web analytics
July 5, 2015 / 18 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

The Knots Of Tefillin

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

The second parshah of Shema is written in this week’s parshah, Parshas Eikev. Included in this parshah is the mitzvah of tefillin, with its many significant attributes. The Gemara in Rosh Hashanah 17a says that if one has never donned tefillin (according to many, this refers to tefillin shel rosh) he is considered a “sinner in his body” and will be severely punished.

Another attribute of the mitzvah of tefillin is stated in the Gemara (Menachos 35b). The pasuk explains that ki shem Hashem nikra alecha veyar’u mimeka – for the name of Hashem is upon you and they will fear you (Devarim 28:10) – refers to one who is wearing tefillin shel rosh.

Rashi there explains that this pasuk is referring to tefillin shel rosh because the majority of the letters of Hashem’s name (Shakai) is on it. There is a “shin” written on the outside of the box of the tefillin shel rosh, and the knot that we tie in the back of the tefillin shel rosh is a “daled.” Earlier Rashi explained that the letter “yud” is found on the knot that we tie on the tefillin shel yad.

Tosafos there takes issue with Rashi’s view that the letters that are formed in the knots of the tefillin are considered part of the name of Hashem. In Tosafos’s opinion these are not considered actual letters. Tosafos points to an earlier Gemara and another Gemara in Megillah that refer to the knots of tefillin as tashmeishei kedushah and not articles of kedushah itself. Had the knots been part of Hashem’s name they would have been considered articles of actual kedushah, thus requiring a different level of care.

Additionally, Tosafos points out that the knots are never referred to as anything but “knots of tefillin.” If they were part of the name of Hashem they would be referred to as such.

Another reason Tosafos differs from Rashi is based on the Gemara in Shabbos 28b that says that it is more obvious that the box of tefillin must be made from a kosher animal because there is a “shin” on it. The Gemara is uncertain at first whether the straps are required to be made from a kosher animal. But the Gemara concludes that the straps must be made only from kosher animals. Tosafos is bothered by this: If the straps made a letter of Hashem’s name, just as was the case on the box of the tefillin shel rosh, why then would it not be as obvious to the Gemara that they too should be required to be comprised of only kosher hide?

Lastly, Tosafos cites that Rav Yaakov of Orleinish was unsure whether one may enter a restroom wearing his tefillin shel yad, for they are surrounded by leather. On the other hand, he had no doubt that it was definitely forbidden to enter a restroom with tefillin shel rosh, since it has a “shin” on it. It is evident from this rishon that there are no letters on the tefillin shel yad.

The Ran, in Shabbos (perek Bameh Ha’isha), says that according to Rashi there are letters in the straps of the tefillin. Nevertheless the straps have no writing and therefore do not contain the same level of kedushah as a written name of Hashem. Thus it may be clearer to Rashi that one may not enter a restroom when donning his tefillin shel yad, as Rav Yaakov of Orleinish posited.

It is for this reason that the Gemara refers to the knots of tefillin as tashmeishei kedushah and not articles of kedushah itself. Since only written names of Hashem carry the full weight of Hahsem’s name, we can also understand why the Gemara was more certain that the tefillin shel rosh was required to be made from kosher animals than the tefillin shel yad.

About the Author: For questions or comments, e-mail RabbiRFuchs@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Knots Of Tefillin”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Iranian FM Javad Zarif and US Secy of State Kerry on the Fourth of July.
Report: Iran Deal Reached — on Sanctions Relief
Latest Judaism Stories
17th_of_Tammuz_(medium)_(english)

17th of Tammuz: Beginning 3 weeks of mourning for the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Avi Weiss

With Ruth, The Torah seems to be stating that children shouldn’t be punished for the sins of parents

Neihaus-070315

Without a foundation, one cannot hope to build a structure.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

Why do we have a parsha in Sefer Shemos named after Yisro who was not only a former idolater, but actually served as a priest for Avodah Zarah!

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

This Land Is ‘My’ Land
‘[If The Vow Was Imposed] In The Seventh Year…’
(Nedarim 42b)

The Shulchan Aruch in the very first siman states that one should rise in the morning like a lion, implying that simply rising form bed requires strength of a lion, in line with the Midrash.

Attempts to interpret the message of Hashem in the absence of divine prophecy ultimately may twist that message in unintended ways that can lead to calamitous events.

Suddenly, the pilot’s voice could be heard. He explained that this was a special day for those passengers on board who lived in Israel.

If the sick person is thrust into a situation where he is compelled to face his sickness head on, we who are not yet sick can encourage him by facing it with him.

All agree that Jews ARE different. How? Why? The Bible’s answer is surprising and profound.

What’s the nation of Israel’s purpose in the world? How we can bring God’s blessings into the world?

“Is there a difference between rescuing and other services?” asked Ploni.

To my dismay, I’ve seen that shidduch candidates with money become ALL desirable traits for marriage

Bil’am’s character is complex and nuanced; neither purely good nor purely evil.

More Articles from Rabbi Raphael Fuchs
Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

The Shulchan Aruch in the very first siman states that one should rise in the morning like a lion, implying that simply rising form bed requires strength of a lion, in line with the Midrash.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Tosafos answers that nevertheless the sprinkling is a part of his taharah process.

Performing ketores outside the Beis Hamikdash, and at the wrong time is an aveirah.

Ten of the twelve spies returned with a negative report, stating that this would be impossible.

The flavor of the mon was not artificial; the mon would now consist of the actual flavors from the desired food.

Tosafos suggests several answers as to how a minor can own an item, m’d’Oraisa.

The question is: What about pidyon haben? Can one give the five sela’im required for pidyon haben to a kohen’s daughter?

The mitzvah that parents must give their son a bris milah is a mitzvah that they must perform for someone else – namely their son.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/the-knots-of-tefillin/2014/08/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: