Checklist for putting on Tefillin-Part 2

Tefillin Shel Rosh

  1. Remove the Tefillin Shel Rosh from the bag and unwrap it from its case.
  2. Look at the two Shin’s of the Shel Rosh. [Kabbalah]
  3. Kiss the Tefillin. Many also kiss the Daled of the Tefillin. [Custom]
  4. Take hold of the Tefillin through holding onto the Bayis and not the straps. [Chumra] Some approximate the Daled to the Mabarta of the Tefillin, and put it on the head in this position. After the Bayis rests on the front of the head, they then bring the Daled to the back of the head. [Rebbe Rashab] Others hold the knot of the Daled in the right hand and the Bayis in the left hand, and put it on to the head in this position. They first place the knot of the Daled in its proper place behind the head, and only then place the Bayis by the front of the head.
  5. No blessing is said over the Shel Rosh. [Sephardi and Chabad custom] However, if one spoke of matters unrelated to the Tefillin, or answered Amen, or to Barchu or Kedusha, recite the blessing of Al Mitzvas Tefillin over the Shel Rosh. One is to loosely place the Tefillin over his head, then say the blessing, and then tighten its grasp to one’s head. [Law]
  6. Rest the Bayis of the Shel Rosh exactly in the horizontal middle of one’s head, starting from the beginning of one’s hairline. No part of the Tefillin may rest below the hairline. [Law]
  7. Rest the knot of the Daled towards the end of the skull, in the area that contains hair, at the exact horizontal center, [and not swayed to the right or left of the center of the skull]. [Law] The upper half of the Daled is to be placed on the bone of the skull while the lower half by the nape under the skull. [Chabad custom] No part of the knot should rest below the hairline at the back of the neck. [Law]
  8. Tightly fasten the straps onto one’s skull. [Law]
  9. Verify the proper position of the Shel Rosh by using a mirror, motioning to a friend, or through estimation. [Custom]
  10. Dangle the right and left straps of the Shel Rosh over the chest. [Law]
  11. The straps are to their black side facing up. [Hiddur]
  12. One is to beware that the straps of the Shel Rosh do not drag on the floor. For this reason, some are accustomed to tuck the straps into the belt in order to prevent it from touching the floor. This is not the Chabad custom.

Tefillin Shel Yad-Palm

  1. While still standing, take hold of the strap of the Shel Yad, and unwind it from the palm, although leaving a single wrapping around it to form a Daled shape on the back of the hand. [Chabad custom]
  2. Wrap it three times around the middle finger. First wrap one time on the bottom joint of the middle finger, and then one time on the middle joint of the middle finger and then once again one time on the bottom joint of the middle finger. [Law] The two wrappings on the bottom part of the middle finger are not to overlap. However, the Rebbe was accustomed to wrap them in a way that they overlapped.
  3. Wrap the remainder of the strap around the palm.
  4. Tie the end of the strap by inserting it under the straps that are wrapped around the Palm, until it is well fastened. [Law]
  5. One may now talk regularly.
  6. The widespread Chabad custom of previous times was to cover the Tefillin Shel Yad with the sleeve, and so was the custom of the Rebbe Rashab, and so is the custom of many Chassidim even today.

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