The Ashkenazi ArtScroll Siddur says to kiss your Shel Yad at “Yotzer Or” and Shel Rosh at “Borei Choshech”. What’s the source for this?

  • Unsourced, but interesting nonetheless: chesedclub.com/Tora-Study/View-List-Post.php?postID=608
    – ezra
    Nov 22, 2017 at 4:33
  • See halachipedia.com/…
    – mevaqesh
    Nov 22, 2017 at 4:48
  • @mevaqesh What's interesting is that Sephardim only touch the shel yad as per what the Ben Ish Hai says.
    – ezra
    Nov 22, 2017 at 4:56
  • For those who (like me) might find bothersome the fact that we kiss the tefillin shel rosh during saying choshech (hopefully our heads should be a place for light): a possible reason might be to make sure that they are well-adjusted, shortly before saying Shema, where an incorret positioning might be me'akev.
    – Binyomin
    Apr 12, 2020 at 12:00

1 Answer 1


Baer Hetev (OH 59:1) states:

כשאומר יוצר אור ימשמש בתפלה של יד וכשאומד ובורא חושך ימשמש בתפלה של ראש

When one says Yotser Ohr he should feel his arm tefillin, and and when he says uvore hoshekh he should feel the head tefillin.

Furthermore, Likkutei Torah to Shir HaShirim (4c), cited by R. Yitshak Yosef (here) states that they should be kissed.

The source for all of this is the Sha'ar HaKavanot (18b s.v. birkat yotser ohr) of R. Hayyim Vital citing the Arizal. (See Shu"t Vayashev HaYam 3:40).

These tend to be combined by touching the teffilin, and kissing the hand. It would be difficult to kiss the head tefillin in the middle of the berakha...

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