I recently inherited an older tefillin. It has two double square knots for the rosh straps, head. These join to form a circle like this image.

What does the dual knot symbolize? Is that kosher?

Todah Rabah

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    Welcome to Mi Yodeya, Scott. I hope you enjoy this site and spend much time here. FWIW, we are not a resource for p'sak halacha, so you should take any halachic advice you receive here with a grain of salt and consult with a competent rabbinic authority for any serious questions. Also, it would be nice if you could link the image you referenced. Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 1:23

3 Answers 3


see this: double dalet (not the square) knot

If you are referring to the double knot below.
Quote from site: "There is a third, rarely seen, type of knot which is made from two ד knots – an inverted ד under a regular ד. This is most likely the true “double-ד” knot2. This double-ד knot is mentioned by some sources as having kabalistic origins, but many authorities discourage its use." enter image description here

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    Hi Arsen. Thanks for your recent updates to your posts. Looking forward to seeing you around :) Keep it up
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 17:32

It is well known that the Rav (Soloveitchik) held everyone should follow their families minhagim and not pick up minhagim from him or elsewhere. However,he held that when it came to the minhag of not sitting in the sukka Shimni Atzertz and using the double daled for the shel rosh one should change their family minhag. This is recorded in Nefesh HaRav(Rav Herschel Schacter- talmid of the Rav) pg. 105- 106. Other talmidim have said this as well bshem the Rav orally.

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    How do we know he was referring to the knots in the picture of the OP's question and not the more standard square knot that people call a double dalet?
    – user6591
    Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 14:08
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    its a kal vchomer,if he didnt hd of the double then certainly this type since many who use standard double dont hold of this type
    – sam
    Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 14:10
  • Interesting. Probably a very valid point. But then we need to clarify the problem with the square ones and apply the logic of the kal vichomer to these very interesting looking ones.
    – user6591
    Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 14:13

See Shulchan Aruch OC 27, 10 and Magen Avraham sk 16:

  1. The first question is if someone can argue that a knot is not Kasher at all. For we need clear instructions. In this regard, here is what is provided by Shulchan Aruch and Magen Avraham:

    • Shulchan Aruch:

    ‏ צָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַקֶּשֶׁר מֵאֲחוֹרֵי הָרֹאשׁ לְמַעְלָה בָּעֹרֶף. צָרִיךְ לְכַוֵּן הַקְּצִיצָה שֶׁתְּהֵא בָּאֶמְצַע כְּדֵי שֶׁתְּהֵא כְּנֶגֶד בֵּין הָעֵינַיִם, וְגַם הַקֶּשֶׁר יִהְיֶה בְּאֶמְצַע הָעֹרֶף וְלֹא יִטֶּה לְכָאן אוֹ לְכָאן, וְצָרִיךְ שֶׁיְּהֵא הַמָּקוֹם שֶׁבַּקֶּשֶׁר שֶׁנִּרְאֶה כְּעֵין דָּלֶ''ת לְצַד חוּץ: ‏

    The knot must looks as a Dalet (ד) from the external side.

    • Magen Avraham:

    מכאן משמע שאין עושים דל"ת אלא מצד אחד דלא כמו שנוהגין קצת לעשות ב' דלתתי"ן משני צדדים . ‏

    He start the paragraph saying that the Shulchan Aruch stated against people who have the custom to make 2 Dalet in two sides {loosely as this <>}

    Iam not sure that he told about the double Daled of Maharam Milonzano (see below), but it seems that he spoke about this, a square without hole Shimusha Rabba, or this of RI Alexandri. But it seems from that out of the Dalet of Rashi.

2 . But the Magen Avraham concludes against the existence of any reason to argue that a knot is not Kasher.

ואף על גב שיש מפרשים פירוש אחר על "נויהן לבר" דלא קאי על הדל"ת רק על השחור ותוספות בערובין דף צ"ז עמוד א' כתבו שזה הפירוש עיקר וכן מוכח שם בגמרא. ‏

But he goes on further to say that the Shulchan Aruch is based on the perush of Rashi for the Gemara Eruvin 97a "...The shape of the knot of the tefillin is a halachah that was given to Moses at Sinai, and R`Nahman explained: Their ornamentation must be turned outwards?" and Rashi commented that the knot seems as the letter Daleth. And Magen Avraham concludes that this commentary is rejected by Tosfot and that the opinion of Tosfot is the most compelling.

3.So, following the Magen Avraham your "double dalet tefilin" are Kasher.

The Mishna Berura at this saif doesn't add nothing.

This knot in the photo is known as Kesher of Maharam Milonzano in name of Gure Haari and also known as Kesher Sanz. See in this book

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    If the Torah was given in Ivri script, and only switched over to Ashuri script in Ezra's day, would that mean that Moshe was given in Sinai a law to make the knot as a triangle? Or conversely: Do the customs about the knot reflect taking positions about which script the Torah was given to Moshe in? Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 19:25
  • @MichaBerger interesting question
    – kouty
    Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 19:48
  • As opposed to the script of the text itself on parchment inside the tefillin, which is actually given less prestigious heritage than a law decided by G-d at Sinai without any need for interpretation by a court of humans. Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 21:02
  • finished answer clarified
    – kouty
    Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 11:36
  • @MichaBerger The whole argument is about the daltet being seen from inside and/ or also from outside. Actually the dalet in ketav ivri has a whole in the center like a triangle before it goes down, if you out 2 dalets then you end up with like a square triangle with two lines going down representing the exiting retzuos, that actually would fit better the Sanz kesher. Commented Feb 14 at 2:37

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