I recently began putting on tefilin, and I had heard of meditations that one can do when putting on the tefilin. Does anyone know of any good meditative practices surrounding tefilin?

Or is their any writings anywhere that describes such meditations?

  • Many recite the Shema whilst wearing Tefillin. Is that the kind of thing you're looking for?
    – Double AA
    Mar 13, 2016 at 20:45
  • the contents of the tefillin provide a clue
    – ray
    Mar 13, 2016 at 21:21
  • In fact Tefilin are described in Tora as a physical boundary to the contents as ray says. Despite that it shows as a "black box" without message. Tefilin is a way to be attached to the principles contained inside. More, hesech Hadaat is prohibed.
    – kouty
    Mar 13, 2016 at 22:12
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    – mbloch
    Mar 14, 2016 at 4:53
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    If you are interested in tefilin and meditation, you should read Aryeh Kaplan's small book on tefilin and separately his book on Jewish meditation. A cursory review does NOT show specific meditations on tefilin (beyond the straight halacha in msh210's answer below), but both are excellent for someone interested in both topics and who just started with tefilin. Good luck !
    – mbloch
    Mar 14, 2016 at 4:56

1 Answer 1


The law (as codified in Shulchan Aruch 25:5, in my own, loose translation) prescribes:

He shall think, when donning them, that God commanded us to place these four paragraphs (which mention His oneness and the exodus from Egypt) on the arm near the heart and on the head near the brain in order that, 1, one recalls the miracles He did for us (which attest to His oneness and to the fact that He has the power and dominion to do as He wills on high and down here) and that, 2, one subjugates his soul (in the brain) and the heart (the seat of desire and thought) and thereby remembers the Creator and minimizes his pleasures.

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