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Are Tefillin muktzeh?

The Daily Halacha Moment - Are Tefillin Muktzeh? 📙

״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)

“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Are Tefillin muktzeh?


Tefillin should not be moved on Shabbat since they are not allowed to be worn on

Shabbat.[1] However, they may be moved if one is afraid that the tefillin will become defiled or damaged or if one needs the space that they occupy. [2]

Similarly, one who uses the same tallit on Shabbat as on weekdays and needs to get his tallit from his bag in order to use it may move his tefillin if they are in the way. [3] Even the bag that one keeps his tefillin is considered a kli she’melachto le’issur. [4]

As mentioned in a previous Halacha Moment a Kli She'melachto Le'issur may be used when needed for a permissible act, such as if one needs a hammer in order to open a nut, it is permitted to use it. This is known as a need called “tzorech gufo.” Another case where it would be permitted to move is “tzorech mekomo,” if one requires the place on which the item is resting.


[1]. Since the Shulchan Aruch 31:1 states that it is prohibited to wear tefillin on Shabbat, it is considered a kli she’melachto le’issur. This is also the opinion of Birkei Yosef 31:1; Shulchan Aruch HaRav 308:19;

Ben Ish Chai, Miketz 2:2; Kaf HaChaim 30:2 and 308:46. See also Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 68;

Halichot Olam, vol. 3, p. 196; Halachah Berurah, vol. 2, p. 187 and in Otzrot Yosef §13. Even though tefillin are expensive, the poskim do not consider them muktzeh machmat chisaron kis, since they are more similar to books. See Ashrei HaIsh, vol. 2, 17:243 and Orchot Shabbat, ch. 19, footnote 55.

[2] See Mishnah Berurah 308:24 and Kaf HaChaim 308:46-47 who state that in cases of need one may rely on the opinions that tefillin are not muktzeh. Halichot Shlomo, Teffilah, ch. 4, 32:48 states that if they fell on the floor, one may pick it up and place the tefillin in the closest place where they can be kept safe for the remainder of Shabbat. See also Orchot Shabbat 19:3 who permits picking up tefillin that fell on the floor.

[3]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 71. See also Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, vol. 2, p. 282.

[4]. Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, vol. 2, p. 431; Tiltulei Shabbat, p. 62, quoting Minchat Shabbat 88:38; Orchot Shabbat 19:36.

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