I've been taught since little that one can't place a pair of Tefillins on the floor, and that one must carefully avoid not dropping them. But what is considered being on the floor? For example, can I place my tefillin above a book on the floor? What about a thick rug or a mattress? If my tefillin is in a bag or in a suitcase, can that suitcase be on the floor?

  • 1
    Where is the source prohibiting putting them on the floor? Perhaps that would provide details. Personally I would imagine it to be anything that people typically walk on. So a rug, but not a mattress.
    – A L
    Jan 31, 2016 at 23:56
  • Not a duplicate but of interest: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/26247
    – msh210
    Feb 1, 2016 at 4:04
  • @msh210 Thanks. This answer pretty much answers my questions: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/41032/11052
    – Gabriel12
    Feb 1, 2016 at 11:26

1 Answer 1


Placing Tefilin on the floor: See Gemoro Berachoth 23A:

ובלילה ||רש"י: ובלילה. כשהוא חולצן בביתו על מנת להצניע עד הבקר[1]
עושה להן כמין כיס טפח ||רשי"י: דחללו טפח דחשיב הכלי אהל להפסיק בינם לקרקע [2]
אמר אביי לא שנו (רש"י: דבעי טפח אלא בכלי שהוא כליין. כיס העשוי לצרכן דכליין קרוב להיות בטל אצלם הילכך בעינן דבר הניכר שיהא חוצץ בפניהם) אלא בכלי שהוא כליין אבל בכלי שאינו כליין אפילו פחות מטפח[3]

אמר מר זוטרא ואיתימא רב אשי תדע שהרי פכין קטנים מצילין (רש"י: בהיקף צמיד פתיל באהל המת ואף על גב דלא הוו טפח חייצי) באהל המת ‏

According to Rashi's explanation in the Gemara, one can not put tefillin on the floor without bag. If they are in a bag that is not theirs, It is allowed without additional condition. If they are in their bag, and if they to a height of a Tefach, it is allowed.. See also SA OC 43, 6 here

[1] A man removes his tefillin, he will hand his tefillin the next day only.
[2] He will put them in a bag. The bag will maintain them at a height of 1 Tefach above ground.
[3] This measure is to be taken for the special Tefilin's bag . Another bag may have a very narrow base. Even if the tefilin would be close to the ground., It does not matter, because of separating bag or suitcase it is permitted.

  • How much is a tefach?
    – Gabriel12
    Mar 14, 2016 at 19:29
  • @Gabe12 9,6 or 8 cn
    – kouty
    Mar 14, 2016 at 20:02
  • @gabe A Tefach is the size of your fist.
    – Double AA
    Mar 14, 2016 at 20:11
  • @DoubleAA, is it variable?
    – kouty
    Mar 14, 2016 at 20:12
  • @kouty what if the bag's on the floor but the tefillin are in the upper part of the bag?
    – Gabriel12
    Mar 14, 2016 at 20:31

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