Religious Judaica > Tefillin & Tefillin Boxes

How to Tefillin, in seven easy steps:

1) You have two black leather boxes with straps in your tefillin bag. One is for the arm, the other for the head. Get out the arm one (that's the one that's one smooth box, rather than four compartments). The arm tefillin goes on the weaker arm -- right-handed people do the left arm, lefties do the right arm.

2) Roll up your sleeve so that the tefillin is in direct contact with your arm. Put your arm through the loop formed by the knotted strap. Place the black box up on your biceps, right across from your heart, with the strap part closest to your shoulder.

3) Recite the blessing. If you can read and understand the original Hebrew, say it in Hebrew. Otherwise, you can say it in any language you understand.

4) Tighten the strap around your arm, mindful that the knot stays in direct contact with the box. Continue to wrap: two more times over the strap-socket of the black box and around the biceps, then seven times around your arm and once around your palm. Leave the remainder of the strap loose.

5) Next, get out the head tefillin. The box goes on your head, just above your forehead. Center it in the middle of your head directly above the point that's right between your eyes. The daled-shaped knot should rest on the base of your skull.

6) Now back to your hand. Wrap the remainder of the strap three times around your middle finger, like this: once around the base, then once just above the first joint, then one more time around the base. You've got some strap left over, so wrap it around your palm and tuck in the tail end.

7) Recite the Shma Yisrael.

(Chabad)




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