Old Tefillin Parshiyos

I occasionally check very old Tefillin Parshiyos. They usually were a yerusha from the zaide to the grandchild. These old parshiyos are often in bad shape (and there is only so much a magiah can fix).
I sometimes feel to let the tefillin owner know that he should possibly switch to a new pair since there are many "issues" with the Tefililin, although kosher. I notice that some people are annoyed at even hearing that the Tefillin are anything but perfect, basing it on the fact that their zayde was so holy...
The question if they think they are wearing halachikly mehudar Tefillin and to my opinion in its current state it is not mehudar, how to address this sensitive matter.

Any suggestions?

Side question, I found parshiyos wrapped in synthetic string, (since sayros are halacha moshe msinai), is there anything to be concerned with the parshiyos (the ksav is not nice but basic kosher)?


  1. I also run into this problem frequently. Many times the tefillin are of great sentimental value, but are in very poor condition after a lifetime of use. My approach is to be very clear, state exactly what's wrong and exactly what they can do if anything to repair the tefillin. If they are no longer kosher and can't be made so then suggest changing to a new pair.

    I think it's pretty normal to feel annoyed when learning your tefillin aren't kosher and that you're going to have to pay a small fortune for a new pair.

    On the up side at least the person is coming for checking before they try to make repairs themselves. I've encountered a number of tefillin where the owner either spray painted them or coated them in some high gloss enamel paint ruining the parshiyos inside in the process.

  2. Sometimes you can salvage part of the tefillin, like the batim or retzuos. They still feel this is better than nothing.

    Always say it how it is.

    A common line I say is: "You want him to wear his grandafthers tefillin for his Barmitzvah, do you expect him to wear his grandfather's suit also?"

    Everything has a use by date, even tefillin

  3. True, no compromising with halacha. Sometimes the halacha permits the tefillin, but it is not mehudar (due to its ageing). I am referring to people who are mehudar in mitzvahs but they use their zaides tefillin which is difficult to call them mehudar through aging.

  4. Correct. Like the rest of Yiddishkeit, it often depends on the case, and who it is.

  5. I love Eli's line
    "Everything has a use by date, even tefillin"
    been there done that you will always loose out trying to "make it kosher" not to upset the grandchild.
    imagine working 5 hours and then you find an uncorrectible psul or even worse you put the pen down and a piece of dry ink jumps off the klaf. now what


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Not a "khaf"

shin in "Alter Rebbe" script