Treating the Tefillin with Respect

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Importance of Tefillin

  1. One who is meticulous concerning the mitzvah of tefillin and treats it with holiness merits a long life in this world and a portion in the world to come. [1]
  2. One who is meticulous regarding the mitzvah of tefilin will not face the fire of gehinam and will have his iniquities forgiven. [2]
  3. One who doesn't don tefillin will not rise at the resurrection of the dead. [3]

Proper State of Mind while Wearing Tefillin

  1. It is forbidden to laugh or come to lightheartedness while wearing Tefillin because it remove one’s concentration from the Tefillin altogether. [4]
  2. It’s preferable not to remove one’s thought from the Tefillin at all so as not to come to think bad thoughts. However, during Davening and learning one doesn’t need to keep one’s mind on Tefillin since one will certainly maintain a proper seriousness and fear of Hashem. [5]
  3. If one is not engaged in learning or praying and is still wearing the Tefillin one should occasionally touch one's Tefillin in order to keep one's attention focused to the Tefillin. [6] One should touch one's Tefillin Shel Yad and then the Tefillin Shel Rosh. [7]
  4. Some people write the word tefillin in front of them while they wear like in their siddur, in order to maintain awareness of the tefillin while wearing them. [8]
  5. One may not think about inappropriate thoughts about the opposite gender while wearing Tefillin.[9] If one can't prevent oneself from thinking such thoughts one shouldn't wear Tefillin, but one should try one's best to think about holy thoughts.[10]

Sleeping while Wearing Tefillin

  1. It is forbidden to go to sleep while wearing Tefillin unless one covered the Tefillin and isn’t with one’s wife. [11] One is permitted to sleep while he is holding tefillin in a bag. [12]

Tefillin Falling

  1. It is customary to fast if one's tefillin fall to the floor even if it was accidental. [13] In some cases instead of fasting, it is better to give charity, or do a taanit dibur, or learn for additional hours, and therefore a posek should be consulted. [14]
  2. One is not obligated to fast if he only saw tefillin fall. [15]
  3. One shouldn't hold the tefillin by their straps, rather they should be held by the boxes. [16]

Eating while wearing Tefillin

  1. According to Sephardim, it is permitted to eat a snack while wearing tefillin, even though nowadays we don’t wear the tefillin all day. [17] Ashkenazim are strict not to eat even a snack while wearing Tefillin unless one is doing so in order to be able to wear the tefillin longer while learning or davening. [18]
  2. One must remove his tefillin before eating a fixed meal. [19] A KeBaytzah or less of bread or mezonot is considered a snack for this halacha. [20]
  3. Similarly, one shouldn’t drink more than a kebaytzah of intoxicating beverages. However, drinks that aren’t intoxicating, like coffee and tea, are permitted even if one drinks more than a kebaytzah. [21]

Sources

  1. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of the mitzvah of tefillin, seif 1
  2. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, the reward for the mitzvah of tefillin, seif 1
  3. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, the reward for the mitzvah of tefillin, seif 3
  4. Chaye Adam 14:15 and Mishna Brurah 44:3
  5. Mishna Brurah 44:3 writes that it’s preferable not to remove one’s mind from the Tefillin at all while wearing them so as not to comet to bad thoughts. Biur Halacha (D”H yashan) explains (based on Or Zaruha 585) that during Tefillah and learning one will certainly have a fear of heaven and not come to lightheartedness.
  6. Shulchan Aruch 28:1 writes that occasionally one should touch one's Tefillin in order to make sure that one's attention doesn't shift from thinking about the Tefillin. Mishna Brurah 28:2 writes that while one is praying one doesn't need to touch one's tefillin for this purpose. Mishna Brurah 44:3 adds that the same is true while one is learning.
  7. Shulchan Aruch 28:1. Mishna Brurah 28:3 explains that this order was chosen in order that when one's hand (the one not wearing Tefillin) touches the Tefillin it doesn't pass over the closer mitzvah of touching the Shel Yad first.
  8. Ben Ish Chai Chayei Sara Halacha 17 because Menachot 36a says that one must have awareness of his tefillin as long as he wears them because of their great holiness.
  9. S"A 38:4
  10. Rama 38:4, Mishna Brurah 38:15
  11. S”A 44:1. Halacha Berurah 44:1 says that if you sleep for less than 54 seconds or if you simply rest your head in your lap it is also permitted.
  12. Kaf Hachayim 44:7
  13. Mishna Brurah 40:3, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, who is valid to write tefillin and to buy from, seif 3, Iggerot Moshe OC 3:3. Daat Torah 44:1 however quotes poskim who say that fasting is only necessary if they fell because of negligence. Baer Heitev 571:1 and Kaf hachayim 40:6 write that it is preferable for one to fast on the day that the tefillin fell. Kaf Hachayim 40:7 writes that one doesn't need to fast at all if the tefillin fell from less than 3 Tefachim high.
  14. Az Nidberu 8:20 and Rivevos Efrayim 6:14 quoting the Steipler. Daat Torah 44:1 writes that if fasting is too hard for somebody they can be lenient and give charity and this is the case for someone who is physically weak, a torah scholar or teacher as well as somebody who is active in the community. This is also the opinion of the Chida in Chayim Sho’al 12, Ben Ish Chai Parashat Chayei Sarah halacha 18, Sh"t Yabia Omer 2:28
  15. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, who is valid to write tefillin and to buy from, seif 4
  16. Shulchan Aruch 40:1, Ben Ish Chai Chayei Sara 13, Chesed La'alafim 40:1
  17. S”A 40:8 writes that it’s permitted to have a snack while wearing tefillin. Mishna Brurah 40:19 quotes the Shulchan Shlomo who has a doubt whether this applies nowadays since we don’t wear tefillin all day. However, the Sh”t Teshurat Shai 215 argues that we shouldn’t extend a prohibition based on our own logic. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano (siman 10, who is valid to write tefillin and to buy from, seif 7) rules like Shulchan Aruch.
  18. Piskei Teshuvot 40:8
  19. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano (siman 10, who is valid to write tefillin and to buy from, seif 7).
  20. Mateh Yehudah quoted in Mishna Brurah, kaf hachaim 40:35
  21. Mateh Yehudah quoted in Mishna Brurah, kaf hachaim 40:35