Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Covering Tefilin Shel Yad

There is a concept that tefilin must be uncovered. Tosafos in Menachos 35a has a question whether this only applies to the Shel Rosh or even the Shel Yad. The Rema writes that we are not makpid to keep the shel yad uncovered. However the Arugas Habosem says we should be machmir for that opinion in Tosafos. However, Tosafos does say that you can avoid the problem by leaving two sides uncovered.

Most people have a cover that goes on top of the Shel Yad. Should one be makpid not to use it? Since our cover has a hole where the kesher meets the bayis this could solve the problem. Especially since the space opens up two sides of the Shel Yad. It is not clear to me from Tosafos if he needs two opposite sides uncovered or any 2 sides. Also, some covers have a hole on top. I saw in the Sha'arei Aharon on Hil Tefillin that the Steipler said that this is suffcient to avoid the problem. However, he also brought down that the Chazon Ish was makpid to remove the covering.

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