A Tefillin Checking Story Circulating in Eretz Yisrael


The following story is circulating in the chareidi media throughout Eretz Yisrael.

A well-known Yerushalayim talmid chacham bought a pair of tefillin 18 years ago. After 12 years, after one of his sons-in-law lost his own tefillin the rav gave his pair to him (the son-in-law) and he used them for six years.

The talmid chacham used the tefillin for 12 years, during which time he lost two sons, one 6 and the second 12. While the son-in-law used the tefillin he experienced a number of “incidents” involving a son, which almost ended in disaster. One of the “incidents” involved the son being badly burned.

This week, the tefillin were checked by the sofer and then sent to מכון פער to check for additional or missing letters/words and they discovered that in the second parsha of the של ראש the posuk וכל בכור… was missing the word בני.

The computer checking lab, מכון פער, asked to have the story circulated as widely as possible in the hope of encouraging people to have their tefillin check, by a sofer and by computer.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. Not surprised. I had similar story about 25 years ago. My children were small then and getting sick very often. My Rav suggested I have all mezuzus checked. Sure enough the mezuza that was on the children’s bedroom doorway had a pessul in the word ‘le’vonecha’.

  2. Nonsense. Your child doesn’t get sick because there is a sofer’s error in your tefillin or mezuzah. Superstitious nonsense.

    Try doing teshuvah and asking mechilah from HKBH for believing that he would act in such an arbitrary and unjust manner. It might get you farther.

  3. Once someone was becoming intoxicated from whatever he would drink, even water. He checked his tefilin and discovered that instead of למען תזכור “in order that you should remember” it said למען תשכור “in order that you should get drunk” 😉

  4. #1, i’m not sure if chazaka applies here
    you say chazaka if it once had a chezkas kashrus, but here, if the word was missing from the start, that means it was never kosher to begin with

  5. to 2pence
    such stories are not nonesense though sometimes not correct.
    The idea is not that someone was punished for wearing possul tefilin but that, the whether accidental or not, he did not have the mizvah of tephilin or mezuzza to protect him. Such stories are more common about mezuzos since the mitzvah of mezuzza is a shmira.

    This may be the first time I have heard such stories about tefillin so I am wondering myself. but don’t be so fast to call it nonesense.
    but I still would not be so fast to claim nonesense.

  6. To 4. No one is suggesting that the teffilin or mezuza is the cause. It is just that the shemira the mitzva would provide, is lacking. Furthermore, by your own reasoning, why would HKB”H punish my children for my lack of teshuva? Isn’t that arbitrary and unjust?

  7. #1 you are right you do have chazakah but if you leave your teffilin in your car chzakah goes out the window. it boggles my mind that people leave their teffilin in the car in extreme heat or cold and they think their teffilin are still kosher its just common sense. even when i bring it to peoples attention hey are you going to leave that in there? they look at me puzzled and they continue doing it. A family member of mine always leaves his teffilin in the car i was sure they were pussle sure enough he had them checked they were so messed up he needed new parshus guess what, he still leaves his teffilin in the car some people just deserve it

  8. #5 you are referring to an old joke. this story could not be true as it doesn’t say “l’man tizkor” or” tizkiru” in our tefillin. the third parsha of krias shema is not included in the parshios of tefillin.

  9. If someone dillegently puts on tefillin daily with kavanah and there is some unknown issue with those tefillin that were missed by the sofer during periodic checks that made them pasul, do you really believe the malachim in the beis din shel maalah that track the mitzvos of every Yid for the Ebeshter, will not give that Yid credit for the mitzvah of tefilin?? If you really believe that, than your version of yiddeshkeit needs more checking than this Yid’s tefillin.

  10. The best thing is to make sure the parshios are checked a few times before they are put into the batim, than wait until you are wearing them for a few years to find out they were never good. Even computer checking is not fool proof. As being a professional sofer, my experience shows that it is advisable to check new tfillin about a year or two after they are gotten. The main problems (cracking of parshios, changes in the batim etc) develop during that time. There are those that say, it is not good for the tfillin to be opened. It might not be the very best thing to do too often, but it is a good idea to have them checked at least once.

  11. #5 hello99 –
    you forgot to add “…how do you know that this story cannot be true?
    There is no “Lemaan Tizkor” (or Lemaan Tizkru) in tefillin!”

  12. Check the Rambam. Mezuzah is a mitzvah to remind us of Hashem and his Torah when we enter and leave our homes. It’s NOT an amulet. It does NOT provide a shmirah. If you want shmirah, avoid aveiros, learn torah and daven.