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Hilchos Tefillin 27 (page 75)

The Location of the Shel Rosh
'The Area of the Hair'
How High on the Head Can the Tefillin Be Worn?


The location of the shel rosh 

The Torah says that the shel rosh should be "a totafos between your eyes." By means of a gezeirah shavah-comparison to the prohibition of mutilating one's body over a meis, Chazal understood that 'between your eyes' refers to the place where hair grows. The expression 'between your eyes' also teaches that the tefillin should not only be placed above the hairline, but also aligned between the eyes.

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'The area of the hair'

The tefillin are generally placed above the hairline, but someone who lost his hair in the tefillin area may continue to wear tefillin in the same spot he had worn them when he had hair. Someone who never grew hair on his head should place his tefillin in the area where hair would ordinarily grow on most people. Similarly, someone who has hair on his forehead should place his tefillin above his forehead, in the area where most hairlines begin.

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How high on the head can the tefillin be worn?

The tefillin may not be worn below the hairline in the front of the head. How far back can they be placed? Some poskim say they can be placed up to the top of (halfway up) the head. Other poskim permit placing them up to the midway point between the hairline the top of the head. It is proper to be stringent in accordance with the second opinion. If wearing them below the midway point of the slope will push the front of the tefillin below the hairline (e.g. in the case of larger tefillin), then they should be worn higher. Tefillin worn even partially below the hairline are invalid.

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  • A lefty who performs most of his work with his left arm/hand puts his tefillin on his right arm. Someone who is capable of doing his work with his right arm/hand but finds it easier to perform the work with his left hand is considered a lefty.
  • There is a machlokes as to whether a person who writes with one hand but does his work with the other should wear his tefillin on the hand with which he writes or the one with which he does most of his work.
  • There is a machlokes regarding which arm should be used for tefillin in the case of someone who naturally used his right hand but then switched to using both hands.





  • The minimum size of retzuos

  • Twisted retzuos

  • Where should the knot be located on the head?