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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5answers
361 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
494 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
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3answers
195 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
738 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
300 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 ...
12
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1answer
341 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?)?
11
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5answers
685 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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5answers
169 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
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1answer
220 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
176 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 ?
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2answers
219 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
505 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
493 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
175 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?
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2answers
286 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
168 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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2answers
380 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
356 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 ...
8
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1answer
150 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
400 views

When did people stop wearing Tefilin all day?

At what point in history did most religous people stop wearing Tefilin all day?
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1answer
180 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 ...
8
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1answer
123 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
196 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 ...
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5answers
704 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. ...
7
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2answers
229 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?
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4answers
223 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 ...
7
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2answers
240 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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1answer
150 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
288 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
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1answer
143 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
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1answer
241 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 ...
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6answers
413 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
138 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
220 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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1answer
307 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
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4answers
614 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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1answer
171 views

Replacing a lost cover for a tefillin shel yad

My tefillin shel yad had a cover that could slip on and off but the cover is lost and needs replacement. Is there a way I can determine the size so I can ask for a replacement? Are there standard ...
6
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3answers
497 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
247 views

Is cold weather bad for tefillin?

The winter season is around the corner and I am wondering if it's damaging to leave tefillin out in the cold (I usually leave mine in a room with no heat). Would this ruin the tefillin because of ...
6
votes
2answers
184 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?
6
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3answers
252 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
77 views

Why 1 box for the tefillin shel yad and 4 boxes for the shel rosh?

Why does the tefillin shel yad (hand) have 1 box and the shel rosh (head) have 4 boxes? I know it's because of the physical "structure", i.e. - the yad has 1 parchment and the rosh has 4 separate ...
6
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1answer
155 views

What is the origin of the dispute on which way to wrap tefilin shel yad?

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 ...
6
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2answers
138 views

Can tefillin be what covers our heads?

If we have our heads covered by a kippa/yarmulka to remind that HaShem is above us, does wearing tefilin fulfill that requirement?
6
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2answers
181 views

Contemporary rabbinic views on social pressure to get people to do Mitzvoth

Background While on vacation recently, I was walking down the street with a newly acquainted co-traveler, when we were approached by a young Lubavitch Yeshivah student encouraging Jewish men to lay ...
6
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1answer
353 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.
6
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1answer
665 views

What is the difference between Rashi and Rabbeinu Tam's tefillin?

I understand that there are two types of tefillin, the standard Rashi, and Rabbeinu Tam's. How do they actually differ in construction and in makeup? I have heard that the scriptural passages are ...
6
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1answer
193 views

No mitzvah to wear tefillin every day?

I heard that the Bet HaLevi and the Peri Megadim hold that there is no Mitzva for a person to don Tefilin everyday. Can someone source these opinions and explain exactly what they are meaning to say?