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Hilchos Tefillin 25 (page 66)

Donning the Arm Tefillin Before the Head Tefillin
When to Recite the Beracha on Tefillin
Avoiding Interruptions Between the Arm and Head Tefillin

Donning the arm tefillin before the head tefillin 

The Torah says: "You should tie them on your arm and they shall be between your eyes." The words "and they shall be" imply that whenever the shel rosh is between the eyes, the shel yad must be on as well. The shel yad should be placed on the arm first and afterwards the shel rosh should be placed on the head. Even if the shel rosh was inadvertently picked up first, it should be put down and the shel yad should be put on first. If for some reason the shel rosh was placed in position before the shel yad, it should be left in place and the shel yad should be put on immediately.

(סעיף ו, ס"ק כב, וביה"ל ד"ה פגע)




When to recite the beracha on tefillin 

There is a principle that all berachos should be recited just prior to performing the mitzva. In the case of tefillin, the shel yad should be in its position on the arm but not yet tightened when the beracha is recited. The same is true for those who recite a special beracha when donning the shel rosh; it should be in position but not tightened when the beracha is said. If the shel yad was tightened without a beracha, the beracha may be recited when putting on the shel rosh. If the beracha was omitted then, too, it may be recited as long as they are worn. If the tefillin were donned prior to the correct time, the beracha may be recited after the time comes. The tefillin should be adjusted a bit when reciting the beracha if they are already on.

(סעיף ח וס"ק כה-כז; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 35)

Avoiding interruptions between the arm and head tefillin

It is forbidden to talk, pause for a long time, or even gesticulate between donning the shel yad and shel rosh. According to the Mechaber and Gra, someone who speaks even one word or is otherwise distracted between the two tefillin must recite the beracha of al mitzvas before donning the shel rosh. According to the Rama, he must repeat the beracha of l'haniach in addition to al mitzvas. He should readjust the shel yad before reciting l'haniach. A second opinion holds that it is preferable to first recite al mitzvas on the shel rosh and then adjust the shel yad and repeat l'haniach.

(סעיף ט, ס"ק כח, כט ו־לב, וביה"ל ד"ה ואם וד"ה ולדידן)




  • When putting on tefillin one should have in mind that the four parshios they contain call our attention to the Oneness of Hashem, yetzias Mitzrayim and the many miracles that Hashem performs for us, and Hashem's ability to control His creations. They also remind us of our obligation to serve Hashem with both our hearts and minds.

  • According to many Rishonim, the Mechaber and the Gra, only one beracha-l'haniach tefillin-is recited on tefillin. According to many other Rishonim and the Rama, the beracha of l'haniach is recited before the shel yad and a second beracha -- al mitzvas -- is recited before the shel rosh.

  • Someone who starts, or completes, an unnecessary beracha should immediately recite the pasuk baruch shem.








  • Answering Barchu while donning tefillin

  • The proper time to wrap the straps around the arm

  • The order of removing the tefillin from their case