The length of the straps of the Tefillin Shel Rosh

Length of straps of Shel Rosh:

The straps of the Tefillin Shel Rosh are to be drooped in front of the person.[1] The Geonim received a tradition that the straps must be long enough to reach the naval, or slightly above it.[2] More specifically, the right strap is to reach up until the naval while the left strap is to reach up until the chest.[3] [Some Poskim[4] rule the straps are not to reach past the above-mentioned areas, and are thus to be tucked into one’s belt in a way that they do not extend any further. Others[5] however argue that there is no issue for the straps to reach beyond this point. Practically, the worldly custom, as well as the Chabad custom, is to have the two straps of the head-Tefillin reach until the legs.[6] However, one is to be particular that the right strap be longer than the left strap.[7] This applies likewise for a lefty.[8] In the event that the straps are the same length, one may either redo the knot and the subsequent lengths, or warp the left strap around a belt in order to make it appear shorter.[9] According to all, one is to beware that the straps do not drag on the floor.[10]]

 

Summary:

The straps of the Tefillin Shel Rosh are to be drooped in front of the person and are to reach until the legs. The right strap is to be longer than the left strap. One is to beware that the straps do not drag on the floor.

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[1] Admur 27:20; Michaber 27:11

[2] Admur ibid; Michaber 27:11; Rambam Tefillin 3:12

[3] Admur 33:6; Taz 33:6; 1st opinion in Tur 27; Sefer Hateruma; Rambam Tefillin 3:12 and 19; Zohar Parshas Pinchas p. 288; Mahariy Tzemach in Nagid Mitzvah; Ben Ish Chaiy Vayeira 17; Kaf Hachaim 25:69 based on Zohar; 27:52; Ketzos Hashulchan 8:24

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule the right strap is to reach until the Mila while the left strap is to reach until the naval. [2nd opinion in Tur ibid; opinion in M”B 27:41]

The reason: The right side is to be longer than the left side as Chesed is called Arich while Gevura is called Katzir. [Ben Ish Chaiy ibid]

[4] Implication of Ben Ish Chaiy ibid; Kaf Hachaim 25:69

[5] Os Chaim Vehsalom 27:18 based on Peri Eitz Chaim Shaar Hatefillin 10; Footnote of Rebbe in Sefer Haminhagim p. 14 [English] based on Peri Eitz Chaim; Piskeiy Teshuvos 27:21

[6] Os Chaim Vehsalom ibid based on Peri Eitz Chaim; Sefer Haminhagim p. 14 [English] and footnote of Rebbe based on Peri Eitz Chaim; Piskeiy Teshuvos 27:21

[7] Poskim ibid regarding the right reaching until the naval and left until the chest; Piskeiy Teshuvos 27:21

[8] Kaf Hachaim 27:52 in name of Mahariy Tzemach in Nagid Mitzvah

[9] Piskeiy Teshuvos 27:21; See Chayei Halevi 3:3

[10] Peri Eitz Chaim Shaar Hatefillin 10

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