As mentioned in this question, there is a fairly widespread custom to kiss the tefillin at certain times during Shacharis, among them the parts of קריאת שמע that mention tefillin.

One of these times (recorded in this answer to the above question) is "פותח את ידיך" "poseach es yadecha" "You open Your hand" in Ashrei*. While I understand that the instances in קריאת שמע where we are commanded to put on tefillin have a connection to tefillin, I don't quite understand the connection between tefillin and this phrase in Ashrei.

Where's the source for this custom (kissing tefillin by "poseach"), and why specifically "poseach"?

* While I haven't checked many siddurim, this custom is mentioned in the Artscroll siddur, by both instances of Ashrei in Shacharis.


2 Answers 2


Taamei Haminhagim - page 548 / קע"ז & page 549 says that since when we say Poseach Es Yadecha we are supposed to have in mind the Roshei Teivos פא"י and the Sofei Teivos חת"ך which are the Shaimos of Parnasa. Therfore we put our hands on the Tefilin at this point to show that we are only requesting Parnasa in order to be able to do Mitzvos.

  • 1
    Why not on our Tzitzis?
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 17:08
  • @DoubleAA: see my answer to judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/7331/… where it mentions the Gemara and Shulchan Aruch that mention a person should constantly be touching his Tefilin. Perhaps that is the reason we touch the Tefilin rather than the Tzitzis. Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 17:18
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    @GershonGold But that doesn't explain why not to kiss tzitzit at mincha if the goal is to touch something related to mitzvot.
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 17:19
  • @DoubleAA: Good point. Never thought of why we do not do this by Mincha. I think it would make an interesting question. Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 17:22
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    I think it already is an interesting question which makes this answer here not that compelling. It is sourced though so no downvote.
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 17:48

the minhag to kiss the tefilin during ashrei is described by rabbi yaacov rakowski, z"l, in his book aruchat bat ami, p. 338, quotting orach chaim, 51:7. the simple reason, he says, is to prevent "hisach da'at" from wearing tefilin. verbis expressis r. rakowski makes connection to minhagei ashkenaz.

  • Thank you for your answer and welcome to the site. Would you please add a definition of "hisach da'at" to clarify what you are trying to explain.
    – Mike
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 9:37
  • This makes sense, I suppose, but why specifically at this particular point during davening? Does Rabbi Rakowski make mention of that? This sounds like it might be a better answer to judaism.stackexchange.com/q/38592/5323
    – MTL
    Commented Feb 14, 2016 at 12:37

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