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Hilchos Tefillin 27 (page 72)

Tefillin on an Amputee

Position of the Tefillin Loop

Adjoining the Yud to the Bayis 


Tefillin on an amputee

Someone who lost his arm from the point where the tefillin can be worn and below is exempt from wearing tefillin. However, there is an opinion that he should wear it on his right arm without a beracha. If part of the tefillin area remains, he can put the tefillin on that spot. He does not recite a beracha on the shel yad, but should bear the shel yad in mind when reciting the beracha/os on the shel rosh. If any part of the arm below the elbow remained, he is required to wear tefillin like every other person.

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Positioning of the tefillin loop

The tefillin are tied to the arm by slipping the long end of the retzua into a loop on the short end of the retzua near the bayis. Pulling the long end tightens the tefillin to the arm. This loop is located on the right side of a right-handed person's tefillin (and the left side of a left-handed person's tefillin), adjacent to the yud. It is preferably that to make the loop small enough so that when the arm is down, the loop/knot will be near the heart. Some have the custom to place the loop on the outer side of the bayis, away from the body.

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Adjoining the yud to the bayis

One end of the retzua of the shel yad is tied to resemble a yud. The yud should be on the 'heart-side' of the tefillin (e.g. on the right side of a right-handed person's tefillin) so that when the hand is down, the tefillin and yud should align with the heart. It is important that the yud be pressed against the bayis. According to one opinion, the yud must touch the bayis even when stored in the case. There was a practice to wrap a gid (strand of braded sinew) around the base of the tefillin to hold the yud to the walls of the bayis. The Acharonim were opposed to this practice because part of the gid ran underneath the bayis and was a chatzitza between the bayis and the arm. Another solution is to insert some leather in the place where the retzua enters the bayis; this holds the retzua still so that the yud will stay in place.

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  • The tefillin shel yad should be located on the down slope of the muscular part of the arm that leans towards the elbow. Some poskim allow the entire bulge of the muscle.
  • The poskim discuss whether it is necessary to wash one's hands after donning the tefillin. One opinion considers the inevitable touching of these areas to be part of the mitzva which does not necessitate washing. An opposing view requires washing the hands after donning tefillin.
  • Someone who is unable to don both tefillin may use whichever one he can. If he only has a shel yad, he recites just one beracha (lehaniach). If he has only a shel rosh, he recites just one beracha according to the Mechaber and two berachos according to the Rama.





  • Does a chatzitza disqualify the tefillin?

  • Must a watch be removed?

  • Placing the tefillin on a bandage