Halacha » Q&A The Halachos of Teffilin

Q&A The Halachos of Teffilin

1. When buying Tefillin, is it true that the most important thing to look for is the Parshiot, the text inside the cases?

No.

Tefillin are made of 3  main parts: Parshiot, Batim and Retsuot (straps). If any of those three aren’t Kosher, the whole Tefillin isn’t Kosher. For example, if the Batim (the boxes) aren’t completely square the whole Tefillin is passul, although one might have gorgeous Parshiot.

Another example, if the Retsuot aren’t completely black, not only are the Retsuot passul, but rather the entire Tefillin.

2. If I make sure that all three things are Kosher when I buy them, is that sufficient, or do I need to know more to make sure the Tefillin are Kosher?

There is more, much more.

Even though one has all these three things Kosher, it still doesn’t guarantee that the Tefillin are Kosher. The Sofer which puts the Tefillin together must take various steps to ensure it’s done correctly. For example, before inserting the Parshiot he must verbally say לשם קדושת תפילין, meaning it’s put in for the sake of Tefillin. He also must place them correctly to ensure the Parshiot are not put in upside down. The Parshiot must be rolled from end to beginning etc. much more.

3. Ok, so I made sure all the parts of the Tefillin are kosher and I made sure the Sofer knows his profession. Anything else?

Yes.

After checking all points on the list, now it’s up to you to perform the Mitzvah correctly.

So many people have kosher Tefillin, but they place them in the wrong place on the arm and on the head. If one isn’t sure where they should be placed, ask a Rabbi or learn the Halacha. Placing the most Mehudar Tefillin in the wrong place is considered as if one didn’t don them at all.