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I've noticed that some tefillin have very sharp edges at the base of the titura. As many people may have noticed, this can become highly uncomfortable while davening.

Does anyone have a solution for this problem which won't passul tefillin?

  • You can wear the shel yad under a jacket /shirt sleeve, which may solve part of the problem. I have no solution for the shel rosh, but I don't think that's what you're asking about. You may want to translate the term "yitura". I'm not 100% sure what it refers to. – DanF Jul 1 '15 at 23:16
  • @DanF, the titura is the base of the bayit, the part which also has the mabarta (through which the retzuah is inserted). – Noach MiFrankfurt Jul 2 '15 at 1:02
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I understand to what you are referring and know from my own experience how painful (and pinching) the edges of the titura can be. It distracts from kawannah and tefillah.

The only requirement for square angles and corners in with regard to the bayith itself (whether of the shel yadh or the shel rosh), the shape of the stitching around the base, and the four corners which are stitched in order to create the tovar (ma'abarta). See Mishneh Torah, Hilkhoth Tefillin 3:1-19.

Further, none of the items listed in the reference above with regard to what causes pesiluth in tefillin relate to the edge around the bottom of the tefillin.

This being the case, it is my suggestion that you take your tefillin to a sofer who is willing and have them use a small sanding or grinding tool (frequently used by soferim who manufacture tefillin) and ever-so-slightly round the sharp edge around the bottom of the titura (i.e. the unpainted part that rest against the arm). Doing so will do absolutely no damage to the squareness of the corners on your shel yadh and will most likely not even be noticeable to anyone but you.

Le`aniyuth da'ati, this is a fairly simple solution that will in no way posul your tefillin.

[NOTE: I would warn against attempting to make any alteration whatsoever on one's own tefillin. All such changes - with the possible exception of touching up the paint on the batim - should ONLY be made by a qualified sofer.]

Hope this helps. Kol tuv.

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    Maimonist, while I respect your adherence to the Mishneh Torah, most of us hold by other rishonim and achronim in addition to the Rambam. I suspect that if the Mechaber and the Rema agree on this issue, it would serve a wider audience. – Noach MiFrankfurt Jul 2 '15 at 1:04
  • It's more like if the Mehaber and Rema agree on it then it would be easier for more people to swallow. I say this because about 85% of the text of the Shulhhan Arukh is lifted verbatim from the Rambam and the rulings of the Rema are often taken from the Rambam at points where the Mehaber departs from him. Kol tuv – user3342 Jul 2 '15 at 4:25

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