Strange but simple question.

I own a pair of Tefillin and because of the width of my arms I always struggle to get the final strap wrappings for the arm Tefillin down to my finger knuckles. I can accomplish it but it requires an extremely tight grip and multiple attempts. It makes it hard for me to easily do the mitzvah like other Jews.

Is it legally acceptable to have your strap length increased or is the length a religious standard which no Jew has the liberty of altering?

Are there shops which do this?

  • 1
    Shel Rosh is dealt with at judaism.stackexchange.com/q/9225/759
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 21:00
  • 3
    You can buy a new strap for around ~$40. Contact your local Judaica store.
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 21:02
  • @DoubleAA Appreciate it, thank you. And have a lovely Shabbos.
    – user15672
    Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 21:04
  • My problem with tefillin is similar, except it's that my arms are thin and I have to wrap the strap several times around my hand. Of course, I could just cut the strap to the proper length, but I don't really want to do that for various reasons.
    – ezra
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 0:51
  • This often happens to people who get a strap perfectly measured for their size at Bar Mitzvah and then they do what teenagers usually do and grow a ton. That nicely chosen strap length ... isn't so nicely chosen anymore. I once borrowed a younger cousin's tefillin and had to wrap only twice around my arm to get it to my hand. At that time he was a foot and a half shorter than me - now he is my height and had to get new straps.
    – Moshe Katz
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 4:20

2 Answers 2


There is no universal rule on how long the teffilin straps have to be. The required size is dependent on the one wearing the teffilin. As long as the teffilin are long enough for the wearer, to accomplish what's written below, the teffilin are kosher for him.

Shulchan Arukh, Orach Chayim 27:8

אורך רצועה של יד כדי שתקיף את הזרוע ויקשור ממנה הקשר ותמתח על אצבע אמצעית ויכרוך ממנה על אצבעו שלשה כריכות ויקשור ונוהגים העולם לכרוך על הזרוע ששה או שבעה כריכות: הגה ואין לכרוך הרצועה על התיתורא כדי לחזקה על היד

The length of the strap on the tefillin of the hand [needs to be enough] in order to encircle the arm, and tie a knot from it, and stretch it over the middle finger, and wrap it around his finger three times, and tie it. And the global custom is to wrap it around the arm six or seven times....

There is no problem in buying a longer strap from a trusted sofer or judaica store and asking them to help you replace the old one.

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    You could also tie the new strap on yourself and make it more "lishmah": youtube.com/watch?v=VhX-CGeiK0U
    – ezra
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 0:54
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    @ezra are you saying that doing it yourself makes it more "lishma"? Why is that?
    – aBochur
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 3:17
  • Well, isn't that the way it goes with most mitzvos? Like, you can either tie your own tzitzis and specifically fulfill the mitzvah of tzitzis, or you can have someone else tie them and fulfill the mitzvah that way. A lot of people encourage doing the mitzvah yourself if you're able.
    – ezra
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 3:21
  • @ezra i guess you meant that it's more mehudar instead of lishma?
    – aBochur
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 3:26
  • Perhaps I mean both. I'm not an expert in using these terms. Mehudar is probably closer to what I'm talking about.
    – ezra
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 3:29

There is no halakha that the arm strap even has to be wound around the arm seven times... just wind it less than 7 times and your problem is roundly dismissed! That it must be seven times is a modern day chumra but people act like Moses gave it.

  • 3
    Minim, welcome to Mi Yodeya. Your answer sounds correct to me. But, you need to support it with some source.
    – DanF
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 3:27
  • this is correct, see e.g., yeshiva.co/ask/?id=6076, but would be ideal to edit this sort of sources into your answer
    – mbloch
    Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 18:36

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