Putting On and Removing Tefillin
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- 1 Putting on Tefillin at Home
- 2 When to Put on Tefillin
- 3 Tallit before Tefillin
- 4 Kavana when Putting on Tefillin
- 5 Process of Putting Tefillin On
- 5.1 Order of Tefillin Shel Yad and Shel Rosh
- 5.2 Sitting or Standing When Putting on Tefillin
- 5.3 Where the Tefillin Are Placed
- 5.4 Lefties, Righties, Ambidexterity, and Cross Dominance
- 5.5 Wrappings around the Arm
- 5.6 Physical Separation/Chatzitza
- 5.7 If One Mistakenly Put on the Tefillin Shel Rosh First
- 5.8 If One Only Has One of the Tefillin
- 6 Berachot of Tefillin
- 7 Praying with Tefillin
- 8 Removing the Tefillin
- 9 Sources
Putting on Tefillin at Home
- One who is careful to wear a Tallit Katan (Tzitzit) should put on the Tallit Katan and Tefillin in their house and then walk to Shul wearing Tefillin, in Shul they should then put on a Tallit Gadol. However, some say that one should only put on one's Tefillin at home if one has worn the Tallit Gadol beforehand.
- If one will have to pass dirty areas or there are goyim between one’s house and the Shul, one should put on the Tefillin in the hallway next to the Shul itself if possible.
- Because the primary concern is only to enter Shul wearing Tefillin, one should leave the Tefillin outside Shul from the day before, to be able to put them on outside and enter the Shul wearing them.
- Some say that one should also walk out of Shul wearing Tefillin.
- Some say it is preferable to put on Tefillin outside of Shul even if one will not be one of the first ten in the minyan because of it.
When to Put on Tefillin
- One may put on Tefillin during the day, but not during the night. One may put them on in the morning from the time of MeSheyakir.
- The problem with wearing them all day is the necessity to remove them when encountering an unclean place and the requirement to constantly be aware of the fact they are being worn. EVERY HALACHA ON HALACHIPEDIA STRICTLY REQUIRES A SOURCE. PLEASE ADD SOURCE HERE, OTHERWISE THIS HALACHA WILL BE REMOVED.
Wearing Tefillin for Prayer
- Nowadays the prevailing custom is to lay them only during the weekday morning service.
- The custom is to put on Tefillin after having said Birchot HaShachar and Birchot HaTorah but preferably before the Shema in Korbanot and at least before Parshat HaTamid.
- The minimum requirement is to have Tefillin on during Kriyat Shema and Shmoneh Esrei.
- If one has a choice between praying the Amida with the tzibbur or waiting for a pair of Tefillin, for example, if one forgot one's tefillin and if one were to go get them one would miss davening with a minyan, one should wait for the Tefillin and pray alone unless due to waiting one would miss the time for praying. Some hold that you should daven with the tzibbur and then put on tefillin afterwards unless one has a lot of kavana when davening by oneself.
- If one is waiting for a pair of Tefillin and the time to say Keriat Shema may pass, one should recite Shema without Tefillin.
- Some have the custom to keep their Tefillin on when attending a brit milah while some people remove it before the brit.
- The earliest time to put on Tefillin is the time of MeSheyakir.
- If one can't put on Tefillin from after Alot HaShachar until Shekiya because of his work and would lose his job if he put on Tefillin during the day, then he can keep his job and put on Tefillin before Alot Hashachar in such an extenuating circumstance. This can apply to other situations in which one would not be able to do so the rest of the day.
- One who needs to travel before Alot HaShachar should wait until the proper time to don Tefillin.
- If one is in the army and going to be on duty all day from before Alot HaShachar until after Shekiya, according to some poskim he can put on Tefillin then without a bracha, but according to others he shouldn't put on Tefillin then.
Latest Time to Wear Tefillin
- One may not put on Tefillin at night.
- If one has not put on one's Tefillin, one still may do so during the time of Bein Hashemashot (between sunset and nightfall). Even though, generally, it is forbidden to wear them at night, as long as one has not recited Arvit, it is permissible bedievad.
- Once Tzet HaKochavim passes, one may no longer put on Tefillin.
Tallit before Tefillin
- One should put on the Tallit before putting on one's Tefillin. Even if the Tallit is only obligated in Tzitzit derabbanan, it still takes precedence over the Tefillin.
- If one puts one's Tallit and Tefillin in the same bag, one should be careful to place the Tallit to the side of the Tefillin so that one can unpack the Tallit before the Tefillin.
- If one is not going to fulfill the mitzvot of Tallit, one may pass over the Tefillin and take the Tallit or the other way around; pass over the Tallit.Hence if the Tefillin was mistakenly placed above the Tallit and one did not plan on fulfilling the mitzvah with either for that moment, one may remove both and rearrange them.
- Similarly, if one has a Tallit of Shabbat in the same bag and above the Tallit of the weekday one may take the Tallit of the weekday even if it is below the other Shabbat one.
- If one has only Tefillin but not a Tallit, according to Ashkenazim one should not wait but rather one can just put on the Tefillin. Sephardim hold that if one will have the possibility of attaining a Tallit before the latest time to say Shema, one should wait to get the Tallit before putting on the Tefillin. However, if one will not have a Tallit available before the latest time for Shema, one should don the Tefillin in order to say Shema with Tefillin within the time.
- If one takes off one’s Tallit and Tefillin momentarily and then puts them back on, one should still be careful to put on the Tallit first.
- If one is wearing Tefillin and then a Tallit becomes available, one need not remove one’s Tefillin, rather one should just put on the Tallit while wearing the Tefillin.
- If someone by accident took the Tefillin before the Tallit, some say that one should put on the Tefillin since one already has them in one’s hands, while others hold one should leave the Tefillin (respectfully), engage oneself in another activity and when one returns one can put on the Tallit first.
- The same applies if one only picked up the Tefillin in their bag before taking the Tallit.
- If there are Tefillin in the room that one is in and there is a Tallit in the next room, the principle of not passing up the mitzvah applies and so one should put on the Tefillin first or leave the Tefillin, engage in another activity and then get the Tallit first.
- If one first made a mistake by taking the Tefillin and then made another mistake by putting down the Tefillin, one should put on the Tallit first, since one has already put the Tefillin down.
- There is a doubt regarding a situation where one would be embarrassed to put on Tefillin without a Tallit, as to whether one can put on the Tallit first.
- If one can only afford either a Tallit or Tefillin, one should buy Tefillin.
Kavana when Putting on Tefillin
- When putting on Tefillin one should have the following kavana (intent): "Hashem commended us to wear these 4 parshiot (in the Tefllin) which speak of the oneness of Hashem and exodus of Egypt in order that we remember the miracles that reflect Hashem’s total control over the upper and lower worlds." One should also have intent to make one’s Nishama in one’s brain and the heart which is the seat of emotion and thought, subservient to Hashem, and in this way one will remember Hashem and minimize one’s personal pleasures.
- It is very important to have said kavana, however in the case where one did not have such intent one has still fulfilled one's obligation, bediavad.
- It is also important to have intent that one is doing the mitzvah in order to fulfill a biblical obligation.
Process of Putting Tefillin On
Order of Tefillin Shel Yad and Shel Rosh
- First one puts on the Tefillin of the arm ("Shel Yad") before putting on the Tefillin of the head ("Shel Rosh"). Therefore one should be careful to arrange the Tefillin in the case so that one takes the Tefillin shel yad first. Furthermore, it is proper to keep the Tefillin shel rosh in one's bag or at least still wrapped until one is finished donning the Tefillin shel yad.
- According to some poskim one may kiss one's Tefillin shel rosh when one takes them out of one's bag even though one should try not to interrupt between the Tefillin shel yad and shel, rosh since kissing it is giving it honor, it is permitted.
Sitting or Standing When Putting on Tefillin
- The Ashkenazi custom is to stand while puttin on both the arm and head Tefillin.
- The Arizal instructed that the Tefillin Shel Yad be put on while seated, so the common Sephardic custom is to place the Tefillin shel yad while seated and the Tefillin shel rosh while standing, and remain standing while wrapping the Tefillin around the hand after puttin on the Shel Rosh. This is also the Moroccan custom.
- A Sephardi who prays in an Ashkenazic minyan should place his Tefillin according to Sephardic minhag.
Where the Tefillin Are Placed
Position of the Tefillin Shel Yad (Arm)
- The arm Tefillin is placed on the bicep, below the halfway point of the bone between the elbow and armpit and where the muscle bulges. One should make sure not to put the Tefillin within two fingerbreadths of one’s elbow.
- The Minhag is to put the Maavarta (bridge) part of the Tefillin facing the shoulder. The Maavarta should also be below halfway between the elbow and armpit.
- It is better when the Maavarta is placed above halfway between the elbow and armpit and not to have the main box of Tefillin be within 2 fingerbreadths of one’s elbow.
Position of the Tefillin Shel Rosh (Head)
- After wrapping the Shel Yad straps around the bicep, the head Tefillin is placed on top of the head, "between the eyes" but not lower than the hairline (or if balding, where one's hairline once was).
- The knot of the head Tefillin sits at the back of the head, upon the part of the occipital bone that protrudes just above the nape.
- The two straps of the head Tefillin are brought in front of the shoulders, with their blackened side facing outwards.
Lefties, Righties, Ambidexterity, and Cross Dominance
- Right handed people wear the Tefillin Shel Yad on their left arm, and left handed people place it on their right arm.
- Wearing them on the wrong arm does not fulfill the mitzvah at all.
- Someone who is completely ambidextrous should place the Tefillin on the left arm.
- Regarding a cross dominant person, whether he writes with his right and does everything with his left or vice versa, there is a debate. Some say he should put the Tefillin on the non-dominant arm, meaning whichever is weaker, while others say the hand he writes with determines dominance.
- One who in the past performed all activities with his right hand but for whatever reason has lost use of it and now his left becomes stronger, should place Tefillin on the right arm.
- Even if someone's heart is on the right side (Dextrocardia), if he's right handed, he should still place Tefilin on the left arm.
Wrappings around the Arm
- After the bracha is recited, the strap around the arm is tightened and wrapped around the arm seven times. The knot formation and arm binding differ considerably between different traditions.
- There is a Kabbalistic custom to cover the arm Tefillin with the sleeve, in accordance with the verse "And they will be a sign to you...", i.e. to you and not to others.
- For Sephardim, it is important that the knot which looks like a Yud on the Tefillin Shel Yad be facing inward and touching the main Tefillin box. Some say this must be done by wrapping the Tefillin straps around the Shel Yad ust after tightening it around the bicep, while others argue that using the straps will ruin the squareness of the Tefillin and, one just has to have kavanna that they're touching. Some Moroccans have this custom.
- Some say that right after tightening the strap and (if accustomed to) securing the Yud, one should wrap three times around the tricep to represent the letter Shin of Hashem's name. Others say that one should draw the straps around his bicep without wrapping around the tricep, unless wrapping around the tricep is necessary to keep the Tefillin boxes secured in the proper place.
- Many authorities are lenient and do not believe a Netilat Yadayim is required if one touches the skin in the area where the Tefillin Shel Yad is placed or rubs one’s hair while putting on Tefillin shel rosh, however, some are strict and would require one to wash.
- Nothing may interpose between the Tefillin or the part of the straps necessary for tying it onto one's body and one's skin. However, in the area of the windings around one's arm and hand one may have an interposition.
- The Sephardic minhag is to wrap the seven times outward, away from the body while the Ashkenazi minhag is to wrap towards the body.
- One should ensure that there is no interposition (Chatzitzah) between the Tefillin Shel Rosh and one's head or the Tefillin Shel Yad and one's arm.
- The following are considered items that separate between the Tefillin and one's body: loose dirt, water in one's hair, and a wig. a toupee
- Some argue that long hair constitutes a Chatzitah,, while others respond that, although it is not befitting for Bnei Torah to have long hair, long hair does not constitute a Chatzitzah for the Tefillin Shel Rosh
- A wristwatch does not need to be removed.
Putting Tefillin on an Injured Arm
- If one is unable to remove a bandage or a cast, one should wear the Tefillin without a bracha. This only applies if the separation is between the body and the boxes, but if the separation is only with the straps the bracha should be recited as usual.
- If one injured one's arm and his bicep is covered by a cast that cannot be removed, he may not recite a bracha on the Tefillin shel yad, but he should, rather, ecite a bracha on the Tefillin shel rosh and have the Tefillin shel yad in mind.
- If the cast is only covering his forearm and not his bicep where the box goes, then he should recite a Beracha as usual but should try to avoid wrapping over the bandage if possible.
If One Mistakenly Put on the Tefillin Shel Rosh First
- If one mistakenly took the Tefillin shel rosh first, one must put it down and put on the Tefillin Shel Yad first.
- If one mistakenly put on the Tefillin shel rosh first, one should put on the Tefillin shel yad afterwards and need not take off the Tefillin shel rosh before putting the Tefillin shel yad on. However, if one put the Tefillin shel rosh on incorrectly, one should take it off, put on the Tefillin shel yad, and then re-don the Tefillin shel rosh.
If One Only Has One of the Tefillin
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- If one only has one of the Tefillin or for some reason can only wear one of the two, either the one shel rosh or the one she yad, one should wear the one that one has and say the bracha, as each one is a Mitzvah on its own. Similarly, if one of one's Tefillin are pasul one should still wear the other and recite the bracha on it.
- If only wearing a Shel Yad, one only recite the Beracha of "Lehaniach Tefillin." If only wearing a Shel Rosh, Sephardim recite only "Al Mitzvat Tefillin," but Ashkenazim recite both Berachot.
Berachot of Tefillin
Berachot on the Arm and Head Tefillin
- Before the strap of the arm Tefillin is tightened, the blessing of להניח תפילין is said. If someone forgot to recite the blessing before tightening the arm Tefillin one should still recite the bracha, even if one has already placed one's head Tefillin.
- Upon placement of the head Tefillin, Sephardic and Hasidic authorities are of the opinion that the blessing on laying the head Tefillin is not necessary and the one blessing on laying the arm Tefillin is sufficient. Ashkenazim do recite a second blessing of על מצות תפילין on the head Tefillin, before tightening it around the head. It is also customary to add the phrase ברוך שם כבוד מלכותו לעולם ועד because of the doubt as too the necessity of the bracha.
- One does not recite a Beracha on Rabbenu Tam Tefillin. See the relevant page for details.
See the the Shehechiyanu page for a fuller treatment of this topic.
- The Beracha of Shehecheyanu is not recited the first time someone puts on Tefillin.
- Some Moroccan communities did have the custom for a Bar Mitzvah boy to recite Shehechiyanu on his new Tefillin, but many recommend reciting the Shehechiyanu on a new Tallit to exempt it instead.
Interrupting Between The Arm and Head Tefillin
- It is strictly forbidden to talk between the placement of the arm and head Tefillin.
- Furthermore, one should not answer Kaddish or Kedusha between putting on Tefillin shel yad and Tefillin shel rosh, yet one should pause to listen to Kaddish or Kedusha. If one mistakenly answered, one does not recite a bracha on the head Tefillin.
- One should not answer "amen" to another's bracha between donning the Tefillin shel yad and Tefillin shel rosh. Nevertheless, if one accidentally answered "amen" to another's bracha, one does not make a bracha on the Tefillin shel rosh.
- However, if one spoke by mistake about things unrelated to the Tefillin, even a Sephardi must then recite the bracha of al mitzvat Tefillin as the Ashkenazim do. Ashkenazim have to say both "lehaniach" and "al mitzvas" on the tefillin shel rosh. If one mistakenly spoke about things related to the Tefillin one need not recite another bracha.
Reciting a New Beracha When Putting Tefillin Back On
- If one removes one's Tefillin in order to go to the bathroom one recites a new bracha upon putting them back on.
- If one removes one's Tefillin and puts on a different pair, one recites a bracha upon donning the other pair.
- If one removed one's Tefillin without the intention of putting them back on and then decides to put them back on, one recites another bracha when putting them back on. However, if one removed one's Tefillin with the intention of putting them back, one does not recite another bracha when putting them back on.
- It is prohibited to recite a bracha on stolen Tefillin, including Tefillin that one bought from a thief.
Praying with Tefillin
What to Read With Tefillin On
- After putting on Tefillin, there is a Minhag to recite the parshiot of "Vehaya Ki Yivecha" and "Kadesh Li" since they appear in the Tefillin. While some say that one does not need to recite them, it is proper to say them anyway. Some recite them together as a Tzibbur before Hashem Melech or Baruch She'amar so people don't forget to recite them.
- Some communities, such as Moroccans, have the custom to recite certain Pesukim at various points of the process of putting on the Tefillin.
Touching the Tefillin During Prayer
- When one says "U'kshartem LeOt Al Yadecha" one should touch one's Tefillin shel yad and when one says "VeHayu VeTotafot Ben Aynecha" one should touch one's Tefillin shel rosh.
- Some have the custom to touch their Tefillin when they say the following prayers: Oter Yisrael BeTifara (Tefillin shel rosh only), Ozer Yisrael BeGevura (Tefillin shel yad only), Kadesh Li Kol Bechor, at the words Yehe Kavod and Maasbeha Lechol Chay Ratzon in Hodu, Kadosh Kadosh Kadosh in Birkat Yotzer, Hashem Sifatay Tiftach, Hamivarech Et Amo BaShalom.
Removing the Tefillin
Order of Removing Tallit and Tefillin
- According to Ashkenazim, one should remove one's Tefillin standing, however, the Sephardic minhag is to remove the Tefillin shel yad sitting.
- One should remove one's Tefillin shel rosh before one's Tefillin shel yad.
- One should not remove one's Tallit until one removed one's Tefillin.
- The Ben Ish Chai says to remove Tefillin as follows: standing or sitting, first remove finger, hand, and two windings of forearm. Then stand to take off shel rosh and sit to take off rest of shel yad. In contrast, Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano maintains that one should remove Tefillin in the following manner: remove Tefillin shel yad from hand and a little bit of one's arm and Tefillin shel rosh while standing, then wrap the Tefillin shel rosh and return it to its bag, afterwards sit down to remove the rest of the Tefillin shel yad and return it to its bag.
When to Take Off Tefillin
- One should wait until at least the kedusha of Uva Letzion before removing one's Tefillin. Preferably though one should wait until after "al ken" in alenu lishabeach. There is Kabbalistic significance in waiting until the mourner's kaddish that takes place after alenu leshabeach to take off one's Tefillin.
- Ideally, one should learn a little bit of Torah after prayers while still wearing Tefillin.
- On a day when there is Kriyat HaTorah, one should not remove one's Tefillin until the Torah is returned to the Aron, however, if one must do so, one should put one's Tallit over one's head when removing the Tefillin shel rosh in order that one's head be covered during the return of the sefer Torah.
- When there is a brit mila, one should keep one's Tefillin on throughout because the brit mila and Tefillin are both an "ot." The minhag is that the sandak, mohel, and father of the son receiving the berit mila procedure keep their Tefillin on.
How to Take Off and Store Tefillin
- One should remove the Tefillin shel rosh with one's weaker hand to show one's desire to fulfill mitzvot and reluctance to stop.
- It is a nice practice to kiss the Tefillin upon removing them.
- When putting the Tefillin back, one should place the Tefillin shel rosh on the bag's left.
- One should be careful not to put one's Tallit or siddur on top of one's Tefillin when placing one's religious articles back in one's bag.
- One should wrap up one's Tefillin personally, and not leave it to another to do, in order to demonstrate love for the mitzvah.
- Based on the Zohar Vaetchanan 265, the Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 25:2 rules that one who is careful to wear a Tallit Katan should put on the Tallit Katan and Tefillin in their house and then walk to Shul wearing Tefillin and in Shul put on a Tallit Gadol.
- Halacha Brurah (Rav David Yosef, 25:11) quotes the Ari"zal as saying that even if one is wearing a Tallit Katan one must put one's Tallit Gadol before putting on one's Tefillin at home and adds that it is good to follow this latter opinion.
- Mishna Brurah 25:8 and 10, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of the mitzvah of tefillin, seif 6. The Sh"t Rav Pealim OC 2:5 agrees that if one is going to wear tefillin in the street that non-Jews will see it, one should wear small ones and cover them so that they're not visible.
- Kaf HaChaim 25:17, Piskei Teshuvot 25:6
- Piskei Teshuvot 25:6
- Ben Ish Chai Vayera #5, Kaf HaChaim 25:18, Halacha Brurah 25:13, Yalkut Yosef (Tefillin 25 note 36)
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 30:2, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, the time for donning, seif 2
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 30:1
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 37:2, Rambam Hilchot Tefillin 4:26
- Kaf HaChaim 25:3-4
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 25:4, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of the mitzvah of tefillin, seif 16. The gemara in Berachot 14b says that if a person recites the morning Shema without Tefillin it is as if he is testifying falsely about himself when he says the pasuk that discusses the obligation to wear Tefillin since he is not fulfilling it. The Zohar 93b speaks highly of one who prays the amida wearing his Tefillin.
- Magen Avraham 66:12, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 10:22, Kaf Hachayim 25:28
- Yalkut Yosef 90:9:12
- Sh"t Yabia Omer OC 1:4 by doing so, one does not fall into the category of people criticized by the gemara Brachot 14b mentioned above.
- Mishna Brurah 25:55 based on Magen Avraham OC 25:28 and Shach YD 265:24. Rabbi Chaim Jachter http://koltorah.org/ravj/Minhagim_of_Brit_Milah_1.html testifies that this is the minhag of Rav Reuven and Rav Dovid Feinstein, although Rabbi Jachter himself says that the minhag seems to be that only the father and sandek wear it throughout the brit.
- Yalkut Yosef p. 895, Aruch Hashulchan YD 265:38. Kaf Hachayim 25:92 writes that the minhag is for the father, mohel, and sandak to leave their Tefillin on for the brit.
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 30:1
- Igrot Moshe OC 1:10. Rav Moshe Feinstein writes here that one who will lose more than one-fifth of his income by not accepting work that requires such early hours ought to put on Tefillin with a berakha, since it is not worth losing a positive commandment due to a rabbinic prohibition. In this situation, the reason for Chazal’s ruling does not apply since there should be no reason to be concerned that he will fall asleep.
- Piskei Teshuvot 30:1. An example given is if one must undergo surgery and will not be able to fulfill the mitzvah later. One should not make a berakha before misheyakir in such situations.
- Mishnah Berurah 30:14. While the Shulchan Arukh allows donning Tefillin before Alot HaShachar and reciting the berakha at misheyakir for one who needs to travel, this would only seem to apply when one is travelling by foot. However, as we tend to travel by vehicle, there is still a concern that one may fall asleep when sitting while wearing Tefillin. The Arukh Ha-Shulchan (OC 30:5) agrees with this view.
- Chevel Nachalato 3:2 records a long discussion between Rav Yakov Epstein and Rav Avigdor Nevenzal whether a soldier who is on duty from before Olot until after Shekiya can put on Tefillin before olot. Rav Nevenzal held he could but shouldn't recite a bracha. He is based on Igrot Moshe 1:10 and would apply it even on a mass scale.
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 30:2
- Magen Avraham 30:2, Mishna Brurah 30:3, Halichot Olam volume 1 page 29
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 30:2, Sh"t Yabia Omer OC 7:7:5.
- Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 25:1) says that the Tallit goes first because we want to increase in Kedusha from Tallit to Tefillin.
- Mishna Brurah 25:1, Halacha Brurah 25:7, Ben Ish Chai Vayera Halacha 3
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 25:1 writes that one must not place the Tefillin above the Tallit in fear of taking the Tefillin out before the Tallit. However, Halacha Brurah 25 writes that it is not respectful to the Tefillin to place the Tallit above the Tefillin, therefore it should be placed in a separate bag or to the side of the Tefillin.
- Mishna Brurah 25:3 writes that the law that one may not pass up a mitzvah only applies when one intends to do the mitzvah.
- This follows clearly from the above Mishna Brurah but is written as an example in Halachot of Tefillin by Rabbi Shlomo Churba (page 7) quoting Or Letzion (vol 2, 44:16).
- Kaf HaChaim 25:8 writes that since one does not intend to use the Tallit of Shabbat now one is permitted to take the Tallit of the weekday even if it is underneath.
- Rama 25:1 writes that if one has Tefillin but not a Tallit one should not wait for the Tallit but rather just put on the Tefillin. The Magen Avraham 25:2 understands that this is the case even if there is no concern that one will miss Sof Zman Kriyat Shema. Mishna Brurah 25:7 agrees. However, the Machaneh Chaim (Mehudra Kama 2), Sh”t Shenot Chaim 36, Kaf HaChaim 25:10, Yalkut Yosef (Sherit Yosef 1 pg 319), and Halacha Brurah 25:10 argue that one should wait to put on the Tallit as long as one will not miss the time for Kriyat Shema.
- Mishna Brurah (Beiur Halacha s.v. Vayitztarech) writes that the principle of putting on the Tallit before Tefillin is relevant also in a case where one took off the Tallit and Tefillin momentarily and now comes to put them back on. This is quoted in Yalkut Yosef (Sherit Yosef 1 pg 318), Halacha Brurah (Birur Halacha 25:2), Amudei HaShulchan 10:2, and Divrei Shalom (vol 1 pg 15).
- Ben Ish Chai (Vayera 4, Sh”t Rav Poalim 1:4) writes that if someone is only wearing Tefillin and a Tallit becomes available, one should remove one’s Tefillin before putting on the Tallit. This is also the opinion of the Sh”t Torah Lishmah 1. However, the Rama 25:1 writes that if one has only Tefillin one should put them on and when one gets a Tallit one should don the Tallit implying that one does not need to remove the Tefillin in order to put on the Tallit. Yalkut Yosef (Sherit Yosef 1 pg 319) agrees.
- The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 25:1) writes that one should be careful not to put the Tefillin above the Tallit in one bag because then one may take the Tefillin first and have to put them on before the Tallit. The Shulchan Aruch here holds that since one picked up the Tefillin the principle of not passing up a mitzvah overrides putting the Tallit on before the Tefillin. Most achronim rule in accordance with Shulchan Aruch including Mishna Brurah and Halacha Brurah 25:9. However, the Kaf HaChaim 25:10 writes in name of the Arizal that one should always put on the Tallit first even in such a case. Therefore, the Sh”t Or Letzion 2:44:16 writes that one should leave the Tefillin and engage in another activity, so that when one returns to the Tefillin one may put on the Tallit first according to all opinions. [This advise of engaging in another activity in order to remove the issue of not passing up a mitzvah is sourced in the Magen Avraham 25:4 and Mishna Brurah 25:3.] Even though the Halacha Brurah 25:9 argues that once one is involved in a mitzvah one is not allowed to engage in a non-mitzvah, still the Divrei Shalom (vol 1 pg 23), Yalkut Yosef (Sherit Yosef 1 pg 315-7), Rabbi Eli Mansour on dailyhalacha.com, and Halachot of Tefillin (by Rabbi Shlomo Churba pg 8) rule in accordance with the Or Letzion.
- Magen Avraham 25:1 argues that the principle of not passing up a mitzvah does not apply if one picks up the Tefillin in their bag before taking the Tallit. This is also the opinion of the Shulchan Aruch HaRav 25:3. However, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 10:2, Maamer Mordechai 25:3, Nehar Shalom 25:1, Nishmat Adam 13:2, Levush 25, Taz 25:10, Eliyah Rabba 25:4, Chaye Adam 13:1, Shalmei Tzibbur (pg 37a), Siddur Bet Ovad (Makom Hanachat Tefillin 1), Kaf HaChaim 25:6, and Mishna Brurah (Beiur Halacha 25:1 s.v. Shelo Yanichu) rule that the principle of not passing up a mitzvah applies even if the Tefillin are still in their bag and therefore one may not simply put tem down again and don one's Tallit but rather engage oneself doing something else, then return and put them on in the right order; Tallit first then Tefillin.
- Mishna Brurah 25:4 writes that the principle of not passing up on a mitzvah applies even to when one mitzvah is in the room that one is in and the other mitzvah is in another room. Therefore the same halacha as when one picks up Tefillin before the Tallit applies.
- Mishna Brurah 25:5, Halacha Brurah (Birur Halach 25:2)
- Mishna Brurah (Beiur Halacha 25) writes that if one is embarrassed to put on the Tefillin first there is a doubt whether one may put on the Tallit first. Yalkut Yosef (Sherit Yosef 1 pg 318) writes that since we hold that the principle of not passing up a mitzvah is only derabbanan, we override the Derabbanan with Kavod HaBriot. Whether not passing up a mitzvah is derabbanan or deoraitah is a dispute in the rishonim and achronim, see Yalkut Yosef (Sherit Yosef 1 pg 317-8).
- Kaf Hachayim 25:3
- Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 25:5), Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of the donning of tefillin, seif 1
- Mishna Brurah 25:16
- Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 60:4)
- Rashi Yoma 33b "Avurei" learns this from the concept of ein maavirin al hamitzvot. Tosfot there "avurei" questions this because the gemara Menachot 36a derives this from the pasuk (Devarim 6:8, see above) of Tefillin, which mentions arm before head. Therefore Tosfot interpret the gemara in Yoma as referring to the placement of the Tefillin in the bag. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of the donning of tefillin, seif 18. Ben Ish Chai Vayera Halacha 6 says that this order has great kabbalistic significance as well. Chazon Ovadia Chelek 2 page 209 says that the order relates to the idea of naase vinishma (Shemot 24:7, that the Jews accepted to observe the commandments and only afterwards understand them) because the Tefillin shel yad represent our actions and the shel rosh represent our understanding
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of the donning of tefillin, seif 20
- Sh"t Rivivot Ephraim 1:27:1
- Rama (Orach Chaim 25:11)
- Chesed La'alafim 25:4, Kaf HaChaim 25:33, Sh"t Yechave Daat 4:36
- Kaf Hachayim 25:68, Chesed La'alafim 25:11, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of the donning of tefillin, seif 18
- Rav Mordechai Lebhar (Magen Avot, Orach Chaim 25:11) writes how the Minhag of many Moroccan communities and leaders was to be seated for the Tefillin Shel Yad. Although the common people did often put on both standing, one cannot derive a Minhag from what was probably convenient for them as they walked in to shul. Some compromise and recite the Beracha sitting and then stand to wrap the Shel Yad. See Shemesh uMagen 2 CM 3:2, Emek Yehoshua 1:34 and 3:31, Mayim Chaim 2:OC 93 at the end, and Tevuot Shamesh 1:67
- Sh"t Yechave Daat 4:36
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 27:1 writes that the Tefillin shel yad is placed on the bone between the elbow and armpit on the elevated part of the flesh. The Rama adds that it has to be below the halfway point on that bone. The Mishna Brurah 27:4 clarifies that it must be slightly above the elbow so that it is on the elevated part of the flesh. Halacha Brurah 27:3 agrees.
- Piskei Teshuvot 27:1 quoted Tefillah LeMoshe 7:7
- Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 27:3)
- Piskei Teshuvot 27:1 inferring from Mishna Brurah 27:34
- Piskei Teshuvot 27:1 quoting Shraga HaMeir 6:46
- Ben Ish Chai Chayei Sarah Halacha 1
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 27:10
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 27:11
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 27:1, 27:6 based on gemara Menachot 37a. As a Middat Chassidut, Or LeTzion (2:3:3) cites the Ben Ish Chai (I Chaye Sarah 7) who recommends being Machmir for the view of the Shalmei Tzibbur that a lefty should wear Tefillin on his right hand.
- Kaf HaChaim (Orach Chaim 27:1)
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 27:6
- Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 27:6) presents it as a Yesh veYesh in this order, and the Rama notes how the Minhag follows the latter opinion. Rav Moshe Feinstein in Igrot Moshe O.C. 4:1 discusses this topic at length and concludes in favor of the opinion that considers the stronger hand primary. See Yabia Omer (6 OC 23), Or LeTzion (2:3:3), and Yabia Omer (9 OC 108: Halacha Brurah 27:21 write that someone who writes with one hand and performs all other activities with another is considered praiseworthy if he places Tefillin on the other hand in addition, however without making a bracha on the second Tefillin. This is also the ruling of Rabbi Eli Mansour http://www.dailyhalacha.com/displayRead.asp?readID=1101
- Mishna Brurah 27:22
- Halacha Brurah 27:4
- Kaf Hachayim 25:67, Halacha Brurah 27:27
- Ben Ish Chai Vayera 15 based on Shaar Hakavanot Derush 5 of Tefillin
- Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 27:2) based on the Zohar
- Although the Shulchan Aruch does not specify how to secure the Yud, the Iraqi Mekubalim interpret the Rashash as saying so. Ben Ish Chai Vayera Halacha 15 says that according to Kabbalah the yud should be touching the box even when the Tefillin are wrapped in their boxes. Shaare Teshuva OC 27:2 quotes the Shalmei Tzibbur saying the same. Therefore, a gid is often used when the Tefillin are made to hold the Yud down forever, but the Ben Ish Chai writes one should still wrap the retzua around the Yud for Kabbalistic reasons. See Kaf HaChaim (Orach Chaim 27:13). Or LeTzion 2:3:1 reports this as the practice of Rav Ephraim HaKohen and other Iraqi Mekubalim. Rav Mordechai Lebhar (Magen Avot Orach Chaim 27:8) notes how Rav Masoud Elchadad writes how this is only the Minhag in Yeshivat Beit El and not me'akev, but the Ben Ish Chai argues it is me'akev.
- Syrian Mekubalim do not interpret the Rashash literally, as wrapping the Retzuot around the boxes every day will ruin their squareness. See Rama Orach Chaim 27:8. Or LeTzion 2:3:1 writes how either interpretation of the Rashash is fine, but the Ben Ish Chai's is preferred. Rav Ovadia (Yabia Omer vol. 9 OC 108:20) argues in favor of the Syrian Mekubalim and that one should just follow the Shalmei Tzibbur and use a gid, not a retzua. He notes how Rav Ben Tzion Abba Shaul recommends following the Ben Ish Chai, because Rav Ben Tzion's father prayed in the synagogue of Chacham Tzadka Hussein, a Talmid of the Ben Ish Chai, so he wouldn't deviate from the Ben Ish Chai's view. Rav Ovadia's rebbeim, on the other hand, followed the Syrian view on this issue. See VaYashov HaYam 1:4 who explains the Ben Ish Chai's view from a Kabbalistic perspective.
- Rav Mordechai Lebhar (Magen Avot Orach Chaim 27:8) notes how some do and some claimed not to.
- See Shu"t Tashbetz 3:118, Birkei Yosef Orach Chaim 25:9, Machazik Beracha (Orach Chaim 27:8), Kesher Gudal 3:7, Lev Chaim 2:143, Ben Ish Chai I Vayera 15, Kaf HaChaim 25:67 and 27:13, 35, Yaskil Avdi 7:44:2, Or LeTzion 2:3:1, Magen Avot (Orach Chaim 27:8)
- Halichot Shlomo (Tefillah 4:3), Sh”t Shelmat Chaim 39-40, Kaf HaChaim 4:59
- Piskei Teshuvot 27:2 quoting Dinim Vehanahot LeChazon Ish 3:10 and Chelkat Yehoshua 6:7
- Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 27:4), Mishna Brurah 27:16
- Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 27:8), Kaf Hachayim 25:67, Halacha Brurah 27:27, Magen Avot 25 fn 19 citing Shemesh uMagen 3:58:4
- Bet Yosef 27:4 quotes a dispute between the Rosh (Hilchot Tefillin 18, Sh"t HaRosh 3:4) who says that that there may not be any interposition between the Tefillin shel rosh and one's head and the Tefillin shel yad and one's arm and the Rashba (Megillah 24b s.v. Sipah) who allows putting Tefillin on top of an interposition. [See the Sh"t HaRashba 3:282 where, at first, he acknowledges the explanation of the Rosh, but then comments that this is the halacha velo lemaaseh and continues to elaborate on his own explanation until he concludes that his approach is the halacha.] Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 27:4) rules like the Rosh. The Rama (Orach Chaim 27:4) says that this only applies for the batim (boxes) themselves and not the retzuot (straps) but Mishna Brurah 27:16 says that one should not be lenient in this. Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 27:5) allows one to be lenient if one needs to, such as if one needs to wear a head covering for some medical reason, then one may wear them above a thin hat. The Rama there says in that case one may, however, not recite a Beracha.
- Mishna Brurah 27:14
- Shaarei Teshuva 27:6 says one should make sure to dry one's hair well if one wet it before putting on the Tefillin, both because it could damage the Tefillin and because the water itself could be considered a separation. See Mikdash Dovid (Taharot 39:4) who doesn't think that water is a chatzitza for bigdei kehuna.
- Mishna Brurah 27:16
- Iggerot Moshe OC 4:40:18 says that if removing it in public would embarrass the person then he should put on Tefillin in private with a Beracha without the toupee and then go to shul and put it on there over the toupee without a Beracha. Hair that is transplanted is considered part of the head and is not a problem. see Daily Halacha (by Rabbi Mansour).
- Machatzit Hashekel 27 and Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 10:6 say that although short hair would not be a problem, excessively long hair could be. The Pri Megadim 27 says that hair which is not located in its place of growth but rather has been brushed across from another part of the head, constitutes a chatzitza in Tefillin. Mishna Brurah 27:14-15 agrees to this and says that it also could be hard to keep the Tefillin lined up between the eyes and at the right height with long hair. Aruch Hashulchan 27:14 and Rav Ovadia (Yechave Daat 2:2(22)) hold that there is what to rely on regarding really long hair. The Aruch Hashulchan says only hair moved from another place would be problematic.
- Yechave Daat 2:2, based on a Sefek Sefeika: maybe the Halacha is like the Rosh (against Shulchan Aruch) that there is no Chatzitzah issue by Tefillin shel rosh, and, even if the Halacha is like the Rashba and not the Rosh, maybe hair is not a Chatzitzah, as it is Min beMino. Additionally, we do not find that the Poskim mentioned a Chatzitza issue for an Avel during Shloshim.
- Rav Ovadia (Sh"t Yabia Omer 2:2, Yechave Daat 3:2) writes that one who is stringent will be blessed. Emes leYaakov OC 27:note 31 says even though the Rama (Orach Chaim 27:4) based on the Shu"t HaRashba 1:827 who says one does not need to worry about barriers except for between the skin and the boxes and that if one is accustomed to removing it, one should continue doing so, as there are some poskim who are stringent on barriers on any part of the arm or head Tefillin
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, place of donning and how to don, seif 12; Sh"t Yabia Omer OC 2:2
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, place of donning and how to don, seif 10-11, Sh"t Yabia Omer OC 2:
- Tosfot Yoma 33b, Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 25:6, Kaf Hachayim 25:42. See Olot Shlomo Zevachim 19a s.v. pturin who writes that there is no concept of osek bmitzvah or ein maavirin if one started with the mitzvah that shouldn't be done first since objectively it should have been done afterwards.
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, one who only has one tefila, seif 2
- Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 26:1), Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, one who only has one tefila, seif 1
- Shulchan Aruch and Rama (Orach Chaim 26:2)
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 25:8. The custom in Sefrou, Morocco, was to abstain from reciting a Beracha on Tefillin, but that was out of concern that their Tefillin weren't properly squared. (Magen Avot, Orach Chaim 25 fn. 19) See Rav Pe'alim 2 OC 2.
- Kaf Hachayim 25:49
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 25:5
- Rama 25:5, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of the donning of tefillin, seif 3. Kaf Hachayim 25:40 writes that a Sephardi who hears the bracha on the Tefillin shel rosh is permitted to answer amen in his head.
- Rama 25:5
- Chida in Machazik Bracha 22, Kaf Hachaim Palachi 10:8 based on Tosfot Menachot 75, against the tosefta Brachot 6:10 which says that when one makes Tzitzit or Tefillin, to recite Shehecheyanu, this is brought down by the Rambam Hilchot Brachot 11:9. However, the Beiur Halacha 22:1 and Kaf Hachayim 22:2 both suggest to put on a new garment and say the shehecheyanu on that immediately before putting on Tefillin for the first time, while having in mind to cover the Tefillin as well, in order to avoid the safek.
- Magen Avot (Orach Chaim 22:1)
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 25:9 based on Gemara Menachot 36a, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10:3. see also Gemara Sota 44b which informs us that for such a transgression an individual would return from the battlefield
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 25:10, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of the donning of tefillin, seif 14
- Kaf Hachayim 25:63-64, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of the donning of tefillin, seif 14
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of the donning of tefillin, seif 15
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of the donning of Tefillin, seif 15
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 25:9, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of the donning of tefillin, seif 3
- Remo 25:9
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 25:10
- Mishna Brurah 25:47, Sh"t Yabia Omer 8:2, Yalkut Yosef 25:84. Sukkah 46a records the practice of Rava to recite a new bracha every time he went to the bathroom and put his Tefillin back on.
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of the donning of Tefillin, seif 23
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of the donning of tefillin, seif 21
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of the donning of tefillin, seif 30
- Mishna Brurah 25:16, Od Yosef Chai (Vayera 25), Yalkut Yosef 28:11
- Halacha Brurah 25:21
- Magen Avot (Orach Chaim 25 fn. 19, 52 fn. 48)
- Magen Avot (Orach Chaim 25 fn. 19)
- Yalkut Yosef 28:2
- Yalkut Yosef 28:2
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 10:20, Rav Mordechai Eliyahu (comments on Kitzur 10:26)
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 10:20
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 10:20
- Ben Ish Chai Chayei Sara: halacha 9.
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of the donning of Tefillin, seif 38
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 25:13, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 10:19, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of the donning of Tefillin, seif 31
- Arizal in Shaar Kavanot derush 5 Tefillin, Ben Ish Chai Parashat Chayei Sara: halacha 10.
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of the donning of tefillin, seif 30
- Arizal quoted by Ben Ish Chai Chayei Sara 11, Chida in machazik bracha siman 25, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of the donning of tefillin, seif 32.
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of the donning of tefillin, seif 33
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of the donning of tefillin, seif 37.
- Ben Ish Chai Chayei Sara: Halacha 10, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of the donning of tefillin, seif 39.
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 28:3, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, distraction from tefillin and their removal, seif 11
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, distraction from tefillin and their removal, seif 7
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, distraction from Tefillin and their removal, seif 8
- Sh"t Rivivot Ephraim 1:28:1