When we put on tefillin, we (I am Ashkenazi) say 2 brachot -- l'haniach tefillin and al mitzvat tefillin.
The second makes sense -- I am making a bracha on fulfilling the mitzvah of tefillin. But what is the definition of "l'haniach"? Is it "to place" or something more?
I ask because I wonder what the action is that is required -- I do not "tie" my tefillin when I put them on so "ukshartam" must mean something besides tying like a knot. Is the mitzvah in the wearing of them or in the wrapping, neither of which is either "placing" or "tying."
Could I buy "pre-wrapped" tefillin and fit my arm in like a sleeve so the various parts end up in the right spot? Or is there something about the process which is required?
[if you look up the phrase "pre-wrapped tefillin" you will come up with something my dad thought up a bunch of years ago as a gag. Now I wonder if it could be halachically feasible]
Five and a half years later, a new subtlety -- What about someone who is a righty with only a useful left arm? I saw someone have the arm/hand tefillin wrapped on him by someone else. If the verb is "to place" then who makes that bracha? The one who is actively wrapping? Or the one on whom it is wrapped?