When removing Tefillin, why do we start by taking off the finger, hand, and two windings of the forearm before removing the shel rosh? The shel yad needs to be on first and last. So why not simply remove the shel rosh right away with none of the shel yad? It's obviously not an "earth-shattering" matter. I'm just curious if there is a special reason for this. When I ask such questions, I generally learn that there is indeed a reason for the procedure. Many thanks. CHODESH TOV! CHAG SHAVUOT SAMEACH!

  • I'm not sure everyone does this. What nusach takes off their tefillin this way? Jun 1, 2022 at 11:56
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    I daven nussach Ashkenaz and take off my tefillin this way. Jun 1, 2022 at 12:18
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    Yes, I should have specified that, to the best of my knowledge, that is the Ashkenaz manner.
    – Sidney76
    Jun 1, 2022 at 16:37
  • In Heidenheim's siddur it's explicitly written: Beim Ablegen der תפלין, nach עלינו, werden zuerst die drei Ringe vom Finger entfernt, dann wird erst של ראש und hiernach של יד ausgezogen. You are just doing exactly the opposite way as you put it on. Jun 3, 2022 at 10:06
  • Thanks very much. Most interesting and helpful. (posting from Israel)
    – Sidney76
    Jun 5, 2022 at 19:41

1 Answer 1


From the Dirshu halacha email Daf HaYomi B'Halacha Daily Email - 28 Iyar/May 29

"According to the teachings of Kabbalah, the proper way to remove tefillin is by first removing the straps which are wrapped around the middle finger. Then -- because it is forbidden to wear the shel rosh without the shel yad -- the shel rosh is removed, followed by the shel yad. To show the wearer’s reluctance to remove his tefillin, the shel rosh should be removed with the left hand. In certain ways, the tefillin should be removed in the manner that they were put on." [שו"ע כח, ב, מג"א ב, ומשנ"ב ה-ו]

also from 11 Iyar/May 12, "Upon removing the tefillin, one must be careful to remove the shel rosh before the shel yad." [סעיף ו, ס"ק כב, וביה"ל ד"ה פגע]

  • The source seems to be the magen avraham there quoting a גלי רזיא which I assume is this kabbalistic work hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=24580&st=&pgnum=4 but I can't find anything about tefillin in it
    – Double AA
    Jun 1, 2022 at 14:55
  • Thank you VERY much, rosends. That is most interesting and helpful. I greatly appreciate your response and assistance. Chag Sameach!
    – Sidney76
    Jun 1, 2022 at 16:36

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