Sunday, 18 October 2009

How to Put on Tefillin - Chabad Custom


The video below puts it all into perspective:

In case you're still lost here's a clear guide. Note: These steps are for those who wish to follow the custom of Chabad. There are other customs, and if you follow another, please ask your local orthodox rabbi to show you the best way for you.

  1. Remove the hand Tefillin from the Tefillin case
  2. Place the Tefillin in the middle section of the upper arm where the bicep is raised
  3. Before tightening the Tefillin, recite the blessing: "Baruch ata ado-noy e‑lo‑heinu melech ha-olam asher kide-shanu be-mitzvotav ve-tzi-vanu le-ho-niach Tefillin"
  4. There should be no talking from the time this blessing is made until the head Tefillin are securely fastened upon the head
  5. Tighten the strap, securing the hand Tefillin on the bicep
  6. Wrap the strap two times (away from the body) around the upper section of the Tefillin (i.e. nearest to your shoulder, not elbow) creating the letter "Shin"
  7. Wrap the strap a three times around the lower arm
  8. Leave a small gap after the third winding
  9. Wrap the strap another four times until reaching the hand
  10. Wrap the remainder length of the strap around the palm of the hand
  11. Take the head Tefillin from the case and secure it onto the head. Note: No blessing is recited according to the Chabad custom (and others), hence the reason that there should be no talking from the beginning of the recitation of the blessing on the hand-Tefillin until the head-Tefillin is secured in place
  12. Before tightening the head-Tefillin, make sure the knot (the letter Dalet) at the back of the head is positioned just in the nape of the head in the middle of the back of the head.
  13. The head-Tefillin must be position "between the eyes" on the top area of the head i.e. it must be position above the hairline in the immediate centre of the head directly between the two eyes (though sitting on the top of the head.) Tighten the head-Tefillin
  14. Back to the hand-Tefillin
  15. Unwind the strap secured in the palm and wrap the strap once around the upper joint (closest to the Palm of the hand) of the middle finger
  16. Wrap the strap once around the middle joint of the middle finger
  17. Wrap the strap once (again) around the upper joint of the middle finger
  18. Wrap the strap around the palm of the hand until the strap is all wrapped out, and tuck the small remainder piece inside the palm securing it


Chassidim and G-d fearing Jews wear 2 pairs of Tefillin. The "ordinary" Tefillin are known as "Rashi Tefillin". The second pair of Tefillin are known as "Rabbeinu Tam". 

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