I’ve seen a lot of women (mostly Israeli) kiss their fingertips after covering their eyes for Shma. Is there a source for it or is that just another minhag that got picked up for no reason at all? I’ve asked around but either people don’t know what I’m talking about or they just say they do it because that’s how they were taught...


2 Answers 2


Some cover their eyes with the edge of their fingers when reading the verse of the Shema and then Kiss the fingers when finished.

The index, middle and and ring finger are flexed to form the letter Shin, the tumb is bent to form the letter Dalet and the fifth finger is bent to form a Yod; and thus spell Shadai.


  • The formation of the fingers is for cabalistic purposes - the kissing of the fingertips is not mentioned in the cabalistic sources; it's simply "hibuv mitzvah".
    – Oliver
    Nov 12, 2017 at 0:35

During the first two paragraphs of the Sh’ma when we say: Bind them as a sign upon your hand, and as a reminder above your eyes (first paragraph) & Bind them as a sign upon your hand; let them be a reminder above your eyes (second paragraph)

It is the custom (from the Shulchan Aruch) to touch the Tefila shel yad (hand) and kiss your fingers as you say “upon your hand” and touch the Tefila shel rosh (head) and kiss your fingers as you say “above your eyes”. Many people are conscious of this on Shabbat while not actually making this motion.

  • First of all, consider combining your answers. Second of all, I don't see what this has to do with the question. The question was about kissing the fingers after using them to cover ones eyes; not about kissing ones fingers after touching tefillin.
    – mevaqesh
    Nov 12, 2017 at 0:52
  • @mevaqesh, true, thanks for your feedback, I tried to show that this is not the only moment where one could kiss the fingers, and it's possible that because one kisses his fingers after saying covering one's eyes, one could possible also kiss the fingers after literally covering one's eyes; to show taughts and actions go together.
    – Levi
    Nov 12, 2017 at 15:00
  • But you aren't even covering your eyes "after saying covering one's eyes," but after saying "they will be a sign on your head between your eyes".
    – mevaqesh
    Nov 12, 2017 at 15:06
  • I have also seen people make the arm/forehead gesture when not wearing tfillin (presumably a carry-over from the tfillin custom).
    – Mike
    Nov 12, 2017 at 19:24
  • @mevaqesh sorry my mistake: still it's all part of the Shema prayer, I assumed a possible connection. Although I remind seeing people kiss the fingers on other moments to.
    – Levi
    Nov 12, 2017 at 20:31

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