Questions tagged [tefilin]

Also called "phylacteries": a religious object worn by Jewish men, usually during morning weekday prayers.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
25
votes
3answers
6k views

Can a non-Jew don tefillin?

May a non-Jew or a person who is in the conversion process don tefillin? If not, what are the reasons that they cannot?
19
votes
6answers
697 views

Why put on Tefillin shel yad halfway?

When we put on the tefillin shel yad, I've noticed that virtually everyone ties the tefillin up until the actual hand (like a placeholder), puts on the shel rosh, and only then finally completes the ...
18
votes
3answers
988 views

Why aren't Tefillin called Totafot?

They're called Totafot in the Torah, so why do we call them Tefilin?
16
votes
5answers
2k views

Why does the Tefilin Shel Yad have a protective cover?

When you purchase Tefilin, the Tefilin Shel Yad has a protective cover. Why? Is it Halachically necessary?
15
votes
2answers
529 views

Are Rabbeinu Tam's Tefillin really Rabbeinu Tam's Tefillin?

I once heard from a Sofer the shocking revelation that Rabbeinu Tam's Tefillin do not actually follow Rabbeinu Tam's opinion. Is that correct? Did I misunderstand? Are there any Soferim in our ...
15
votes
2answers
328 views

Why kiss the tefillin by “poseach es yadecha”?

As mentioned in this question, there is a fairly widespread custom to kiss the tefillin at certain times during Shacharis, among them the parts of קריאת שמע that mention tefillin. One of these times (...
14
votes
5answers
559 views

Do Tefilin need to be painted with “special” ink?

When painting tefillin, are there any requirements regarding the ink (other than the need to be black)? Or is any ink okay to use? Like in the comments to this answer, shoe polish is recommended. Is ...
14
votes
1answer
500 views

Putting Tefillin on Un-educated Jews

May one put tefillin on an uneducated Jew without first explaining to him the laws of keeping his body clean and conveying to him the seriousness of the sanctity of tefillin (is that even possible?)?
14
votes
3answers
7k views

Putting on tefillin late

For whatever reason, I was unable to put on tefillin while davening shacharit this morning. However, I have access to tefillin now, and the sun has not yet set. After I put on the tefillin, what ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Rashi's Daughters wearing Tefillin

There is a commonly held "tradition" that Rashi's daughters wore Tefillin. One highly educated rabbi/professor has publicly stated that he's spent 35 years searching for a source but to no avail. ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Should I wear tefillin during Chol HaMoed?

If I don't have a known family minhag regarding this, how should I decide whether to wear tefillin during Chol HaMoed? Which communities generally follow each option, and what are the reasons behind ...
13
votes
2answers
892 views

When did people stop wearing Tefilin all day?

At what point in history did most religous people stop wearing Tefilin all day?
13
votes
4answers
772 views

May I drink water while wearing tefillin?

If I am wearing Tefilin, and I feel very thirsty, should I take off my Tefllin to drink, (if I am even allowed to interrupt) or am I allowed to drink water while wearing Tefilin?
13
votes
2answers
395 views

Falling with tefillin on

If one drops tefillin without their cover, they must fast or give charity (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch - Yalkut Yosef, Siman 44:2). If one is wearing tefillin and fell with them on, must one fast or give ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

Why do some people wrap their Tefilin around their arms 8 times?

I have seen people who wrap the Tefilin 7 times around their arm and some that wrap it 8 times around their arm. Why do the people who wrap it 8 times do so?
12
votes
1answer
522 views

Did the kohanim wear tefillin during their Temple services?

The Torah and the Gemara (especially in Yoma) gives us fascinating detail about the bigdei kahuna (clothes of the priests) that were worn in the Holy Temple. What is not clear is whether tefillin ...
12
votes
2answers
321 views

Is it possible to convert a rosh of a Rabeynu Tam Tefillin into a rosh of a Rashi Tefillin?

If I find a Rabeynu Tam Tefillin and I do not have another one, can I take it apart, and change the rosh (I know how to) from Rabeynu Tam to a Rashi Tefillin?
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Tefillin On Shabbos

Why do we not put on Tefillin on Shabbos? Why is one not allowed to put on Tefillin on Shabbos? And similarly, why is Tefillin Muktzah?
11
votes
3answers
748 views

Best practices for praying in public with talit and tefilin

I just learned that a flight out of New York was diverted because a flight attendant saw a passenger putting on tefilin and freaked out, thinking that he was strapping on bombs. So, do you have any ...
11
votes
5answers
410 views

Where in Davening do we kiss תפילין?

It is well-known (I assume) that one should kiss his תפילין when saying וקשרתם לאות... (twice) in שמע, when saying פותח את ידך... in אשרי, and עוטר ישראל בתפארה in ברכת השחר. Most Artscroll Siddurim ...
11
votes
3answers
469 views

Earliest halakhic sources for wearing both Rashi and Rabbenu Tam tefillin simultaneously?

Orach Chayim brings that pious men should wear both Rashi and R. Tam tefillin at once when davening (34:2-3). Do we know what the earliest halakhic sources recommending this are, and their reasoning? ...
11
votes
3answers
772 views

Is there a deeper significance of squares and cubes?

I've noticed that many of the structures in the Mishkan as well as elsewhere in Judaism are cubes and squares, or multiples of cubes and squares. The luchot are two half-cubes which combine to make a ...
10
votes
8answers
1k views

Are tefillin supposed to be removed before a bris (circumcision)? If so, why?

I remember in yeshiva one day as a bris was about to start after minyan, someone came around and told everybody, "take off your tefilin!" Recently I saw R' Moshe Feinstein explaining why we leave ...
10
votes
3answers
882 views

Did Rabbi Dovid Feinstein of Uzda wear tefilin that were Ktav Ari or Ktav Beit Yosef? What about his son?

The biographical sketch of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein that appears in the beginning of Igrot Moshe volume 8 states that his father, Rabbi Dovid Feinstein of Uzda, was born and raised Hassidic, but took on ...
10
votes
4answers
409 views

Why is there a dispute as to which tefillin are the correct ones?

Since the mitzvah of tefillin is observed every day except for Shabbos and festivals, there should have been continuous knowledge as to the correct order of the parshas. So how did it come about that ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Wearing Tefillin the Wrong Way

If: A) You don't have your Tefillin and the only pair available for you to borrow is for the opposite hand you generally use (ie, your dominant hand), or B) You have a cast or splint on your arm or ...
10
votes
6answers
375 views

God's Pair of Teffilin

How when moshe turns his head not to see God's face, he sees He's got on teffilin? I thought God had no physical form.
10
votes
2answers
400 views

Teffilin and women

Rashi's daughters are popularly described as having worn Teffilin, but apparently there is no such source, just a popular urban legend in Jewish circles. Are there any women described in Rabbinic ...
10
votes
2answers
577 views

Different Teffilin, now what am I required to do?

If I do not have my regular Teffilin one morning and need to borrow someone else's, but that person's Teffilin are different from mine, is that sufficient, or should I get a pair of Teffilin later on ...
10
votes
2answers
406 views

No mitzvah to wear tefillin every day?

I heard that the Bet HaLevi and the Peri Megadim hold that there is no Mitzva for a person to don Tefilin everyday. Can someone source these opinions and explain exactly what they are meaning to say?
10
votes
1answer
170 views

Why are the ends of Tefilin Retzuos cut on a slant?

I noticed than the end of my Tefillin Retzuos are cut on a slant. In the comments to this answer various reasons are postulated. What is the true reason?
10
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the difference between Rashi and Rabbeinu Tam's tefillin?

I understand that there are two types of tefillin, the standard Rashi, and Rabbeinu Tam's. How do they actually differ in construction and in makeup? I have heard that the scriptural passages are ...
10
votes
1answer
403 views

Illness with Talit and Tefillin

If one is wearing Talit and Tefillin and suddenly becomes violently ill, what should one do? One cannot enter a bathroom with them on; however, one also runs the risk of fouling himself, or ...
10
votes
3answers
282 views

Is a cochlear implant considered a chatzitza for tefillin shel rosh?

A cochlear implant is attached on the outside of the head as shown in this picture As you can see, there isn't much leeway to move the coil off the head into a different position as there is a magnet ...
10
votes
3answers
208 views

Were Tefillin worn in the Midbar?

Were Tefillin worn in the Midbar (40 years of wandering) before the Jews entered Israel? If so what Parshiot were in those Tefillin? According to those who say Moses wrote Deuteronomy at the end of ...
10
votes
2answers
674 views

How long after the Torah was given did the Jewish people start wearing tefillin?

From one of the explanations of eating milky foods on Shavuos, we understand that it was not possible to do all the mitzvos connecting with preparing meat for food immediately after accepting the ...
10
votes
1answer
206 views

Is there anyone today who only wears Rabenu Tam t'philin?

Is there anyone in our times who ONLY wear t'philin made according to the shitta of Rabenu Tam - to the exclusion of "Rashi" t'philin?
10
votes
1answer
273 views

Making Up Missed Tefillin-wearing

Over at Life in Israel, we find the following interesting psak story: As reported by Kikar, A frum, Haredi, man found himself in a faraway land with no Jews. The beginning of this sounds like the ...
9
votes
1answer
479 views

Speaking while wearing Tefillin

Is there a real halachic source for the widespread practice not to speak while wearing tefillin? Of course, one is required to keep his mind on the tefillin, and may not get drawn into conversations ...
9
votes
2answers
389 views

Laying Tefillin on Chol HaMoed Prior to the Shulchan Aruch

As a continuation to my question regarding why the Beit Yosef apparently deviated from his normal method of ruling in the case of laying teffilin on Chol HaMoed, I'm curious what the practice was ...
9
votes
3answers
609 views

What is the Minimum Width of Tefillin Straps?

What is the minimum width of tefillin straps? For example: if one's tefillin straps partially tore, how much is required to remain for the tefillin to remain Kosher?
9
votes
3answers
687 views

Why does one have to put on Tefillin every day?

Technically, one should wear Tefillin all day. We don't, since we can't keep ourselves clean the whole day. But we still put it on once a day during Shacharis, since we can presumably keep ourselves ...
9
votes
1answer
408 views

Removing Tefilin before Mussaf

I've seen some people remove their Tefillin before Mussaf on weekdays of Rosh Chodesh. Why do they do this?
9
votes
2answers
242 views

Cylindrical Tefillin

The wikipedia page on tefillin shows cylindrical tefillin found in the Cairo geniza, with reference to this image from here: The source from the wikipedia page cites this: Kiell, Norman (1967). The ...
9
votes
2answers
537 views

bracha on tefillin while sitting

The shulchan aruch apparently writes (by hilchos tzitzis) that one should stand while reciting birchas hamitzvah. Tefillin are a mitzvah. So why is the Sfardic minhag to sit while putting them on and ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the significance of the two letter shins (ש) on tefillin?

What is the significance of the two letter shins (ש) on tefillin? One side of tefillin has a regular shin (ש) and the second has four-prongs.
9
votes
2answers
168 views

Tefillin care- perspiration

Those of us who live in hot climates often sweat profusely during davenning. Talit are obviously an aggrevating factor. In my case, this is already discoloring the bottom of the shel rosh beit of my ...
9
votes
1answer
585 views

How does one wrap tefillin with a cast?

If I had a cast on my tefillin arm, how would I wrap tefillin? Would I only do the shel rosh? Or switch hands? (Assuming this is a full-arm cast.)
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Tefillin under Bar Mitzvah

Common practice is that a boy begins wearing Tefillin when he reaches Bar Mitzvah age, or perhaps a month (or three) prior. While there should be an obligation even earlier (under the rubric of ...
8
votes
8answers
744 views

Where can I buy kosher Tefillin scrolls?

Can anyone recommend a place/person to get kosher tefillin? I heard about the fraud with scrolls. There is no sofer or judaica store near me. Please include information about why you recommend the ...