Askmoses-A Jews Resource
Why is Yom Kippur never on a Sunday?
Browse our archives

The Scholar is ready to answer your question. Click the button below to chat now.


Scholar Online:

Type in your question here:

Click the button below to either CHAT LIVE with an AskMoses Scholar now - or - leave a message if no Scholar is currently online.

CHAT or LEAVE A MESSAGE

How do I put on Tefillin?

by Rabbi Tzvi Shapiro

  

Library » Mitzvot » Tefillin | Subscribe | What is RSS?


PRINT EMAIL COMMENT

Full Service

Your local Chabad Rabbi is waiting to help you learn the 'ropes' of this beautiful Mitzvah, just give him a call! He might even be willing to make a house/office call. The lesson is free and the Mitzvah is priceless. 

If you have your own pair of Tefillin bring it along, if you don't have one he'll be happy to let you use his. If you want to buy your own he can help with that too. It'll cost you a couple of bucks, but it will make your life all the more richer. A handcrafted, hand-written set of Tefillin begins at about $300.00. 

(Tefillin can also be purchased through your local Judaica store or from esofer.com, mezuzahdoctor.com, or thesoferstam.com. You can also get velvet Tefillin bags with your Hebrew name embroidered on the outside and a plastic cover-all to protect them from the elements. These go for a total of about $20.00 at any of the above vendors).

You really should have someone show you how to put them on; once again, your local Chabad center will be happy to oblige you.
Self Service 

You really should have someone show you how to put them on; once again, your local Chabad center will be happy to oblige you. If you're intent on doing it yourself, just need a refresher course, or you live in Antarctica, here’s what to do.

Click for an illustrated guide or an animated short.1

Service

The blessing on the Tefillin is recited before tying the them and is as follows:

Baruch Atta Ado-nai, Elo-hainu Melech Ha'olam, Asher Kidishanu, B'mitzvotav, V'tzivanu L'haniach Tefillin.

Here's what it means:

Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to put on Tefillin.

The ideal practice is to pray Shacharit while wearing Tefillin. If, for some reason you cannot do this, recite the Shema, the three-part essential credo of the Jewish faith.

For your convenience, we present the first (and most important) part in transliterated Hebrew right here:

She-ma Yis-ro-el Ado-noy Elo-hay-nu Ado-noy Ech-od.

(Silently) Bo-ruch Shaym Ke-vod Mal-chu-so Le-olom Vo-ed.

Veohavto Ays Ado-noy Elo-he-cho Bechol Levov-cho Uve-chol Naf-she-cho Uve-chol Meo-de-cho. Ve-ho-yu Ha-devorim Ho-eleh Asher Ono-chee Me-tzav-cho Ha-yom Al Le-vovecho. Veshi-nart-tom Levo-ne-cho Ve-dibar-to Bom, Be-shiv-techo Be-vai-se-cho Uve-lech-techo Va-derech Uve-shoch-be-cho Uvekume-cho. Uke-shar-tom Le-os Al Yo-de-cho Ve-ho-yu Le-to-tofos Bein Eine-cho. Uche-savtom Al Me-zuzos Beis-echo U-vishore-cho.

See here for the complete Shema, as well as other tranliterated prayers.

Wrap Up

When you’re done, remove the Tefillin in exact reverse of the put-on: unwind the strap on the fingers, then remove and stow away the headpiece, then remove and stow away the arm-piece. Remember to wrap each up so they fit neatly in their velvet bag—this takes practice, so don’t fret!

Footnotes

  • 1. There are many different methods to wrapping the Tefillin around the arm. Ashkenazim do it one way, Sephardim another, Chassidim do it yet another way, etc. If you know what your family custom is, go ahead and do it that way; otherwise you can do it the Chabad way, which is illustrated in this guide.

ADD A COMMENT

Please email me when new comments are posted (you must be  logged in).

RELATED CATEGORIES

Life Cycle » Bar/Bat Mitzvah » Tefillin

Mitzvah
(pl. Mitzvot). A commandment from G-d. Mitzvah also means a connection, for a Jew connects with G–d through fulfilling His commandments.
Tefillin
Black leather boxes containing small scrolls with passages of the Bible written on them. Every day, aside for Sabbath and Jewish holidays, the adult Jewish male is required to wrap the Tefillin--by means of black leather straps--around the weaker arm and atop the forehead.
Chabad
Chabad, an acronym for Wisdom, Knowledge, and Understanding, is the name of a Chassidic Group founded in the 1770s. Two of the most fundamental teachings of Chabad are the intellectual pursuit of understanding the divine and the willingness to help every Jew who has a spiritual or material need.
Shacharit
Morning prayer service. One of the three prayers a Jew is obligated to pray every day.
Shema
The most fundamental Jewish prayer, recited twice daily. This prayer, of Biblical origin, professes the belief in G-d's absolute unity.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.