I follow chabad custom which, when it gets down to my hand, I believe involves only wrapping one finger of the hand in addition to the palm. I make the shin on my arm. But the Shema says bind it on your hand as a sign. So shouldn't there be a shin on my hand like in Ashkenazi custom?

1 Answer 1


"Yad" can also mean "arm." The "sign on your arm" that you're binding is the tefilin box on your bicep. You get the mitzva no matter which way you wrap the straps around your hand.

  • I've always read this "yad" as "arm". How else could the אות be on your "yad", assuming of course that the ot refers to the parshiot, rather than the retzuah. Commented Jan 5, 2015 at 18:17
  • @NoachmiFrankfurt But there are still krichos (wrappings) around the hand, aren't there?
    – MTL
    Commented Jan 5, 2015 at 20:14
  • @Shokhet, there are (in all of the mminhagim I've seen) Commented Jan 5, 2015 at 22:20
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    @NoachmiFrankfurt That said, I'm fairly confident that the sign is the bayis, not the krichos ;-)
    – MTL
    Commented Jan 5, 2015 at 22:22
  • @Shokhet, agreed. Commented Jan 5, 2015 at 22:22

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