The ultimate guide for learning how to put on tefillin

If you are ready to learn how to put on tefillin, then you have come to the right place. Welcome to the user friendly guide that will take you through the process with minimum effort! Although I kept the guide simple, l still recommend to all you first timers to try and get someone to show you how it’s done first hand.


An opening remark for lefties (and righties)


When learning how to put on tefillin the first thing you should know is that the tefillin should be placed on your weaker hand. Meaning, that if you’re right-handed, use your right hand to put the case on your left hand and if you’re left handed use your left hand to strap the case to your right arm. Please note, the following text is written for a right handed person.


Important things to know about the process


Always begin with the hand, never with the head. If you accidentally take out the Shel Rosh first, put it aside and take out the Shel Yad. Put on the tefillin when standing up, sitting down is permitted only once both cases are strapped to your body. Upon beginning the mitzvah you are not permitted to speak until taking the tefillin off.


Begin with strapping the case in your arm


Roll up your sleeve and removed any rings, watches or other accessories you may be wearing. Unwrap the tefillin straps and take the Shel Yad out of the box. Open the loop very widely, and slide back the Shel Yad until it reaches the center of your biceps.


Next, recite the first blessing:


“Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has made us holy through His commandments, and commanded us to put on tefillin”. In Hebrew it goes as follows: “Baruch ata Adonai elohanynu melech ha’olam asher kidshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu lehani’ach tefillin”.


Good work, are you ready to move on?

Tighten the loop and begin wrapping the strap around your hand. Wrap it at least once around your biceps, and seven times around your lower arm. Stop at the palm and wrap the remainder of the strap wrap around your palm (do not wrap the strap around your fingers yet).


Move on to the head


Remove the Shel Rosh from the bag, unwrap the straps, and take it out of the box. Place it on your head just before the hairline. The knot should be behind your head (just above your neck) and the strap should be lying loosely on your head.


Recite this blessing:


“Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who has made us holy through His commandments, and commanded us concerning the Mitzvah of tefillin”. In Hebrew it goes as follows:”Baruch ata Adonai elohanynu melech ha’olam asher kidshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu al mitzvat tefillin”.


What next?


You recited the blessing but it is not over yet… Tighten the straps around your head – do this by pulling them down at the sides from front to back. Next recite the following: “Blessed is His Name, whose glorious kingdom is forever and ever. In Hebrew it goes like this: “Baruch Shem Kvod Malchuso Leolam Vaed”.


We are reaching the end, only one step left


I hope you didn’t think I forgot about the hand! Now let’s continue wrapping its strap: Unwind the strap from your palm, bring it around and down to your middle finger, then around the upper half of the middle finger. Wrap it twice around the lower part of your middle finger and then loop it around your fourth finger, bring it over to the top. Bring it around the middle of your palm and continue going around until just a short length of the strap remains.


Your mission is complete!


End the process by tying the remainder of the strap around the middle straps to keep it firm. Recite the last and most important prayers: The Shema and The Amidah.


What are these prayers about?


The Shema is the Jewish Pledge of Allegiance: “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one”. The Amida is a prayer that contains words of praise, petitions and thanks to God. You can read more about them by clicking here.


Taking off the Tefillin


Begin taking them off by unwrapping the straps from your fingers and then wrapping them around your fist. Take off the Shel Rosh, place it in the box. Then take off the Shel Yad, place it in the box and put it away.

This is it, you are done! Congratulations on your great work! >Now that you know how to put on tefillin, do you want to see some great tefillin sets?

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