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Hilchos Tefillin 25 (page 67)

Answering Barchu While Donning Tefillin
The Proper Time to Wrap the Straps Around the Arm
The Order of Removing the Tefillin from Their Case

Answering barchu while donning tefillin 

Speaking is forbidden between donning the shel yad and the shel rosh. One should not even respond to a davar shebekedusha-e.g.  yehe shmei rabah, kedusha or barchu. Someone who interrupts must recite an extra beracha on the shel rosh. According to the Sefardic custom he would have to recite the beracha of al mitzvas prior to putting on the shel rosh, whereas Ashkenazim add a second lehaniach in addition to al mitzvas. If the interruption was for a davar shebekedusha, some poskim hold that even Ashkenazim recite only al mitzvas on the shel rosh. Speech pertaining to the tefillin is not considered an interruption, but should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.

(סעיף י, ס"ק לד ו־לו, וביה"ל ד"ה אם)

The proper time to wrap the straps around the arm 

There are three steps to placing the shel yad on the arm: tightening the bayis to the forceps, wrapping the retzuos (straps) around the arm, and wrapping the retzuos around the fingers. According to the Mechaber, the shel rosh should be placed on the head immediately after tightening the bayis on the arm. According to the Arizal, the shel rosh should be positioned after the retzuos are wrapped around the arm. The popular custom follows the Arizal. Some poskim suggest that the purpose of winding the straps around the arm before placing the shel rosh is to keep the shel yad from slipping out of place. The shel yad is not considered 'tightened' if it can slide. All agree that the straps should be wrapped around the fingers only after the shel rosh is in place.

(סעיף יא וס"ק לח)

The order of removing the tefillin from their case

The tefillin shel rosh should not be removed from the tefillin case until the shel yad is in place. This is to prevent a potential conflict with the principle of ein ma'avirin al hamitzvos (not bypassing a mitzva). Since the halacha requires putting on the shel yad first, it would be necessary to bypass the shel rosh if it was at hand before the shel yad was in place. There is also a Kabbalistic reason for having the shel rosh covered when donning the shel yad. If both tefillin are close at hand when it is time to put them on, the shel rosh should not be prepared (e.g. by unwrapping the straps or removing the tefillin cover) before the shel yad. This should not be done even if the shel yad is held in the hand at the same time.

(סעיף יא וס"ק לט ו־מא)



  • The shel yad should be placed on the arm first; afterwards, the shel rosh should be placed on the head. Additionally, if it is available, the shel yad should always be worn along with the shel rosh.

  • 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.

  • It is forbidden to talk, pause for a long time, or even gesticulate between donning the shel yad and shel rosh.





  • Reciting a second beracha when replacing tefillin that had been removed

  • Reciting a second beracha when adjusting the tefillin

  • Should the shel yad be donned while sitting or standing?