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Storing Tefillin

Rabbi David SperlingSivan 29, 5780
16
Question
I am 17 years old and have only put Tefillin a few times since my bar mitzvah. Due to a personal calling, I have decided to start putting it on every morning. May I store the tefillin and its proper double case bag in the closet in my bedroom? I have clothing and shoes in that closet and I am just hoping it is not bad luck to have something so sacred next to something like boots. Thank you so much.
Answer
Shalom, Thank you for your question. Firstly, let me send you blessings in your renewed efforts to put on tefillin daily. I am sure that this will add holiness and meaning to your life. May it be a blessing for you. As to your question in connection with where to store your tefillin – you are correct in thinking that one needs to take care and make sure that they treat their tefillin with respect. This includes not taking them into a bathroom, or getting undressed in front of them. They also cannot be put on the floor. However, they may be stored in a closet in your bedroom. They should be placed on a shelf, and not on the floor of the closet. Even if you have regular items in the same closet, such as clothing, this is permitted. Once the door of the closet is closed, you can then get undressed and dressed in the room (especially as the tefillin are in a double cased bag). You mention that you hope it is not “bad luck” to have the tefillin in the same closet as your boots. As we wrote above, it is permitted to put the tefillin on a shelf in the closet, even if you have regular non holy items in the same closet, and even on the same shelf. But I hope you don’t mind if I write that you shouldn’t be concerned with “bad luck”. We should live our lives knowing that G-d desires we serve Him as He directed us in the Torah and Jewish Law. If something is the proper way to act, it is that way because of a deep reason connected to G-dliness. If something is improper, we should refrain from it because of the intrinsic wrong involved in going against G-d's will. I’m sure that is what you meant by the term “bad luck” - that it is something that Jewish laws forbids or frowns upon. Again, may you be blessed with every blessing as you go forward with your desire to put Tefillin on each weekday. May you find meaning and G-dliness in this act. May it enrich your life, and bind you with straps of love to everything Jewish, and to everything holy. May it be a sign upon your hand – to guide all your deeds to where they can do best. And frontlets between your eyes – to guide all your thought to love and light. Blessings.
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