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Mishna Berura Summaries

Siman 40 – The holiness of tefillin

  1. It is forbidden to hang tefillin or the straps on a hook when they are out of their bag. Even from your hand, you should never hang the battim except when you are holding the shel rosh by the straps in order to lay them on your head. (ShA1 – MB1,2)
  1. It is forbidden to hang a sefer Torah – even in an aron kodesh that is bolted to a wall. (MB3)
  1. Volumes of gemara and other sefarim are allowed to be put in hanging bookcases but do not hang the sefarim by their silver chains etc. (MB3)
  1. The custom is to fast when tefillin fall from your hand to the floor. If they were in their case, as least give some tzedaka. (MB3)
  1. The custom is to fast when a sefer Torah falls even in its case (MB3)
  1. It is forbidden to have relations or to relieve oneself in the same room where tefillin, chumashim, siddurim or other holy books are – until you either put a ten tefach mechitza in front of them or cover them with two coverings. (ShA2 – MB4,5,6,7)
  1. A book cover does not count as one covering – it’s part of the book. (MB 4)
  1. You may be lenient to leave printed sefarim uncovered in an urgent situation and you don’t have something with which to cover them. (MB4)
  1. Two coverings count, only when one of them is not a designated tefillin cover. For example spreading a cloth over a tefillin bag. If you normally keep your tefillin bag inside your tallis bag – it does not count as two coverings. (MB7)
  1. Spreading a cloth over a mezuza case counts as two coverings. If you wrapped the mezuza in something before putting it in the case with intention that they should count as two coverings, it counts provided that the two coverings aren’t transparent. (MB 7)
  1. You should be very careful with the kedusha of the tefillin. Therefore a baal nefesh should be machmir not to sit on an under-seat shul cubby with tefillin contained within – even with a tefach space above the tefillin.(MB13)
  1. It could be you are allowed to snack while wearing tefillin, but remove them for a proper seuda. (ShA 8 – MB 19)

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