Irregular Tefilin

In the process of creating a pair of tefilin, there are occasionally irregularities in the final product that have no impact whatsoever on the halachic status of the tefilin, but may affect the market value of the tefilin.

  • Glued parshi’os: The four parshi’os of the tefilin shel yad are written on one long strip of parchment. If they are written on several pieces of parchment that are glued together (at least one parsha per piece), it is still considered kosher lechatchila. This can happen when the sofer did not have access to a strip of parchment that was long enough to write all four parshi’os, or if one (or more) of the parshi’os was found to be invalid and needed to be replaced.1

  • Hole between the batim: The batim of tefilin must be complete without any external holes. If there are 2 or more holes in the tefilin shel rosh between the four sections (i.e. not visible from the outside), it can sometimes invalidate the tefilin as well. If there is only one hole between the sections, it is still kosher lechatchila.

In both situations, there is no outwardly-visible sign of the irregularity, and there are poskim who hold that a sofer is permitted to sell such tefilin at full price without alerting the buyer to the issue.2

Even though the halachic status is not compromised in these instances, and the irregularities are not apparent when looking at the final product, many sofrim only sell such tefilin at a reduced rate. In the event that a sofer has both irregular batim and irregular parshi’os in stock, the discounted price for the pair of tefilin can be up to 25% less than the full retail price.3

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  1. Assuming there is no issue of kisidran.

  2. An obvious exception being a situation where the buyer specifically requested that the shel yad be on one strip of parchment, or that there be no holes at all in the bayis of the shel rosh. In those cases the sale is invalid and the seller would have to refund the buyer’s money.

  3. Contact me regarding pricing, availability, and other details.