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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Gid to hold kesher on bayis shel yad

I can't remember if we've discussed this before but my many of my Ashkenazi customers ask me to fasten a gid to their kesher shel yad so that it doesn't move away from the bayis.

I notice on some tefillin that this is done with fishing wire and sometimes even elastic, which is much easier to connect and also stronger (as the gid tends to break).

Is there an inyan that this must be done specifically with Gid? And if not, why do so many people use gid if you don't have to?

If anyone has looked into this or has any further info on this issue it would be greatly appreciated.




10 comments:

  1. See Zichron Eliyahu. (and also b'shem Rav Friedlander) Rav Elyashiv held that min bemino (gid/klaf) should be used. It's not clear to me if he held that use of synthetics had an affect on the level of the kiyum hamitzvah. Rav Scheinberg held and Rav Shamai holds that synthetic string may be used. I've found that often even a doubled up gid will eventually stretch or break and the Yud will not rest against the bayis and will go unnoticed or the person will take his time getting it corrected or try, unknowingly often unsuccessfully, to correct it with a rubber band. Therefore, unless requested otherwise I feel it appropriate to lose out on min bemino and ensure my clients kesher remains permanently in place with a black cable tie.

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    1. One of the spare pairs of tefillin which my schul keeps for those who don't have them on hand is from you, although someone seems to have retied the kesher at some point so that the cable is no longer in place. I have since retied it (lishmah).

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  2. Al pi pashtus there is no inyan to use gid. It probably just got started because that is the Sofer's standard string so they used it for this as well.

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  3. this is actually why I purposely use a cable tie or nylon thread!
    I won't put on a gid even if someone asks for it, because we are on the verge of thinking that it is a chiyuv...
    same goes for other inyanim- we should be careful lest our grandchildren end up woth a Torah we wouldn't recognize....(though arguably this has already happened to us to some degree...)

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    1. Since Rav Elyashiv held one should use min bemino I have to disagree with your reasoning. If a customer asks for it since there is basis for it, then it would be appropriate to follow his wishes after first informing him of the risk I mention above.

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  4. You can also accomplish your goal and not ignore his wishes, if he chooses to use a gid (after hearing the reasoning for both) or certainly if his rav directs him to use it by putting on the gid and explaining to him that there are differences of opinion and even according to those that it should be used not only is it not me'akev but its still mehudar (at least as far as I understand it.)

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  5. A related question: Sometimes I see cheaper tefillin where this is accomplished by having an extra stitch in the tefira holding the kesher down. Are there any teshuvos on that?

    The trick I learned was to pull the retzua through very tightly and jam an extra scrap of retzua through the maavarta to hold it in place. I keep an old passul retzua on hand to do that for people. It has the advantage of min b'mino, but isn't likely to snap like a gid.

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  6. See Zichron Eliyau perek 15, sicum halacha 9.

    Is it mutar to use a used piece of retzua that has kedushas tefillin to now hold the retzua in place? (horada bekedusha?).

    From my extensive experience, a piece of retzua or klaf to hold the kesher in place doesn't work well at all. Even if it prevents the retzuah from sliding, it doesn't keep the kesher itself against the bayis. I constantly find the kesher not touching the bayis and when I point it out to the person they usually tell me that it's not holding it in place. Therefore I don't recommend it. See Zichron Eliyahu, chapter 15, siman 9, last paragraph

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