I have noticed many different styles of wrapping tefillin over the hand, fingers, and palm, as seen below.

My question is what is the significance of this, and who does this, and is it something specific to a certain Chassidus?

*Note my question is only about the difference in terms of Sefard style and not Ashkenazi and Sepharadi

Like this

  • Related judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/59986/…
    – Chatzkel
    Jul 21, 2021 at 2:15
  • 7
    Note your middle image is clearly someone using paint to draw scribbles
    – robev
    Jul 21, 2021 at 13:22
  • My brother-in-law showed me he wraps the tefillin so the shin is face inward toward him, while I learned to wrap so it's facing outward.
    – Izzy
    Jul 21, 2021 at 13:41
  • 1
    @robev I was wondering what sect that was, it looked complicated xD
    – Yehuda
    Jul 21, 2021 at 15:06
  • @robev hahhahaha
    – Lgrig
    Jul 21, 2021 at 21:48

1 Answer 1


Reishit Chachmah, Shaar HaKedushah, ch. 6 (on Sefaria it's number 103)

ואגב מבואר שהרצועה שאנו כורכין באצבע היא טבעת הקידושין שהזכר נותן לה, ומכאן היה אומר מורי ע"ה שאין ראוי לכרוך הרצועה על האצבע עד שיניח תפלה של ראש שהוא סוד הזכר, שאם עדיין לא בא הזכר קדושין מהיכן, וכן מנהג רוב ישראל, ואין ראוי לשנות המנהג. וכן היה אומר מורי ע"ה שכריכה זו שבאצבע צריך שתהיה מעומד, שהזכר המקדש את האשה מקדש אותה מעומד, שהקדושין הם מעלמא דדכורא, ודרכו מעומד. והכריכות צריכות שיהיו ג' כדפי' ברעיא מהימנא (פ' פנחס דף רכח ע"ב), והעתקנו לשונו לעיל

The Pesukim we say while wrapping also correspond to the encircling that's done under the Chuppa. Since "Varastich" is mentioned 3 times in the passuk we wrap it 3 times around the finger.

I've seen some who say that is why we use the middle finger as that used to be the ring finger (I believe today most use the 4th finger).

Along these lines, if you look at all the different versions, they all have the basic 3 times around the finger and then either an additional 2 which equals 3 counting the first finger, or an additional 3 rings around the fingers or circling first 1 finger then 2 then 3 etc. But they all seem to work in sets of 3's.

  • 3
    The three times around the middle finger are universal, done by all Chasidish, Ashkenazi, Sefardi, and Teimani traditions, AFAIK. The question is about the Shin wrappings and additional nuances.
    – Mordechai
    Jul 21, 2021 at 21:35
  • 1
    The shin is also almost universal, with a variation of direction. The differences I've seen, and shown in the pictures are aside from the shin and middle finger.
    – Chatzkel
    Jul 21, 2021 at 22:12
  • 1
    No, Sefardim and Teimanim don't make a shin, nor Chabad. I remember seeing in kisvei Ari specifically not to make a shin.
    – Mordechai
    Jul 21, 2021 at 22:26
  • 1
    Interesting. All the pictures in the OP seem to have it
    – Chatzkel
    Jul 21, 2021 at 22:28
  • 2
    @Mordechai in the case of lubavitch chasidim and teimanim, the shin is made further up the arm by wrapping the strap over the box. this is true in many sefardi traditions as well
    – ezra
    May 17, 2022 at 23:14

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .