As discussed in the answers to the question Why does Halacha say to tie your shoes in a specific order?, the primary reason for doing so has to do with balancing preferences for privileging both left and right. I recall reading somewhere that it was also the reverse order in which shoes are removed from a corpse, and the order we use symbolically differentiates the living from the dead. But I can neither remember where I might have read this, nor find any reference to it. Is there any basis to this connection?

(This is my first post on Mi Yodeya, so I apologize if this question is ill-formed or improperly-placed)

  • 2
    Welcome to Mi Yodeya, C_D!
    – mevaqesh
    Nov 15, 2016 at 20:43
  • Hello and welcome to Mi Yodeya. We're a friendly crowd :-) I viewed the answer in the linked question, and it seems that it has a reason other than the one that you mentioned regarding corpses. It also cites sources, there. I'm unclear as to what other answers you may be seeking.
    – DanF
    Nov 15, 2016 at 22:49
  • Thank you for your welcome! All I can think is that maybe I was conflating this halacha with the custom not to sleep with one's feet facing the door, which does have a comparison with a corpse as its basis. Maybe this sort of question isn't appropriate? An analogy: say this answer, which gives reasons for why we turn at the end of Lecha Dodi, had omitted "to comfort the mourners." If I recalled hearing that reason but didn't know the source, where would it be appropriate
    – C_D
    Nov 16, 2016 at 10:44
  • [continued because I ran out of room in that comment] to ask about comforting the mourners as a potential additional reason for turning? In this hypothetical, the "other answer" I would be seeking would actually exist, in the Taamei Minhagim. But in both the hypothetical and in the case of my question here, there's no way for me to know if my question will yield a "yes, you're thinking of Explanation X from Source Y" answer or a "this question has already been answered with sources; it's unclear what more you're looking for" answer. Apologies if this does not make my point clearer. @DanF
    – C_D
    Nov 16, 2016 at 10:45

1 Answer 1


This is an interesting question and is mentioned in Talmud (but I cannot remember the exact source).

You give "honour" to the right in which order you put the shoes on. This is partly derived from the order of the Temple service, and also we partly know from Jacob's blessing to Ephraim and Menashe that there is a special honour to the "right".

However we tie the left shoe first. Why? Actually it derives from the fact that Tefillin are worn on the left arm, and therefore when we "tie" we give honour to the left.

There is a particular link between the shoe-lace and the Tefillin from the recent parsha of Lech-Lecha when Avraham rejects the King of Sodom's offer of taking spoils of war and says he will not even take a thread or a shoe-lace.

The thread is likened to the Tallis which has the special Techeiles thread. The shoe-lace is likened to the mitzvah of Tefillin, and these mitzvot were a "special reward".

Thus we tie the left shoe first.

(This applies, presumably, only to someone who is right-handed).

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