I was web-searching earlier when I came across this: http://kesher-tefillin.com/. This discusses a programme in which students make their own tefillin peshutim. I saw that they had a link for haskamot, however, when I visited it, I saw that you need to email them to get them. Does anyone know if this is actually kosher, who gives their hashgachot, and who gives them their haskamot?


First of all, not everyone is in a position to spend ~$1000 or more on a pair of tefilin nor does everyone understand why they would want to do so and many people would write tefilin off (no pun intended) as out of their price range if they thought that was the price range. Anyone keeping genuinely kosher peshutim in the market is, IMHO, doing a very good thing. That being said, one thing seems suspect to me.

He bills this as a pre- Bar Mitzvah project. Having people under bar mitzvah make tefilin enters into controversial territory. While RaMBaM holds that anyone can make the leather for battim because untouched rawhide would be just as good, and any ibbud is therefore not essential, others including the mechaber disagree (O"C 32). Furthermore, the kids are not making the leather, they are folding the parchment into battim, inserting the parshiyos, and sewing them up, all of which are essential so RaMBaM's argument would not apply. I recall a section in the Keset which touches on what pesulim can and can't do but I'm pretty sure inserting parshiyos and sewing battim is on the can't list (given that a qualified sofer is supposed to know Keset by heart, I should definitely start another chazara).

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  • The first thing that really got me suspicious was that he embossed the shins, something which I have heard is not kosher, according to most authorities. Also, the lack of haskamot on the page devoted to such seemed highly suspicious to me. – Noach MiFrankfurt Feb 26 '14 at 17:57
  • Where did you see embossed shins? – Yitzchak Feb 26 '14 at 18:00
  • He goes through his process online and mentions that he has a special hand press for embossing shins. – Noach MiFrankfurt Feb 26 '14 at 19:10

Per Kesher Tefilins website

My semi-original design has the halachic approval of Rabbi Nissim Karelitz and his rabbinic court. Rabbi Karelitz is one of the pre-eminent rabbis and halachic decisors of this generation; In addition, the official rabbinical authority over the "Kesher Tefillin" project (as I am calling it) is Rabbi Saul Berman, a very prominent American Orthodox rabbi.

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  • I guess I looked at the wrong part of the website, although I would like to see our tefillin mumchim answer before I choose an answer, as the whole thing seemed a bit suspect to me. – Noach MiFrankfurt Feb 26 '14 at 16:21

Here is the link: http://www.filedropper.com/letterskeshertefillin

This is the response from Vaad Mishmeres Stam of NY after I sent them a sample of the Tefillin made at our school which local Sofrim found problematic. There is also a retraction/ clarification by Rav Sriel Rosenberg, the son-in-law of Rav Nissim Korelitz. Vaad MishmeretStam of Israel wrote up the the minutes of their meeting with Rav Rosenberg who confirms their accuracy in his hand-writing at the bottom of the page. Aryeh Solomon SYDNEY Australia

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  • Update 2018: Link no longer works. – ezra Oct 11 '18 at 2:54

Vaad Mishmeres Stam has ruled definitively that Kesher Tefillin are NOT kosher.

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    How do you know this? Why do they say this? – Double AA Jun 9 '16 at 6:48
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    Aryeh, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks for your first answer! MY places a lot of emphasis on sources (after all most of us don’t know you personally). Maybe you will be interested by something I wrote to help you understand the site "A beginner’s guide to MY - How is this site different from other Judaism sites” ? I hope you find more Q&A of interest and stay learning with us! – mbloch Jun 9 '16 at 12:32
  • Add link to the psak – sabbahillel Jun 9 '16 at 13:35
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    Arieh Shalom Rav. I think that without proof your post is less strong. Give please a link. – kouty Jun 10 '16 at 13:31
  • Here are the documents from Vaad Mishmeres Stam:filedropper.com/letterskeshertefillin – Aryeh Jun 21 '16 at 2:35

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