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Tefillin FAQ
 How often must the kashrut of Tefillin be examined?

The fitness of the Tefillin, including the passages, the batim, and the straps, must be examined twice every seven year

 Is it permitted to put on Tefillin if their passages were written according to the tradition of another community?
For example, is an Ashkenazi Jew permitted to put on Tefillin whose passages were written in accordance with the tradition of Eastern Jews?

Members of all communities may put on Tefillin whose passages were written in accordance with any other tradition. Nonetheless, it is a preferable mode of observance to follow the practice that has been handed down in one`s family.

 During which prayers are Tefillin worn?

The Tefillin are put on for the Shacharit service. On Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of the Jewish month, the Tefillin are removed before the Amidah of Mussaf.

 Is it permitted to replace one particular part of the Tefillin, such as the straps or the Torah passages?

Each part of the Tefillin may be replaced separately. It is also permitted to replace passages that were damaged or that have become unfit, but the order of the passages may not be changed.

 Can the batim be repaired if the square or the corners are not exact?

If the batim of Tefillin are made of ox-skin, every corner or square that has been damaged, thereby rendering the Tefillin unfit, may be repaired. If, however, the Tefillin are made of sheep hide, the bayit may not be repaired. The reason for this is that the leather from sheepskin is too thin, and lacks the necessary thickness to sustain repair.

 Are Tefillin kosher when their straps are cracked, or if the straps are no longer perfectly black?

The blessing for Tefillin may not be recited if the straps are cracked, or if their black color has changed. Cracked straps must be replaced, and their color must be restored, after which it is permitted to recite the blessing.

 When should Tefillin be ordered?

It is recommended that the parents of the newly born child, or the grandparents, order the Tefillin immediately following the birth. This will ensure that when the child reaches Bar Mitzvah age, the very best Tefillin of the highest quality will be ready for him.

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