Tefillin and Mezuzot: Parsha Va’etchanan

Class notes on tefillin and mezuzot can be downloaded or viewed below:

Tefillin and Mezuzot: Parsha Va’etchanan By OneShul.org

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Kavanah: to learn the what, why, where, who, when, how and how much of mezuzot and tefillin without going overboard. Too much information is often confusing and prevents people from doing the mitzvoth.

What? Why?

Deut. 6:4­‐9: Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and

with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be upon thy heart; 7 and thou

shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the

way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall

be for frontlets between thine eyes. 9 And thou shalt write them upon the door-­‐posts of thy house, and upon thy gates


Tefillin go on the weaker arm and between the eyes at the hairline. Mezuzot go on archways into rooms where people reside, generally considered anywhere that people eat/sleep.

Tefillin: anyone bar mitzvah age or above. Some dispute about men and/or women.

Mezuzot: any Jew residing in a place for more than one month When?


See instructional videos on PunkTorah.org, OneShul.org and on YouTube. From a Chabad rabbi: “there are a million right ways to lay tefillin and a million wrong ways. This is one way.” Two blessings for Ashkenazi, one for Sephardi.

Hand: Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, asher kidishanu b’mitz’votav v’tzivanu l’hani’ach t’filin. Head: Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, asher kidishanu b’mitz’votav v’tzivanu al mitzvat t’filin. Baruch shem k’vod malchuto l’olam va’ed. Shema and Amidah.


Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, asher kidishanu b’mitz’votav v’tzivanu likboa mezuzah

How much/often?

Tefillin: Sunday – Friday Morning before “afternoon”. Most common during Shacharit services.
Mezuzot: One blessing covers the whole process of mezuzot in the home. This is actually similar to shechita (ritual slaughter)

Need tefillin or a mezuzah?

PunkTorah will help you! We will source for the least expensive and best products for you, then send you the links to purchase. Need further help with tefillin? Email [email protected] and we will Skype with you and assist you.

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  1. Clarification regarding when the obligation of mezuzah begins:

    One who RENTS a home OUTSIDE of Israel is obligated to affix mezuzahs with a bracha on the eve after 30 days. Some put up beforehand and on the eve after 30 days remove 1 mezuzahs, and reaffixes it with a bracha. If one rents a home IN Israel then the obligation begins immediately. Similarly, if one PURCHASES a home, whether in or out of Israel, the obligation begins immediately.

    Placement of tefillin: ABOVE the hairline. We suggest placing them 1cm above the hairline to be safe. If any part of the tefillin rest below the hairline, it is as if the tefillin are not being worn so it is best not to wear them at the actual hairline.

    Placement of mezuzah: There are many conditions which can’t be dealt with in one sentence. Most rooms within a home requires a mezuzah, even if you don’t eat or sleep in those rooms. This may even include storage rooms and walk in closets. The obligation depends on the purpose of the room, size/height of the room and form/size of entryway.

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