In the English translation of the "Higadeta" haggadah by Rav Yaakov Galinsky, on page 309, he describes when the Russians invaded Lithuania and broke into the yeshiva he was learning at, capturing the bachurim who were "illegally" learning there. He relates that "Somehow I managed to grab my tefillin before we were put on the train to Siberia---and on top of that, it was Shabbos. I was so jealous of my friends who had evaded capture!" My question is how was Rav Galinsky permitted to grab his tefillin, given that it was Shabbos and tefillin are muktzeh?

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    This is a thoroughly discussed question in the context of the Israeli army, where soldiers often enough have to change locations on Shabbat and want to bring their tefillin along
    – Double AA
    Commented Nov 15, 2020 at 3:04

1 Answer 1


Under the circumstances he was in even if tefillin are muktzah he was allowed to touch them.

According to many (not all) Poskim, Tefillin are muktza. The reason is because one may not wear Tefillin on Shabbos or Yom Tov so therefore they are a Keli Shemilachto Leissur.

There are however situations where one may move Tefillin on Shabbos like to prevent them from being stolen or destroyed (see Mishna Berura 31:2 and Biur Halacha 31:1) It is safe to assume that had Rav Galinsky left his tefillin in the Yeshiva after the Russians invaded both of those things would have happened to them

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    But some hold tefillin are muktza machmat chisaron kis (at least nowadays generally speaking)
    – Double AA
    Commented Nov 15, 2020 at 4:03
  • @Double AA I can assure you that in Novardok they couldn't afford tfillin which would be considered Muktza machmas Chisoron Kis
    – Imanonov
    Commented Nov 17, 2020 at 18:47

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