Tefillin wearing checklist [Chabad custom] -Part 1- Tefillin Shel Yad

Tefillin wearing checklist [Chabad custom] 

*See our upcoming corresponding Sefer for sources, soon to be published on our website 

General Preparation

  1. Immerse in a mikvah. This especially applies if one is a Baal Keri. [Hiddur]
  2. Some are accustomed to wash the skin and hair of the head and bicep before putting on Tefillin to remove any Chatzitza’s. [Hiddur]
  3. One is to be very careful not to wear Tefillin with wet hair, whether due to water or sweat. One who sweats a lot on his way to Shul should preferably use a towel to dry his hair prior to putting on his Tefillin.
  4. Say the prayers of morning Brachos and Karbanos until the paragraphs of Eizeu Mikoman. [Chabad custom]
  5. When putting on early in the morning, make sure that it is past the time of Mi Sheyakir. [Law]
  6. According to the Zohar one is to put on the Tallis and Tefillin at home prior to walking to Shul, or in an adjacent room of the main sanctuary and only then to enter the Shul. Many are accustomed to do like this latter approach. [Law of Kabbalah]
  7. Those who wear a Tallis Gadol are to put it on before putting on the Tefillin. [Law]
  8. Some are accustomed to study chapter 41 in Tanya before putting on the Tefillin. [See Halacha 9]
  9. Intent to fulfill the Mitzvah of G-d by wearing the Tefillin. [Law]
  10. Verbalize, or/and contemplate the particular intent that one should have when wearing Tefillin, as printed in the Shulchan Aruch/Siddur. [Law; See Halacha 9]

Tefillin Shel Yad

  1. Roll up the sleeves of your Tefillin arm in a way that it will give enough room for the Shel Yad to rest in its proper area, without any Chatzitza. [Law] There is no need to wash one’s hands after doing so even if he touched his bicep.
  2. Make sure that there are no other Chatzitzas by the bicep area and verify that there is no Chatzitza on the head, in the area that the Tefillin Shel Rosh will rest. [Law]
  3. Remove your watch or wristband from your Tefillin arm. [Hiddur]
  4. Use your hand to gently remove the Shel Yad [not shaking it out]. Do not remove the Shel Rosh from the bag until the Shel Yad is wrapped on the forearm and palm. [Law]
  5. Unwrap the Tefillin and remove the plastic protective covering from the Shel Yad. [Chumra and custom of Chabad Rebbes]
  6. Kiss the Tefillin. Many also kiss the Yud of the Tefillin. [Custom]
  7. Stand up while putting on the Tefillin. [Law for Ashkenazim]
  8. Position the Shel Yad onto your bicep, at least 4 millimeters above the crease of your elbow, and no higher than the halfway point between your elbow and shoulder. [Law]
  9. The Tefillin is to be facing inwards towards your heart. [Law]
  10. Make sure that the strap which protrudes from the Yud extends at least one centimeter in its entirety.
  11. Many Chabad Chassidim have a tradition to open the loop of the knot of the Yud prior to the blessing and then fasten it after the blessing. [Chabad custom]
  12. Prepare for the wrapping by taking hold of the strap.
  13. Say the blessing of:“Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Haolam Asher Kidishanu Bemitzvosav Vetzivanu Lehuniach Tefillin,” making sure to emphasize the Kamatz under the word Lehuniach. [Law]
  14. Cover the Tefillin Shel Yad using the Tallis [or jacket] from prior to saying the blessing of Lehuniach Tefillin, until its conclusion. [Kabbalah and Chabad custom]
  15. From this point and onwards, do not talk, or make any gestures, until the Shel Rosh is worn [Law] and one is finished wrapping and tying the straps around the fingers and palm. [Chumra]
  16. Those Chabad Chassidim who have a tradition to open the loop prior to the blessing, are now to fasten and close the loop. [Chabad custom]
  17. One is to now wrap the strap around the bicep 2 times, thus forming a Shin by the bicep. [Chabad custom]
  18. One is to make sure that the Yud is touching the actual Bayis of the Shel Yad. If necessary, one can bind the strap around the Yud and the Bayis for this purpose. [Law]
  19. Stretch the strap to the start of the forearm, below the elbow, and make a half circle wrap on the forearm, and then two full circles around the forearm. Make a space and wrap another four full circles around the forearm, and then another half circle by the area of the forearm which leads to the wrist. The other half is wrapped over the wrist in a diagonal fashion. [Chabad custom]
  20. Make sure that the straps on the forearm do not touch or overlap. [Hiddur and Custom]
  21. Make the form of a Daled around the back of the hand. [Chabad custom]
  22. Wrap the remainder of the strap around the palm. [Custom]
  23. Some are accustomed to place the plastic covering back onto the Shel Yad at this point. [Custom of Rebbe] The Rebbe Rashab was particular to cover the Shel Yad with his sleeve before putting on the Shel Rosh. According to all, however, it is forbidden to take time to place a long shirt or sweater sleeve over one’s forearm, for the sake of warmth.

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