Siman 25: Seifim 13
1. After putting on one’s talis one puts on his tefillin since we rise in matters of sanctity. One who keeps his tefillin bag in his talis bag must not place the tefillin bag on top of his talis in order to avoid touching it first thus forcing him to put on his tefillin first so that he should not pass over a mitzvah. Nevertheless, if one’s tefillin are available and his talis is not he should put on his tefillin and when his talis arrives he will put it on then.
2. One who is careful to wear his talis koton should put it on and then after putting on his tefillin he should walk to shul and put on his talis when he arrives at shul. Common custom is that people also put on their talis at home with a beracha and then put on their tefillin before walking to shul.
3. Rosh would say birchos hashachar until the beracha of עוטר ישראל בתפאר ה and then he would put on his tefillin followed by the beracha of . עוטר ישראל בתפארה
4. One must have tefillin on when reciting Shema and Shemone Esrei.
5. One should have in mind when putting on tefillin that Hashem commanded us to put these four paragraphs that contain the unification of Hashem’s name and the exodus on our arms, near the heart and on our heads, near the brain so that we should remember the miracles and wonders. They also indicate His unity, power and dominion over the upper and lower worlds to do as He wishes. One should submit his neshama and desires to the will of Hashem in order to recall the Creator and limit one’s pleasures. The shel yad is put on first preceded by the beracha of להניח תפילין and then the shel rosh which is put on without a beracha since one beracha covers them both. According to others one should recite the beracha על מצות תפילי ן before putting on the shel rosh even if there was no interruption. (This is the custom that spread amongst Ashkenazim to recite two berachos. It is correct to say after the second beracha the pasuk (‘ .(ברוך שם כבוד וכו
6. If one touched his shel rosh first he is required to pass over that mitzvah and must put on his shel yad before his shel rosh.
7. The word להניח is pronounced with a komatz under the “ה” rather than a pasach with a dagesh.
8. One is required to recite the beracha immediately before performing the mitzvah, therefore, one should recite the beracha on the shel yad after it is resting on the bicep before tightening it in place. The beracha on the shel rosh is recited before one tightens the shel rosh in place on his head.
9. It is prohibited to interrupt by speaking between putting on the shel yad and the shel rosh and if one interrupts he must recite the beracha על מצות תפילי ן when putting on the shel rosh.
10. If one spoke between the shel yad and shel rosh for the purpose of tefillin he does not repeat the beracha. If one hears kaddish or kedusha he may not interrupt to respond; rather, he should be silent and pay attention to what is being said.
11. After tightening the shel yad on one’s arm he should put on his shel rosh before wrapping the retzua around his arm. There is an opinion who maintains that it is prohibited to remove the shel rosh from its bag before the shel yad is in place. Even if both are resting outside the bag one should not unwrap the shel rosh until after putting on the shel yad. There is an opinion that writes that one should put on the shel yad while sitting and the shel rosh while standing. (In our countries this is not the custom; rather both are put on while standing.)
12. Even if a person puts on tefillin many times a day he must recite a beracha each time he puts them on. If they slip from their correct place and he moves them back into place a new beracha is required. If he only moves one back into place he recites the beracha as though he is putting on only that tefila, as discussed in Siman 26. If one moved them from their place with the intent to immediately put it back into place he is required to recite a new beracha. According to some a new beracha is not required and that is the custom. If someone recited the beracha before putting on his shel yad and the knot ripped thus forcing him to repair the knot, as long as he did not become distracted new beracha is not required. If the shel yad becomes loosened before putting on the shel rosh he should retighten it and a new beracha is not required. If, however, he put on the shel rosh and then the shel yad became loosened he should tighten the shel yad and recite a new beracha. A beracha is recited on borrowed tefillin but not on stolen tefillin.
13. The custom is not to remove one’s tefillin until after reading kedusha of U’va L’Zion. There are those who write that one should not remove his tefillin until after the three kedushos and four kadaishim which is after the Kaddish Yasom and this is the custom of those who are meticulous in their mitzvah observance. On days that the Torah is read the custom is that tefillin are not removed until after the Sefer Torah is returned to the Aron. This applies only in those places where the Torah is returned after U’va L’Zion but according to the custom of our countries that the Torah is returned after Torah reading, the tefillin are removed the same as on other days. On Rosh Chodesh tefillin are removed before Mussaf. The same thing is true on Chol HaMoed but this is true only when Keser is recited in Kedusha of Mussaf. The custom, however, is to take off one’s tefillin before Mussaf in all cases.
Siman 26: Seifim 2
1. One who has only one tefila should put that one on with a beracha since each one is an independent mitzvah. Similarly, one who has a pair of tefillin but for some reason can not put on a tefila must put on the one that he can.
2. If one will only put on his shel rosh he recites the beracha of על מצות תפילין . According to our custom to regularly recite two berachos he should recite both berachos when he puts on his shel rosh but if he only puts on the shel yad he recites just the beracha of .להניח
Siman 27: Seifim 11
1. The correct place of the shel yad is one’s left arm on the bicep between the elbow and the armpit. The shel yad should lean towards the body so that when one straightens his arm the shel yad will face his heart and thereby fulfill the obligation to put one’s tefillin “on one’s heart.” The shel yad should be placed on the half of the bone towards the elbow rather than the half of the bone towards the armpit. One who does not have a forearm puts on tefillin without a beracha.
2. The custom is for the “yud” of the knot to be on the side towards one’s heart and the tefila away from the body. One should be careful that the “yud” should not become separated from the tefila.
3. The correct custom is for the ma’avarta which contains the retzua to be towards the shoulder and the ketzitza towards one’s hand.
4. There should be no interposition between one’s body and his tefillin, whether the shel yad or the shel rosh. This restriction applies to one’s tefillin but not to the retzuos.
5. If a person is sensitive to the cold and if he were to be required to wear his shel rosh on his scalp he would not wear them he is permitted to wear his shel rosh on a thin hat that is on his head but he should cover it out of concern for those who will see. Those who follow this practice should not recite the beracha on the shel rosh and should limit themselves to the beracha on the shel yad.
6. A “lefty” who performs all of his activities with his left hand puts his shel yad on his left arm which is everyone else’s right arm. If he is ambidextrous he should put it on his left arm. If he writes with his right hand but performs all other activities with his left hand or if he writes with his left hand but everything else he does with his right hand – Some maintain that he should put his shel yad on his weaker hand but according to others the hand he uses for writing is the more important hand and his tefillin are put on his other arm (and this is the custom).
7. Even if a person has a wound where his shel yad is placed he should still put on his shel yad because there is room for two shel yads because the place for the shel yad is from the middle of the bone that extends from the underarm to the elbow.
8. The length of the retzua is sufficient length to tighten around the arm and then extend to be able to wrap around three times around the middle finger. There is a custom to wrap the retzua around the forearm six or seven times. One should not wrap the retzua around the titura in order to hold it in place.
9. The correct placement of the shel rosh is from the hairline by the forehead until the end of the soft spot of a baby’s head.
10. The knot must be behind the head above the oref. Additionally, the ketzitza must be aligned in the middle of one’s head so that it could be “between his eyes.” The knot should also be aligned in the middle of the back of one’s head and should not be pushed to one side or the other. The visible part of the knot should appear like a daled. One must also be careful that the knot of the shel yad should not turn around.
11. The black side of the retzuos must face outwards. This applies to the shel yad and shel rosh. The retzuos of the shel rosh should hang in front and should reach at least one’s navel or a little above. The width of the retzua is the length of a barley kernel. If the retzua is too short or too narrow one should nevertheless wear them until he can obtain valid retzuos. The shel rosh should be visible but it is disrespectful for a student to allow his shel rosh to be visible to his rebbi. There is no preference whether the shel yad is visible or covered. It appears to me that nowadays since we wear tefillin only during davening a student may uncover his shel rosh before his rebbi and that is the custom.
Siman 28: Seifim3
1. A person should regularly touch his tefillin so that he should not become distracted from them. When doing so he should touch his shel yad first. When reading the words ” וקשרתם לאות על ידך ” he should touch his shel yad and when he reads לטטפת בין עיניך ” ” he should touch his shel rosh.
2. One should remove his shel rosh first since the words והיו לטטפת בין עיניך ” ” indicate that when wearing the shel rosh one should have them both (the shel yad and the shel rosh) on his body. The shel rosh should be removed while standing. One should place the shel yad in the tefillin bag on the shel rosh so that when he reaches in the bag he will touch the shel yad first.
3. The custom of scholars is to kiss their tefillin when putting them on and taking them off.
Siman 29: Seifim 1
1. One does not recite a beracha when removing his tefillin even when he removes them on Erev Shabbos during bein hashemashos.
Siman 30: Seifim 5
1. The time to put on tefillin in the morning is when one can recognize an acquaintance from a distance of four amos.
2. It is prohibited to put on tefillin at night out of concern that the person may fall asleep. If one put on tefillin before the sun set and they remained on after dark, even if they remained on all night it is permitted but one may not issue this ruling for others. If one did not remove his tefillin when the sun set because there was no safe place to store them it is permitted to continue wearing the tefillin and one may issue this ruling for others.
3. If one needs to travel earlier than the time for putting on tefillin he should put them on and when the correct time arrives he should touch his tefillin and recite the beracha. In this case there is no concern that he will sleep in his tefillin since he woke up early and is travelling.
4. If one was travelling with his tefillin on and the sun set or if he was in the Bais Midrash and Shabbos arrived he should cover his tefillin with his hand until he reaches his house and if there is a house close to the entrance of the city that is safe he should leave his tefillin there.
5. There is an opinion that maintains that if one davened maariv while yet day and has not yet put on tefillin he may no longer put them on that day.
Siman 31: Seifim 2
1. It is prohibited to wear tefillin on Shabbos or Yom Tov since they are an אות and if one were to also wear tefillin it would be a disgrace to their .אות
2. On Chol HaMoed it is prohibited to wear tefillin for the same reason, namely that Chol HaMoed is also an אות . There are those who maintain that one is obligated to wear tefillin on Chol HaMoed and the custom in all these regions is to put on tefillin with a beracha. The only difference is that the beracha is not recited out loud in shul as is normally done.
Siman 32: Seifim 52
1. The mitzvah of tefillin is to write the four parshiyos of קדש (Shemos 13:1-10), והיה כי (Shemos 13:11-16), שמ ע (Devarim 6:4-9) and והיה א ם (Devarim 11:13-21). These parshiyos must be written in this order which is the way they appear in the Torah and if someone deviated from this order they are invalid. L’chatchila, the shel yad should be written before the shel rosh.
2. The parshiyos of the shel rosh should be written on separate pieces of parchment as opposed to the shel yad which are written on a single piece of parchment.
3. The parshiyos should be written in black ink and may or may not include מי עפצים . Preferably the ink should be made from עשן עצים or oils soaked in מי עפצים as explained in Yoreh Deah (271). If even one letter was written in a different color or with gold it is invalid. If one sprinkled gold dust on the letters it must be removed and the ink that remains is valid but if the gold dust was sprinkled on Hashem’s Name there is nothing that could be done to remove the gold dust since it is prohibited to erase even part of Hashem’s Name.
4. One must make sure that two letters do not touch one another; rather each letter must be surrounded by blank parchment. The writing should be complete and even the tip of the “yud” should not be missing. The letters should have the proper tagin and preferably the letters should be wide so that they do not become erased quickly. It is also a mitzvah for the letters to be beautiful on the inside and the outside.
5. One must write with his right hand, even if he is ambidextrous. If one writes tefillin with his left hand it is invalid if ones written by a scribe with his right hand are available. A lefty should write with his left hand since for these purposes it is considered to be his “right” hand.
6. It is only necessary to score the first line. If one cannot write straight without scored lines he may score all the lines. The parchment should not be scored with lead because the scored line will remain colored. There are those that say that the parchment should be scored on top, on the bottom and on the two sides even if the scribe is capable of writing straight and this is the custom.
7. Halacha L’Moshe M’Sinai dictates that tefillin must be written on klaf rather than on duchsustus or on g’vil. The text is written on the side of the klaf that faces the flesh and if one deviated it is invalid. What is klaf and what is duchsustus? When the hide is treated it can be divided into two parts, the outer part towards the hair is called the klaf and the inner part towards the flesh is called the duchsustus. Accordingly, when halacha states that the text is written on the inner part of the klaf it means the side that faces he flesh, which is the place that it connects to the duchsustus. Our parchment which is not divided into two is considered klaf and the text is written on the side towards the flesh because the scraping of the outer layer which is the place of the hair is done just to smooth it out and even if the hide was divided in two this scraping would be necessary. On the side of the flesh a lot of scraping is necessary so that all that is left is the hide.
8. The klaf must be treated with עפצים or סיד and must be prepared for the sake of the mitzvah. It is best if the person treating the hide orally declares as he begins working with the hide that he is doing so for the sake of tefillin or a Sefer Torah but if it was made with the intent of a mezuzah it is invalid for use for tefillin.
9. If the hide was treated by a gentile, according to Rambam it is invalid even if a Jew instructed him to treat it for the sake of the mitzvah whereas according to Rosh it is valid if a Jew stands nearby and assists (with some of the work.) And this is the custom.
10. After marking a letter-like sign of holes in parchment with an awl one does not have to be concerned that a gentile replaced the parchment and forged the sign since gentiles are afraid that the Jew will recognize the forgery.
11. If it is possible to rectify a hide that was treated without intent for the mitzvah is addressed in Yoreh Deah siman 271.
12. The klaf should be made from the hide of a kosher animal, whether domesticated or undomesticated, or bird even if the animal was a neveilah or a tereifah. Klaf may not be made from non-kosher species since the pasuk indicates that tefillin must be made from a species that one may eat. The skin of a fish may not be used even if kosher since it has an abundance of filth.
13. The klaf should be whole without holes that do not allow the דיו to pass over, in other words the hole may not be large enough that it makes a letter appear as two separate letters.
14. Scribes that are particular make three varieties of klaf. The thickest klaf is for שמע which is the shortest parsha. Thinner than that is the klaf for the parsha of והיה אם . The thinnest klaf is used for קדש and והיה כי which are the longest parshiyos. This practice will allow each section to be equally filled and this beautifies the mitzvah.
15. If after the text was written the parchment in the center of a ” ה” or a מ ” ” is punctured and even if the entire center is punctured it is valid. Yerushalmi, however, implies that the inside of the letter must also be surrounded by parchment. If the inner (left) leg of the ” ה” is punctured it remains valid according to Rosh even if only a small remnant of the leg remains. Other Poskim require that there should remain the size of a small letter and this is the halacha. If the right leg is punctured it is valid if there remains the length of a small letter but if not it is invalid.
16. If one of the letters becomes severed meaning one of the straight letters, for example a ” ו “, a ” ז” or a ” ן” or something similar, if a child who is not wise nor ignorant reads the letter correctly it is valid but if not it is invalid. When showing the letter to the child it is unnecessary to cover the other letters as is commonly done. If we see that the letter lost its essential shape it is invalid even if a child reads it correctly. The validity of a letter that becomes severed applies only if it was written initially correctly and then became severed. If, however, there was a hole in the parchment when the letter was first written or if a ” ך” or some similar letter reaches the end of the klaf and thus is not surrounded by parchment the letter is invalid.
17. If a drop of ink falls on a letter so that it is no longer recognizable, the letter may not be repaired by scratching off the extra ink so that the letter should be recognizable. The reason is that it involves scratching ink to shape the letter ( ( חק תוכות and the Torah mandates that one should write that letters. Similarly, if one wrote an דinstead of a רor a בinstead of a כthe letters may not be repaired by scratching the extra part of the letter since that is considered .חק תוכות
18.If the left leg of a מtouches its entrance thus closing it, it may not be repaired by scratching off the extra ink to open it since that involves חק תוכות . The only option is to scratch off the leg altogether so that what remains looks like a נand then rewrite the left leg. If one made a רthat looks like a דone should be stringent to not merely scratch off the leg or the roof to reshape it like a רsince both were made incorrectly; rather one should scratch them both off. If two letters touch, regardless of whether this occurred before or after the letter was completed, it is invalid but if one scratches off the extra ink connecting the two letters it is valid and not considered חק תוכות since the letter was written correctly. If the left leg of a ה or ק touches its roof one must scratch off the entire leg and rewrite it but it is not necessary to scratch off and rewrite its roof since it was written correctly. If the empty space above the bottom י of an א becomes filled with ink or the empty space below the upper י becomes filled with ink it is invalid and may not be repaired by scratching off the additional ink since that would involve חק תוכות . The entire part (the י) must be scratched off and rewritten. The same invalidation could occur to the י of a , ש, צ, ע and פ if they attach more than just their designed point of contact.
19. Before writing one must orally declare, “I am writing for the sanctity of tefillin.” Additionally, each time one writes Hashem’s name he must state that he is doing so for the sanctity of His name. Some hold that it is sufficient if one thinks that he is writing Hashem’s name for the sake of the mitzvah since he already orally declared his intent before he began writing and b’dieved one could be lenient. One should not write while dozing since in such a state of mind one cannot have proper intent.
20. One must be careful regarding extra or missing letters because even a single missing or extra letter invalidates the parsha and the one who uses it is making a beracha l’vatalah every day and loses the mitzvah. The punishment for the scribe who does this is very great; therefore, one must excel in his yiras Shamayim and be particular in his observance of Hashem’s words to be involved in writing and fixing tefillin
21. One should reread two or three times each parsha, carefully and meticulously, and then read it again before placing it in the tefillin to make sure that each parsha is placed in the correct compartment.
22. It is advisable to test the quill before beginning to write to make sure that it does not contain too much ink and ruin the writing. One should also read everything one has written before writing Hashem’s name so that one should not have to put the parsha into genizah.
23. If it is discovered that a letter is missing there is no rectification since adding the missing letter would involve writing out of order which is invalid since the pasuk states והיו which teaches that it must be written in order. An extra letter at the beginning or end of a word could be erased but if it is in the middle of a word it cannot be repaired since erasing the letter would leave the remaining part of the word appearing like two words.
24. It is permitted to write even Hashem’s name on a spot that had letters scratched off or erased. One should not erase letters that are moist; rather one should wait until they dry so that it scratches off completely without leaving a mark.
25. Any letter that was not written correctly and does not have its shape, e.g. parts of a letter are improperly touching other parts of the letter or if letters that are made up of multiple parts are separated and after writing additional text the scribe went back to fix the invalid letters the parsha is invalid since the letters were written out of order. It is permitted, however, to separate letters that became attached even if one wrote additional text since the letters retained their essential shape it is not considered writing. Similarly, if parts of the letter were not properly connected but a child recognizes the letter, even if one wrote additional letters he may repair the broken letter since it retained its essential shape. There is an opinion who maintains that if the roof of the ח does not touch the sides but the separation is not easily detected even if a child reads it as two “zayins” it may be repaired.
26. If letters of Hashem’s name touch it is permitted to separate them.
27. Letters and words that become partially erased – if enough remains that a child would still recognize the letter it is permitted to trace over the letter to darken it and it is not considered as though the letters were written out of order.
28. One should be careful that the top of the ל should not enter the airspace of a ה or ח even if they don’t touch.
29. If one is not fluent in the parshiyos he must copy from an existing text.
30. One may not write unless he can read.
31. If one is not copying from an existing text he should not write based only what another person reads to him; rather he should repeat each word before he writes it.
32. Empty space must be left at the top of the parchment to allow for the top of the ל so that it should be surrounded by parchment; empty space should also be left at the bottom for the ך and the ן but it is unnecessary to leave space on the right and left. Nevertheless, scribes have the practice of leaving empty space on the right and left. Between words should be the space of a letter, between lines of text should be an empty row and between each letter should be a hairsbreadth as is done in a Sefer Torah. An empty space should also separate each pasuk.
33. The margins should be uniform without one line ending within the margin and another line ending beyond the margin. At the very least one should be careful that three letters should not go out of the margin but it would not be invalid if they did.
34. Two letters that form a whole word should go beyond the margin.
35. The letters of Hashem’s name must be within the margin and they should not extend out of the margin at all.
36. All the parshiyos of one’s tefillin should be pesuchos except for the parsha which appears last in the Torah, namely, והיה אם שמ ע which should be written setumah and if one deviated from this procedure the tefillin are invalid. Some opinions maintain that if all the parshiyos were made pesuchos it is valid and in Ashkenazi countries the custom is to begin the parsha of והיה עם שמע at the beginning of the line as is done with the other parshiyos. Therefore, the custom is to begin the parshiyos of קדש, והיה כי יבאך and שמע at the beginning of the line. The end of the parshiyos of קדש and והיה כי יבאך should be left with empty space at the end of the paragraph in which nine letters could be written. The end of the parsha of שמע should not have any blank space where the paragraph concludes and if one leaves empty space it should be smaller than the space necessary to write nine letters The parsha of והיה אם שמע should begin in the middle of the line with enough empty space for nine letters before writing. It turns out that three parshiyos are pesuchos according to Rambam and Rosh and the fourth parsha is setumah in accordance with Rambam’s position.
37. The leather of the batim must come from kosher – domesticated animals, undomesticated animals or birds even if they were neveilos or tereifos. One may use the klaf or hide of a fetus. The retzuos may also be made from the same materials. The hide should be processed for the sake of the mitzvah when possible.
38. One should make four compartments from one piece of hide for the shel rosh and a single compartment for the shel yad.
39. Halacha L’Moshe M’Sinai teaches that the shel rosh and shel yad must have square stitching and a proportionate diagonal. In other words its length and width must be equal so that its diagonal will have the correct ratio to the sides, i.e. 1:1.4. The place where it rests, meaning the stitches on the bottom and the batim must also be square. It does not matter, however, whether the height is larger than the length and width. If one’s tefillin were made square but it became ruined one must restore it to its square shape. One should make each of the four compartments the same size.
40. It is a mitzvah for the outside of one’s batim to be black. The groove between one compartment and the next should descend all the way down to the stitches but if it does not go that deep it is valid but the groove must be recognizable so that one can easily see the four compartments.
41. There is no measurement for the length, width or height of one’s batim.
42. Halacha L’Moshe M’Sinai teaches that a שshould protrude from the leather of the shel rosh. The שon the right of the wearer should have three heads while the שon the left side should have four heads. If one switched the location of the shins the tefillin do not become invalidated.
43. The bottom of the ש on the side of the shel rosh should reach the stitches. The י of the ש must reach the bottom of the ש but the ש should not descend too far; rather the bottom of the ש should be visible above the stitches.
44. Halacha L’Moshe M’Sinai teaches that tefillin must have a titura, meaning a piece of leather that covers the bottom of the bayis and it appears like the board of a bridge. Halacha L’Moshe M’Sinai also requires a ma’avarta which is an extension of the titura. This is done by cutting out a notch in the ma’avarta so that it is not as wide as the titura and the square shape of the titura is recognizable and the retzua should pass through the ma’avarta. The shel yad also requires a titura and ma’avarta. The parshiyos are rolled from the end towards the beginning and they are wrapped in a small piece of parchment and some are particular that the parchment should be kosher. Halacha L’Moshe M’Sinai also teaches that one should wrap the parshiyos in hair of a kosher animal. The custom is to wrap the parshiyos in animal hair, then wrap that in parchment and then wrap that in hair. The custom is to take hair of a calf and if hair from a calf is not available one should take hair from a cow or bull. The hair should be washed so that it is clean. Some of the hair should be visible outside of the bayis.
45. Each parsha should be placed in its compartment so that it stands upright in its compartment.
46. The top line should be on top and the bottom should be towards the opening of the bayis. The beginning of the parsha should be on the right of the reader so that if he wants to open it to read it, it will be in the correct position.
47. If one wrote all four parshiyos on one parchment it is valid even if there is no space between the parshiyos as long as there is a thread or string between each compartment. The parshiyos of the shel yad are written on a single parchment and are rolled from the end towards the beginning and it should be wrapped in parchment and bound with the hair of a calf and placed in its compartment similar to the shel rosh. If one wrote the parshiyos on four pieces of parchment and placed them in four compartments (similar to the shel rosh) the tefillin are valid but one should cover the four compartments so that they appear as one compartment. The custom is to attach the different pieces of parchment with glue so that they become one piece of parchmentand one should be careful to use glue that is kosher.
48. If one covered his tefillin with gold or the leather of a nonkosher animal it is invalid.
49. Halacha L’Moshe M’Sinai is that the tefillin must be sewn with sinew from a kosher animal and it is preferred to use sinew from a bull.
50. One should not purchase sinew from a gentile out of suspicion that it came from a non-kosher animal. In a place where sinew is not readily available we use threads that are made from parchment until one can obtain sinew.
51. There should be three stitches on each side and the stitch should pass through the titura and between each compartment. If one made ten or even fewer stitches the tefillin are not invalid. There is an opinion who maintains that the stitches should be made with a single thread.
52. The retzua should be inserted in the ma’avarta and a knot in the shape of a דis made for the shel rosh and a יis made for the shel yad in order to complete the name of ש-די together with the ש on the shel rosh. There is a custom to place a piece of leather on top of the shel yad aligned along the width of the shel yad. The knots should not be made until the שof the shel rosh is formed followed by the דand then the . י
Siman 33: Seifim 5
1. If the leather of two adjacent compartments of the shel rosh becomes damaged – if the tefillin are old they are invalid but if they are new they remain valid as long as the titura is intact. The bayis must be intact, it is just that they could be partially torn. According to some slightly torn old tefillin are valid and new tefillin are invalid. It appears that one should be strict in accordance with both opinions. “New” is defined as tefillin that if one pulls the retzuos the compartments separate from one another and if they do not separate it is considered “old.” If two non-adjacent compartments become damaged, e.g. the first and third compartment, the tefillin are valid even if they are old but if three compartments become damaged the tefillin are invalid.
2. According to Rambam if two adjacent stitches rip or if three stitches rip even if they are not adjacent the tefillin are invalid. This ruling is limited to “old” tefillin but “new” tefillin remain valid as long as the titura is intact. If one grasps some of the leather near the torn stitch and the tefillin remain suspended they are considered “new” but if the leather tears it is considered “old.” According to some “new” tefillin are invalid and “old” tefillin are valid and one should be strict in accordance with both positions.
3. The leather of the retzuos must come from the hide of a kosher animal and the hide must be treated for the sake of the mitzvah. Retzuos may be made from hide or parchment. Halacha L’Moshe M’Sinai teaches that the retzuos must be black on the outside. The inside surface may be any color except red since someone may think that the red came from bloody sores.
4. It is preferable that the coloring is performed by a Jew for the sake of the mitzvah rather than a gentile. However, b’dieved the tefillin are valid if colored by a gentile but retzuos are invalid if colored by a gentile.
5. If the retzuah becomes torn there are authorities who maintain that the pieces may be sewn together from the inside. According to others the part that surrounds the head and the part that goes around one’s arm including the length necessary to reach and wrap around the middle finger may not be repaired by either tying or sewing the severed pieces together. The remaining length which is wrapped around one’s forearm and hangs down from the shel rosh does not become invalidated if it is sewn or tied together. In pressing circumstances one may rely upon the lenient opinion in ordernot to lose the fulfillment of the mitzvah.
Siman 34: Seifim 4
1. The correct order of the parshiyos according to Rashi and Rambam is for קדש to be placed in the compartment furthest left from the perspective of the wearer and כי יבאך is in the compartment next to that. שמע is placed in the third compartment and והיה אם שמע is placed in the fourth compartment which is the furthest right from the perspective of the wearer. According to Rabbeinu Tam the third compartment contains והיה אם שמע and the fourth compartment contains the paragraph of שמע and the custom is in accordance with Rashi and Rambam.
2. One who is G-d fearing will fulfill both opinions and will make two pairs of tefillin and don them both. When donning the two pairs he should have in mind to fulfill the mitzvah with the one that is consistent with halacha and the other should be considered no more than leather straps. This can be done since there is room on a person’s body for two pairs of tefillin. If one cannot wear both pairs in the correct place he should don one pair and then don the second pair relying upon the first berachah that was recited. Some authorities write that one who cannot wear both pairs at the same time should wear Rashi’s tefillin for davening and after davening he should don Rabbeinu Tam’s tefillin without reciting a beracha and he should then read the paragraphs of שמ ע and .והיה אם שמ ע
3. The only one who should follow the practice of wearing both pairs of tefillin is one who well known and established as pious.
4. One may not place both pairs in one bag since one pair is mundane and may not be placed in a tefillin bag. Rather, one should have two bags and an identifying mark on each so that he should not place a pair in the wrong bag.
Siman 35: Seifim 1
1. The custom regarding the number of lines of text is that the parshiyos of the shel yad have seven lines and the parshiyos of the shel rosh have four lines. If one deviated from this pattern the tefillin are not invalid.
Siman 36: Seif 3
1. One should be careful when writing the letters and should not deviate from their correct shape so that it should not appear like another letter. L’chatchila the letters should be complete as described by Tur and other Poskim and these details are well known to scribes. In the event that one changed an aspect of the letter it is not invalidated.
2. Every letter must be a single unit. Therefore, the “yud” that is above or below the א or the “yuds” of the ש and עand the back of the צ must be connected to the letter and if it is not connected to the letter it is invalid. The same principle applies to the other letters except for the ה and ק whose left leg should not touch the roof and if it does it is invalid.
3. One must put a תיג on the letters שעטנ”ז ג”ץ and scribes are accustomed to adding תגים to other letters. If one did not add תגים even to the letters שעטנ”ז ג”ץ it is not invalid.
Siman 37: Seifim 3
1. The reward for the mitzvah of tefillin is great and one who does not fulfill the mitzvah is categorized with those Jews who sin with their bodies.
2. The mitzvah is for one to wear his tefillin the entire day. However, since it requires a clean body, meaning that he may not pass gas or become distracted, and not everyone is capable of being cautious about these matters the custom is that people do not wear them all long. Nevertheless, one must be careful to wear his tefillin while reciting krias shema and shemoneh esrei.
3. A minor who can maintain a state of taharah, meaning that he will not sleep or pass gas nor will he enter a bathroom, his father is obligated to purchase for him tefillin to educate him in the mitzvah. Some say that the child that is discussed is older than 13 and this is the custom and one should not deviate from this custom.
Siman 38: Seifim 13
1. Someone who suffers from a stomach ailment is exempt from tefillin even if he does not feel pain. Others who are ill are exempt only if they are in pain and cannot settle their mind but if that is not the case they are obligated.
2. Someone who is certain that he will not be able to daven without passing gas – it is better that he should allow the time for davening to pass rather than daven without a clean body. If it seems that he could maintain a clean body for krias shema he should put them on between אהבה and shema and recite the beracha at that time.
3. Women and slaves are exempt from tefillin since it is a positive time bound mitzvah. If women want to be stringent we protest against the practice.
4. One who wears tefillin must avoid lustful thoughts about women. If one cannot control these thoughts it is better that he should not put on tefillin.
5. On the first day of mourning one may not wear tefillin. After than day one is obligated to wear tefillin even if new people come.
6. On Tisha B’Av there is an obligation to put on tefillin.
7. A chosson and his attendants (meaning his friends who bring him joy) and all the people who participate in the chupah are exempt since it is common for them to be drunk and behave in a lightheaded manner.
8. Those who write tefillin and mezuzos as well as those who sell them and those who sell them to merchants and all those who are involved in serving Hashem are exempt from wearing tefillin all day except for shema and shemone esrei. If they needed to do their work during the time of shema and shemone esrei they are exempt from shema, shemone esrei and tefillin. The rationale behind this halacha is that one who is involved in a mitzvah is exempt from another mitzvah if the other mitzvah requires effort to fulfill. If it is possible to fulfill both mitzvos at once without effort he should do them both.
9. Someone who is in pain and cannot focus properly is exempt from tefillin since it is prohibited for one to lose focus while wearing tefillin.
10. One who is reading from the Torah is exempt from putting tefillin on all day except during the time for shema and shemoneh esrei.
11. One should not remove his tefillin in the presence of his rebbi; rather he should turn aside out of awe of his rebbi before removing his tefillin.
12. If one needs to purchase tefillin and mezuzos and he doesn’t have enough money to purchase them both he should purchase tefillin first.
13. Someone excommunicated and a metzorah are prohibited to wear tefillin.
Siman 39: Seifim 10
1. Tefillin written by a slave, a woman, a child – even if he reached the age of chinuch – a Cuthean, or an apostate to idolatry or someone who informs on another person are invalid. The reason is that the Torah writes וקשרתם and וכתבתם to teach that one who does not don tefillin or doesn’t believe in them may not write them.
2. Anyone who may not write tefillin may not participate in any part of the making of the tefillin.
3. A convert who returned to his religion out of fear remains fit to write tefillin.
4. Tefillin written by an apikores must be burned and according to others is should be buried.
5. Tefillin found in the possession of an apikores and it is not known who wrote them should be buried.
6. Tefillin found in the possession of a gentile and it is not known who wrote them are valid.
7. One may not purchase tefillin, mezuzos, or sefarim from a Cuthean for more a lot more than its value so they should not become accustomed to stealing them.
8. Tefillin should only be purchased from someone who is an expert in which letters should be left out and which letters should be added.
9. Tefillin purchased from someone who is not an expert must be examined. If one purchased a hundred batim he must check three of them, either two shel roshs and one shel yad or vice versa. If they are valid this person has established a reputation of reliability and the others do not have to be examined. If the tefillin were in separate bundles it is assumed that each bundle was written by a different scribe, therefore, three batim from each bundle must be examined in the manner described. If a tefillin seller claims that the tefillin belonged to a distinguished person he is believed and the tefillin do not have to be examined.
10. Tefillin that have a presumption of validity do not have to ever be examined but if they are worn only occasionally they should be examined twice every seven years. If there is no one who can examine them and close up the tefillin again they may be worn without reciting the beracha.
Siman 40: Seifim 8
1. It is forbidden to suspend tefillin whether by the bayis or whether by the retzuos. It is, however, permitted to suspend them while in their bag.
2. It is prohibited for one to have relations in a room that has tefillin unless they are removed or if placed in a utensil that is in a utensil. The second utensil cannot be a utensil that is designed for the tefillin because if it is designed for the tefillin even one hundred utensils count as no more than a single utensil. If both utensils are not made for the tefillin or if the inner utensil was not made for the tefillin it is permitted even though the outer utensil was made for the tefillin.
3. Even if tefillin are in two utensils they may not be placed under one’s feet or under his head with his head leaning on them even if his wife is not with him. If his head is not leaning on them and his wife is not there it is permitted but if he wife is there it must be in two utensils.
4. If one’s wife is with him in bed and he does not intend to have relations it is considered as though his wife is not there
5. Putting tefillin by one’s side is the same as putting them under his feet.
6. If one mistakenly had relations while wearing tefillin he should not take them [to remove them] by the bayis or the retzuah until he washes his hands since his hands may have touched an area that is unclean.
7. If one slept wearing tefillin and had a seminal emission he should not take hold of the bayis, instead he should grab the retzuah to remove them. He must wipe off the emission and wash his hands [before putting his tefillin back on.]
8. Someone who sits down for a meal should remove his tefillin and place them on the table until he is ready for birkas hamazon and then he should put them back on. It is not necessary to remove one’s tefillin for a snack.
Siman 41: Seif 1
1. One who will carry a package upon his head must remove his tefillin until he removes the package. Even one’s scarf may not be upon one’s head that has tefillin. However, items that are normally placed on one’s head may remain there while one is wearing tefillin. If the package is very heavy, meaning the weight of four kav, and it is pressing upon his tefillin the package must be removed [even though it is normal for this object to be placed upon his head.]
Siman 42: Seifim 3
1. It is prohibited to change one’s shel rosh to use as his shel yad and even to take the retzuah from the shel rosh and use it for one’s shel yad is prohibited. The reason is that one may not lower an item from a higher degree of sanctity to a lower degree of sanctity and the shel rosh has a higher degree of sanctity since the majority of the name ש-די is contained in the shel rosh. It is permitted to transform the shel yad into a shel rosh. If the shel rosh was new, meaning that it was never used, it is permitted to use it as a shel yad by covering it with a single piece of leather so that it appears as though there is a single compartment.
2. If one stipulated at the outset he may change his shel rosh into a shel yad even if he already wore it as a shel rosh
3. A kerchief designated for use to wrap tefillin that was used to wrap tefillin even once may not be used to wrap money. If one stipulated [that one should be able to use the kerchief for non-sacred items] it is permitted. Parchment that was manufactured for tefillin may not be used for writing mundane matters since designation for a sacred item is significant. If one designated the kerchief for use for one’s tefillin but it was not used or if it was used but not designated one may use the kerchief to wrap money.
Siman 43: Seifim 9
1. It is prohibited to enter a permanent bathroom to urinate while wearing one’s shel rosh out of concern that he will need to defecate. If he holds his tefillin in his hands it is permitted to urinate in a permanent bathroom. This allowance applies if he will urinate while sitting so that this is no concern for drops falling on his body but it is prohibited to urinate while standing since in this regard it is no different than a temporary bathroom. It is also permitted in a temporary bathroom to urinate while sitting or into soft dirt so that there is no concern for drops. In this regard there is no difference between a permanent and temporary bathroom except that in a permanent bathroom it is common to urinate while sitting whereas in a temporary bathroom it is common for one to urinate while standing since he does not intend to defecate. One is permitted to urinate in a temporary bathroom while wearing a shel rosh but while he is holding his tefillin he may not urinate standing even if he is holding his tefillin in a cloth since he will have to wipe the urine droplets from his leg; rather he should remove them four amos away and give them to a friend. It seems from the Rambam that it is prohibited to urinate while wearing tefillin whether he is in a permanent or temporary bathroom and one should be concerned with his position.
2. A permanent bathroom is one that contains solid waste that rests on the field without it entering a ditch.
3. A temporary “bathroom” refers to a place a person goes to urinate which does not necessitate going to a bathroom and this time is the first time it is being used as a ‘bathroom.”
4. If one’s tefillin are in his garment and he is wearing a belt or they are in a cloth in his hand it is permitted to urinate or defecate.
5. If one will enter a permanent bathroom to relieve himself he must remove his tefillin at a distance of four amos. Some maintain that one must remove his tefillin even if he will not relieve himself in the bathroom and one should be stringent about this matter. The tefillin should be wrapped in its retzuos and held in one’s right hand in a garment near his heart. He should be cautious not to allow a tefach of the retzuah out from his hand. Upon exiting the bathroom he should walk four amos away before putting his tefillin back on.
6. If one was wearing tefillin and felt the urge to go to the bathroom at night or if it was close enough to night that he would not put them on again after he exits, he should not enter with his tefillin wrapped in a garment, even to urinate if the bathroom is permanent. Rather, he should remove them and place them into a utensil if it contains the capacity of a tefach or another utensil that is not designed for tefillin even if it is not a tefach and then hold that utensil in his hand as he enters the bathroom.
7. These halachos are true for a bathroom in the field but in regards to a bathroom in one’s home one should not enter with his tefillin at all since they could be left in a safe location.
8. If one realized that he is wearing his tefillin while relieving himself, he should place his hand on his tefillin until he completes the first discharge. He should then exit, remove his tefillin and then reenter the bathroom.
9. A doctor is permitted to take a bucket with urine in his hands while wearing his shel rosh but a ba’al nefesh will be stringent about this matter.
Siman 44: Seif 1
1. One may not even nap while wearing his shel rosh and shel yad. If he covers them with a kerchief and he is not with his wife he is permitted to nap. This means he should rest his head between his knees and he may nap while sitting in that position. If one binds his tefillin to his hand he may even sleep but if they are not bound to his hands he may not even nap. This restriction applies when he is holding them outside of their case but if they are in their case it is permitted.
Siman 45: Seifim 2
1. It is prohibited for one to enter a cemetery or within four amos of a corpse while wearing his shel rosh so that he should not “mock the impoverished” but if they are covered it is permitted.
2. Regarding a bathhouse, in the outer room where people are dressed one may put on his tefillin even l’chatchila. In the middle room where some people are dressed and some are not, one should not, l’chatchila, don his tefillin but if they are already on one is not required to remove them. In the inner room where people are naked one must even remove his shel rosh that is already in place.