web analytics
October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Arabs burn tires in Shuafat neighborhood of Jerusalem.
Arab Violence in Jerusalem Forces Police to Return Law and Order
Latest Judaism Stories
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Boundaries must be set in every home. Parents and children are not pals. They are not equals.

Rabbi Avi Weiss, head of theYeshivat Chovevei Torah. Rabbi Asher Lopatin will be replacing him as head of the school.

Noah and his wife could not fathom living together as husband and wife and continuing the human race

Rabbi Sacks

The Babel story is the 2nd in a 4-act drama that’s unmistakably a connecting thread of Bereishit

Bible1

Our intentions are critical in raising children because they mimic everything we parents do & think

A humble person who achieves a position of prominence will utilize the standing to benefit others.

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

The creation of the world is described twice. Each description serves a unique purpose.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

To the surprise of our protectzia-invested acquaintances, my family has thrived in our daled amos without that amenity, b’ezras Hashem.

Shimon started adjusting the branches on the roof. In doing so, a branch fell off the other side of the car and hit the side-view mirror, cracking it.

I, the one who is housed inside this body, am completely and utterly spiritual.

Should we sit in the sukkah on a day that may be the eighth day when we are not commanded to sit in the sukkah at all?

For Appearance’s Sake
‘Shammai Did Not Follow Their Own Ruling’
(Yevamos 13b 14a)

If one hurts another human being, God is hurt; if one brings joy to another, God is more joyous.

I’m grateful to Hashem for everything; Just the same, I’d love a joyous Yom Tov without aggravation.

Bereshit: Life includes hard choices that challenge our decisions, leaving lingering complications.

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

Others suggest that one cannot separate Shabbos from Yom Kippur by accepting Shabbos early.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

While women are exempt from actually learning Torah, they are obligated in a different aspect of the mitzvah.

The Chafetz Chaim answered that there are two forms of teshuvah; teshuvah m’ahava and teshuvah m’yirah.

Since it is a Rabbinic prohibition we may follow the more lenient opinion.

They ask, how can Rabbeinu Gershom forbid marrying more than one wife, when the Torah explicitly permits it in this parshah?

First, how could a beis din of 23 judges present a guilty verdict in a capital punishment case? After all, only a majority of the 23 judges ruled in favor of his verdict.

According to Rabbi Yishmael one was not permitted to eat such an animal prior to entering Eretz Yisrael, while according to Rabbi Akiva one was permitted to eat animals if he would perform nechirah.

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: