by R’ Zev Busel
ליהודים היתה אורה ושמחה וששן ויקר – the Yidden experienced light and joy, delight and honor. The Gemora in Meseches Megillah tells us that that אורה זו תורה, and that שמחה זה יום טוב, ששון זו מילה, and ויקר אלו תפילין. Rashi explains that Haman decreed against the observance of the aforementioned mitzvos and now we are able to observe them.
The Sfas Emes pondered: If so, why didn’t the passuk just say that ליהודים היתה תורה יום טוב ומילה ותפילין? The Sfas Emes answers that through the redemption, Klal Yisroel experienced a heightened realization that the true nature of light is Torah; the true nature of joy is Yom Tov; the true nature of delight is bris milah; and that the true nature of honor is tefillin.
Perhaps in regard to tefillin this concept can be explained as follows: Horav Yonasan Eibeschitz in יערות דבש דרוש ג’ writes that the sudden rejuvenation of the mitzvah of tefillin subsequent to the miracles of Purim was because tefillin is symbolic of Hashem monitoring one’s thoughts and actions. Everything that transpires in our lives is not teva, natural, but rather the hashgachah protis, Divine providence of the Ribono Shel Olam. The shel rosh symbolizes that all our thoughts are observed by Hashem; the shel yad represents our actions. Therefore, after the great miracles of Purim, that even in the darkness of galus, where beforehand it was not so recognizable the glory of Hashem, the Jewish people merited to see the yad Hashem, and that created a renewed awareness for the mitzvah of tefillin.
With this we understand why true honor is reflected in tefillin. After the nes of Purim, witnessed by the nations, Klal Yisroel– as the am hanivchar, the Chosen People, merited special hashgachah protis even in galus. This is the true kavod, as reflected by the mitzvah of tefillin as expressed in the Gemora: וראו כל עמי הארץ כי שם ה’ נקרא עליך ויראו ממך – then all the peoples of the earth will see that the Name of Hashem is proclaimed over you, and they will revere you. When one realizes that the true nature of honor is tefillin, how much more so is it imperative to properly observe this unique mitzvah.
Tefillin In your Head
It is written: And all the peoples of the earth shall see that the name of Hashem is proclaimed over you, and they shall be in awe of you. It was taught in a braisa: Rabbi Eliezer the Great said: This refers to the tefillin of the head.
The Baal Hatanya notes that it does not say “the tefillin that are on his head,” but rather, “the tefillin in his head.” The tefillin will make an impression on others only if the wearer has internalized the message of the tefillin inside of him. If it is merely resting on his head, it will have no effect on others.
The Minchas Elozar continued and says that in order to reach that level, one must ensure that he has “his head” in the tefillin. One must make a strong effort not to lose focus while he is wearing his tefillin. If one works diligently to have his head in the tefillin, he will eventually reach the level where the tefillin will be in his head.
He used to say to a boy becoming bar mitzvah as he was putting his tefillin on for the very first time: Do not talk idle chatter with your tefillin on! If you guarantee me that that you will never talk idle chatter while wearing your tefillin, I will guarantee you that you will feel the “taste” of the tefillin.
HALACHOS OF TEFILLIN
by: Rabbi Boruch Hirschfeld Shlit”a
When one puts on tefillin he should have the following things in mind:
To fulfill the mitzvah of tefillin shel yad.
To fulfill the mitzvah of tefillin shel rosh.
To subdue my heart, mind and body for Hashem.
To remember the miracle of yetzias mitzrayim (shows Hashem’s power over heaven and earth).
To minimize the physical pleasures of this world.
To believe in the Oneness of Hashem written in the tefillin.
To fulfill everything else written in the tefillin (love Hashem, learn Torah, mezuzah, tefillah, mitzvos of Pesach and prohibitions regarding chametz, pidyon haben).
The ideal time for thinking these כוונות is while he puts on the tefillin. If he didn’t, he can think them right after putting them on the tefillin or any time while still wearing them.
Between the של יד and של ראש it is אסור to speak out, even to answer אמן or יהא שמיה רבא. He should just think to be יוצא with what the others are saying.
After finishing tightening and positioning the של ראש, one should say ברוך שם… ועד. One should be very careful not to say ברוך שם till the של ראש is fully positioned.
It is very praiseworthy to learn something while wearing tefillin, before they are taken off.
Join the Kedushas Tefillin Program!
Who is this program for?
Any boy who has a ratzon to wear his tefillin without talking.
How do I Join?
Contact our Gabbai, Eli Jaffa, @ 216-385-4869, or send us an email @ email@example.com.
What are the rules?
What do I get?
A tremendous reward for davening properly, and for being careful in the fulfillment of this mitzvah. For the “she’lo lishma” part, see below.
How do I keep track?
After you join, you will receive a monthly card.
When Can I start?
The program begins on the second day of Rosh Chodesh Iyar, May 5th
Kedushas Tefillin Rules
You should be davening with a minyan.
You should be wearing your tefillin from at least “Boruch she’amar” until after “Aleinu.”
There is no talking (including “mouthing”) with your tefillin on.
Even if you (mistakenly) talk, you will try not to continue (during that Shacharis).
The month begins on Rosh Chodesh (second day, when applicable).
You cannot miss-out more than four times during a month.
If you have a perfect month, or only miss once – you will receive the following: a set of old coins (which includes: 2 pennies from the 50’s; 2 from the 40’s; 2 from the 30’s), plus you will be entered into three raffles for sets of seforim.
If you miss twice or three times, you will still receive the set of old coins, and you will be entered into two raffles for sets of seforim.
When you have completed your third month, the set of coins will begin to include the following: Pennies from the 20’s; 10’s; 1900’s; 1890’s; 1880’s and even earlier; nickels from the turn of the century; foreign coins, plus more.
Any boy that hands in 12 cards (and did not win any of the monthly raffles) will receive a sefer.
If you would like your school or class to join this project, please contact