of the sanctity of tefillin (is that even possible?)?
14
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5answers
376 views

Why put on Tefillin shel yad halfway?

When we put on the tefillin shel yad, I've noticed that virtually everyone ties the tefillin up until the actual hand (like a placeholder), puts on the shel rosh, and only then finally completes the ...
14
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3answers
537 views

Why aren't Tefillin called Totafot?

They're called Totafot in the Torah, so why do we call them Tefilin?
14
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3answers
3k views

Putting on tefillin late

For whatever reason, I was unable to put on tefillin while davening shacharit this morning. However, I have access to tefillin now, and the sun has not yet set. After I put on the tefillin, what ...
13
votes
2answers
239 views

Falling with tefillin on

If one drops tefillin without their cover, they must fast or give charity (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch - Yalkut Yosef, Siman 44:2). If one is wearing tefillin and fell with them on, must one fast or give ...
12
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5answers
824 views

Why does the Tefilin Shel Yad have a protective cover?

When you purchase Tefilin, the Tefilin Shel Yad has a protective cover. Why? Is it Halachically necessary?
12
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2answers
313 views

Are Rabbeinu Tam's Tefillin really Rabbeinu Tam's Tefillin?

I once heard from a Sofer the shocking revelation that Rabbeinu Tam's Tefillin do not actually follow Rabbeinu Tam's opinion. Is that correct? Did I misunderstand? Are there any Soferim in our ...
11
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5answers
741 views

Why do some people wrap their Tefilin around their arms 8 times?

I have seen people who wrap the Tefilin 7 times around their arm and some that wrap it 8 times around their arm. Why do the people who wrap it 8 times do so?
10
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6answers
196 views

Do Tefilin need to be painted with “special” ink?

When painting tefillin, are there any requirements regarding the ink (other than the need to be black)? Or is any ink okay to use? Like in the comments to this answer, shoe polish is recommended. Is ...
10
votes
1answer
250 views

Did the kohanim wear tefillin during their Temple services?

The Torah and the Gemara (especially in Yoma) gives us fascinating detail about the bigdei kahuna (clothes of the priests) that were worn in the Holy Temple. What is not clear is whether tefillin ...
10
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3answers
384 views

Best practices for praying in public with talit and tefilin

I just learned that a flight out of New York was diverted because a flight attendant saw a passenger putting on tefilin and freaked out, thinking that he was strapping on bombs. So, do you have any ...
10
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5answers
256 views

Where in Davening do we kiss תפילין?

It is well-known (I assume) that one should kiss his תפילין when saying וקשרתם לאות... (twice) in שמע, when saying פותח את ידך... in אשרי, and עוטר ישראל בתפארה in ברכת השחר. Most Artscroll Siddurim ...
10
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3answers
185 views

Is it possible to convert a Rosh of a Rabeynu Tam Tefillin into a rosh of a Rashi Tefillin?

If I find a Rabeynu Tamm tefillin and I do not have another one , can I take it appart , and I know how to , and change the ROSH from Rabeynu Tam to a Rashi tefillin ?
10
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2answers
237 views

Different Teffilin, now what am I required to do?

If I do not have my regular Teffilin one morning and need to borrow someone else's, but that person's Teffilin are different from mine, is that sufficient, or should I get a pair of Teffilin later on ...
10
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3answers
541 views

Is there a deeper significance of squares and cubes?

I've noticed that many of the structures in the Mishkan as well as elsewhere in Judaism are cubes and squares, or multiples of cubes and squares. The luchot are two half-cubes which combine to make ...
9
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3answers
518 views

Did Rabbi Dovid Feinstein of Uzda wear tefilin that were Ktav Ari or Ktav Beit Yosef? What about his son?

The biographical sketch of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein that appears in the beginning of Igrot Moshe volume 8 states that his father, Rabbi Dovid Feinstein of Uzda, was born and raised Hassidic, but took on ...
9
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3answers
195 views

What is the Minimum Width of Tefillin Straps?

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?
9
votes
1answer
232 views

Teffilin and women

Rashi's daughters are popularly described as having worn Teffilin, but apparently there is no such source, just a popular urban legend in Jewish circles. Are there any women described in Rabbinic ...
9
votes
1answer
72 views

Why kiss the tefillin by “poseach es yadecha”?

As mentioned in this question, there is a fairly widespread custom to kiss the tefillin at certain times during Shacharis, among them the parts of קריאת שמע that mention tefillin. One of these times ...
9
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2answers
306 views

bracha on tefillin while sitting

The shulchan aruch apparently writes (by hilchos tzitzis) that one should stand while reciting birchas hamitzvah. Tefillin are a mitzvah. So why is the Sfardic minhag to sit while putting them on and ...
9
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1answer
179 views

Illness with Talit and Tefillin

If one is wearing Talit and Tefillin and suddenly becomes violently ill, what should one do? One cannot enter a bathroom with them on; however, one also runs the risk of fouling himself, or ...
8
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5answers
759 views

Rashi's Daughters wearing Tefillin

There is a commonly held "tradition" that Rashi's daughters wore Tefillin. One highly educated rabbi/professor has publicly stated that he's spent 35 years searching for a source but to no avail. ...
8
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2answers
429 views

Tefillin On Shabbos

Why do we not put on Tefillin on Shabbos? Why is one not allowed to put on Tefillin on Shabbos? And similarly, why is Tefillin Muktzah?
8
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3answers
279 views

Sources on covering tefilin shel yad

I've read several things about covering the tefilin shel yad : covering it with the tallit while fixing it covering it with the tallit for the entire tefila covering it with the shirt sleeve for the ...
8
votes
1answer
153 views

Baal haTanya's donning shel yad seated

I have heard that the baal haTanya put on his t'fila shel yad while seated (as S'faradim do). Does anyone have a source for this (or for the opposite: that he put on his shel yad standing)? If he ...
8
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2answers
433 views

When did people stop wearing Tefilin all day?

At what point in history did most religous people stop wearing Tefilin all day?
8
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1answer
125 views

Why are the ends of Tefilin Retzuos cut on a slant?

I noticed than the end of my Tefillin Retzuos are cut on a slant. In the comments to this answer various reasons are postulated. What is the true reason?
8
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1answer
205 views

Direction of Tefillin Winding

Why do some people have the custom to wind the Tefillin-Shel-Yad towards themselves, while others wind it away from themselves? What is the reason behind these two customs, and which sects of Judaism ...
8
votes
1answer
157 views

How does one wrap tefillin with a cast?

If I had a cast on my tefillin arm, how would I wrap tefillin? Would I only do the shel rosh? Or switch hands? (Assuming this is a full-arm cast.)
7
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2answers
237 views

How often should Tefillin be inspected?

Like the title says: how often should one have his tefillin inspected, and why was such a frequency chosen?
7
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2answers
206 views

May I drink water while wearing tefillin?

If I am wearing Tefilin, and I feel very thirsty, should I take off my Tefllin to drink, (if I am even allowed to interrupt) or am I allowed to drink water while wearing Tefilin?
7
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2answers
252 views

Tefilin with obstruction on hand

How should one tie his shel yad on his hand if his finger(s) have something on them, such as a splint for a broken bone in the left middle finger?
7
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3answers
527 views

Cutting Tefillin Retzuos

As we know, the outside of the tefillin's retzuos (phylacteries' straps) must be black. Lately, I've noticed that the very end of the retzuah of my shel yad (tefillin of the arm) is cracking and ...
7
votes
4answers
63 views

How to prevent tangling of tefilin and talit

I have been putting on talit along with tefilin for over a decade, and I still frequently get the strap of my shel yad tangled in the one of the fore-tzitzit of my talit when I'm winding it around my ...
7
votes
1answer
236 views

Removing Tefilin before Mussaf

I've seen some people remove their Tefillin before Mussaf on weekdays of Rosh Chodesh. Why do they do this?
7
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2answers
78 views

Is a cochlear implant considered a chatzitza for tefillin shel rosh?

A cochlear implant is attached on the outside of the head as shown in this picture As you can see, there isn't much leeway to move the coil off the head into a different position as there is a ...
7
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1answer
152 views

Why remove tfilin before talis?

I've heard why we put on the talis before tfilin (tadir or maylin bakodesh), but why take it off in the reverse order?
7
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2answers
431 views

What is the significance of the two letter shins (ש) on tefillin?

What is the significance of the two letter shins (ש) on tefillin? One side of tefillin has a regular shin (ש) and the second has four-prongs.
7
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1answer
121 views

Wrapping up Tefilin to form dove's wings

Gemara Shabbos 49a mentions a story about Elisha Baal Kenafayim who was saved by his Tefilin turning into dove's wings. Magen Avraham Orach Chaim 28:4 says the Minhag is to wrap the Tefilin like ...
7
votes
2answers
316 views

How long after the Torah was given did the Jewish people start wearing tefillin?

From one of the explanations of eating milky foods on Shavuos, we understand that it was not possible to do all the mitzvos connecting with preparing meat for food immediately after accepting the ...
7
votes
1answer
147 views

Is there anyone today who only wears Rabenu Tam t'philin?

Is there anyone in our times who ONLY wear t'philin made according to the shitta of Rabenu Tam - to the exclusion of "Rashi" t'philin?
6
votes
1answer
255 views

Speaking while wearing Tefillin

Is there a real halachic source for the widespread practice not to speak while wearing tefillin? Of course, one is required to keep his mind on the tefillin, and may not get drawn into conversations ...
6
votes
6answers
450 views

Are tefillin supposed to be removed before a bris (circumcision)? If so, why?

I remember in yeshiva one day as a bris was about to start after minyan, someone came around and told everybody, "take off your tefilin!" Recently I saw R' Moshe Feinstein explaining why we leave ...
6
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2answers
147 views

how to describe to a jew what tefillin is?

BH i very often have the merit of putting tefillin on jews that have never put it on. how do i describe to them what it does spiritually?
6
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4answers
223 views

God's Pair of Teffilin

How when moshe turns his head not to see God's face, he sees He's got on teffilin? I thought God had no physical form.
6
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2answers
236 views

Laying Tefillin on Chol HaMoed Prior to the Shulchan Aruch

As a continuation to my question regarding why the Beit Yosef apparently deviated from his normal method of ruling in the case of laying teffilin on Chol HaMoed, I'm curious what the practice was ...
6
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1answer
334 views

Wearing Tefillin the Wrong Way

If: A) You don't have your Tefillin and the only pair available for you to borrow is for the opposite hand you generally use (ie, your dominant hand), or B) You have a cast or splint on your arm or ...
6
votes
4answers
621 views

Should I wear tefillin during Chol HaMoed?

If I don't have a known family minhag regarding this, how should I decide whether to wear tefillin during Chol HaMoed? Which communities generally follow each option, and what are the reasons behind ...
6
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2answers
199 views

Why is there a dispute as to which tefillin are the correct ones?

Since the mitzvah of tefillin is observed every day except for Shabbos and festivals, there should have been continuous knowledge as to the correct order of the parshas. So how did it come about that ...