Tefillin: How To

  1. Purchase a pair from a reliable source (or by clicking here; option will be available soon), as the laws of Tefillin are intricate.
  2. The hand Tefillin is worn on the “weaker” arm. For right handed people, that would be the left arm; for lefties, vice versa.
  3. Prior to donning the Tefillin, recite the following blessing: “Baruch Atah A-do-nai Elo-heinu Melech haolam asher kideshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu le’haniach Tefillin.” (for a Printable version Click here)
  4. First the hand Tefillin is wound around the arm. After securely tightening the “box” around the bicep of the arm, the bicep is circled three times with the leather strap.
  5. Continue wrapping the forearm seven times with the strap, concluding with a circuit around the hand, and finally, back around the hand.
  6. Without pausing, the head Tefillin is placed by fitting the circular strap around the head. The “box” should be situated in the middle of the forehead, with the front of the Tefillin just above the hairline, (if the hairline has receded, the head Tefillin is placed above the original hairline), on the spot that is “between the eyes.”
  7. The knot of the head Tefillin should be situated upon the part of the occipital bone that protrudes just above the nape, directly opposite the optic chiasm.
  8. The two straps that dangle from the knot of the head Tefillin are brought to the person’s front, one on each side of the neck.
  9. Morning prayers should be recited while wearing Tefillin. The “Shema” prayer is especially important, as it speaks of the mitzvah. Reciting it while wearing the Tefillin is bearing testimony to the truth of the prayer.
  10. Due to natural wear and tear, a licensed scribe should ideally check the Tefillin every year. You can send it via mail to a reliable store, or walk into a Judaica store in your city or town, and request a checkup.

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