In most Seddurim, at certain points during davening (Ashrei, Shema, etc.), it says to touch and kiss the tefilin. The Shulchan Aruch (28:1) says

חייב אדם למשמש בתפילין בכל שעה שלא יסיח דעתו מהם
A person should regularly touch his tefillin so that he should not become distracted from them

Is there any source for kissing the tefilin, or is it just "well-known" as this question says? (The Shulchan Aruch above doesn't say anything about kissing them.)
(This is not a question of whether or not it is preferable to kiss them in general, because the Shulchan Aruch finishes off the Siman saying scholars kiss their tefilin when putting them on and taking them off, rather, it is a question specifically at the times mentioned in the siddur, as mentioned here)

If there is a solid proof to kissing the tefilin, nowadays, when most shuls require a mask in order to attend, is it preferable to try to kiss the tefilin, e.g. stepping away to lower your mask? Would it count to touch the tefilin and put your hand to your mask? Or does it make more sense to only touch the tefilin.

  • Joseph Caro did not want Jews to kiss tephillin. It is a Muslim practice, not Jewish.
    – Turk Hill
    Jun 2, 2020 at 5:17
  • 7
    @TurkHill Joseph Caro wrote: מנהג החכמים לנשק התפילין בשעת הנחתן ובשעת חליצתן
    – Alex
    Jun 2, 2020 at 21:30
  • 5
    @TurkHill It is a Muslim practice to kiss your tefillin??
    – ezra
    Jun 2, 2020 at 21:31
  • 3
    What? I didn't know Muslims put on tephillin Jun 2, 2020 at 21:31
  • 1
    @KapinKrunch I didn't say they put on tephillin. I said that the practice of kissing "holy" objects was a Muslim practice.
    – Turk Hill
    Jun 2, 2020 at 22:56

1 Answer 1


Chayai Adam 14:15 says the Minhag is to kiss the Tefilin at the time of Mismush because of Chivuv Mitzva.

והמנהג לנשק בשעת משמוש... משום חיבוב מצווה

  • Any thoughts about the second part of my question?
    – Dani
    Jun 3, 2020 at 2:04
  • @Dani - My only thoughts on your second part are you do the best you can under extenuating circumstances. Jun 3, 2020 at 10:29

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