Caring for your tefillin

Caring for your tefillin
High temperatures damage the dye and quality of the tefillin. Thus, they should not be kept in hot places, as for example the glove compartment of a car, a windowsill exposed to sunlight, near radiators, etc.
The small covering on the tefillin Shel Yad should always be kept in place, even when worn.
Tefillin Shel Rosh should not be allowed to touch the wall during prayer. Neither should they be placed on a damp or sweaty head.

Shabbat 49 (A)
R’ Yannai stated, one who wears tefillin is required to maintain a clean body, as learned from Elisha the winged one. What is the meaning of “a clean body”?, Abaye says, one should not pass wind while wearing tefillin. Rava says, one should not sleep while wearing them.
Why was Elisha referred to as “the winged one”, Because the wicked Roman government once enacted a law stating that anyone caught wearing tefillin would have his brain removed. Heedless of this threat, Elisha would wear his tefillin publically. A Roman officer saw him and Elisha ran away from the pursuing Roman government official. As the official caught up to Elisha, he removed the tefillin from his head and held them in his hand. The officer asked, “what do you have in your hand, Elisha answered, the wings of a dove. Indeed, when Elisha opened his hands he had a dove’s wings in them. For this reason he was called Elisha the winged one. And what is the significance of a dove’s wings?, Because the Jewish people are compared to a dove. As it says, like the wings of a silver covered dove, just as a dove is protected by its wings, so too the Jewish people are protected by the commandments they observe.

 

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