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How long do tefillin last?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg


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


The scrolls inside the Tefillin will decay with age if not used on a regular basis. Therefore, tefillin which have been stored without use for an extended period must be inspected by a competent scribe twice every seven years.

Tefillin which are used regularly (good for you!) technically do not have to be checked at all. This is provided that the exterior box has not been damaged, torn or soaked.

Nevertheless, it is proper to check tefillin occasionally, even if they are in constant use. "Better safe than sorry" -- can certainly apply to such a special Mitzvah which has such a profound affect on a person's daily life. Many Chassidim have the custom of checking their tefillin (and Mezuzahs) every year during the month of Elul -- adding another mitzvah to their arsenal in preparation for the Days of Judgment.


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Life Cycle » Bar/Bat Mitzvah » Tefillin

(pl. Mitzvot). A commandment from G-d. Mitzvah also means a connection, for a Jew connects with G–d through fulfilling His commandments.
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.
(Pl.: Chassidim; Adj.: Chassidic) Following the teachings of Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760), the founder of "Chassidut." Chassidut emphasizes serving G-d with sincerity and joy, and the importance of connecting to a Rebbe (saintly mentor).
The 6th month on the Jewish calendar, normally corresponding to August-September. This is the month which precedes Tishrei, the month of the High Holidays, and is a month of introspection and repentance.
Plural form of Mezuzah. Rolled up scrolls containing certain verses from the Torah which are affixed to the right-hand doorposts of doorways in Jewish homes.