Thursday, 23 Av, 5780
  |  August 13, 2020


Letter Finds Defect in Tefillin Pair

Happened this Gimmel Tammuz: An Australian bochur wrote to the Rebbe about 2 issues. What happened next shocked him. Full Story

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to #14
June 29, 2017 9:36 am

you can send it 9email) it to the ohel what do you mean?

to #4
June 29, 2017 2:15 am

Writing to the Rebbe via sforim is indeed an old Chabad custom. I remember hearing this from a wonderful, now deceased. chassida of the Rebbe who lived in Russia during the last days of the Czar and the horrific days of Stalin y”sh. If, when the chassidim wanted to communicate with the Rebbe, he was inaccessible, they would write their letters and place them at random into a sefer e.g. a Chumash etc. Then they would check to glean a directive from the contents of the page in the sefer where they’d randomly placed their letter. If the concept doesn’t… Read more »

I was once a bochur in Seagate yeshiva
June 28, 2017 11:15 pm

As a 33 y. o. student beginning my Jewish journey, I had written to the Rebbe in 2005. The letter stated that the Rebbe was giving the person a pair of tefillin. Excited, I asked the mashpiah, Rav Abba Paltiel, if I could believe that this meant me – how much of each letter response could one apply to himself after “receiving an answer from the Rebbe. He could not, of course,couch for every detail being fact. However, I was a recipient of tefillin as a gift. Now I’m a Sofer STaM. The story only increases emuna in our Rebbe.… Read more »

June 28, 2017 9:49 pm

Dont know if anyone is reading this anymore but i went through the sugya this morning and its befeiresh in shulchan oruch that a broken letter, even not niker lehedya is possul because the letter is not complete. However it is fixable in tefillin if the letter is recognizable, as is the case here. I assume it was fixed.

To the poster of no #7, #44 and I think a few in between (#32)
June 28, 2017 7:46 pm

I am a a rov with an inetrest in STa’M for over 40 years and I literally cringed when I read your original post (#7) where you obviously unaware of the basic concept of KSIVAH TAMA USHLAIMA and GOLEM ECHAD – which renders a letter POSSUL irregardless of whether or not it still has to correct shape. The correct shape is only relevant with regards to if the letter can be fixed, as in this case, it is fixable in tefillin. This is the case no matter if the break is NIKAR LEHEDYA or NOT NIKUR LEHEDYA. Your subsequent posts… Read more »

As a sofer
June 28, 2017 9:39 am

First of all, to those who know safrus- that happened in the beginning due to the klaf.
Second. The Rebbe said after yud shvat that we should write to the (freidiker) rebbe “un der rebbe vet finen a veg)

Reply to #37 #38
June 28, 2017 9:11 am

After reviewing the comments I do stand by what I wrote earlier. If a oys is Possul, it can’t be fixed in Mez. And Tef. Only psulim wjch are not in the body of the letter (guf ho’oys) can be fixed. A oys can be Kosher even if cracked or some parts disconnected, depending on MANY factors. In similar Shaylos to the one at hand, many poskim include “Shaylas tinok” in resolving the issue. BTW, this case might be a shayla of a hey so shinuy tzurah is also part of the issue. Thank you for inviting me to learn… Read more »

To #4
June 28, 2017 6:56 am

The Rebbe never instructed to use the Igros. Period.

What is the other option now after Gimmul Tammuz? TO LISTEN TO THE REEBBE’s option!

That is: to ask רופא ידיד, ידידים מבינים as he explicitly instructed. To discuss with עשה לך רב go to the Ohel.

Why do we need man made ways of doing what the Rebbe wants – where we have the way that the Rebbe told us what to do??!!

Tefillin Wearer
June 28, 2017 6:36 am

How can it be determined whether the crack is not from wear and tear? Was the original Sofer contacted about it? Were the original issues of the Bochur resolved? Was the Rashi pair affected?

To number 24
June 28, 2017 1:16 am

BS”D The Rebbe writes
ןפשיטא שלא בשביל בירור בעניני חול
What makes you think that the two personal matters and two Hachlatos were not holy matters? This is a Tamim writing!
ע’ חקרי מנהגים ח”ד סי’ קו
D. Kahn

What a chutzpah
June 28, 2017 12:38 am

@34 Your logic that the Rebbe says “maybe” so therefore we need not refrain from doing it is at best total ignorance and illiteracy, or at worst tantamount to kefira. I’ll go with the first option, so here’s a basic introduction to Talmudic language. When Tosafos for example wants to answer a question he will generally write “veyesh lomar” which in English means “and one could say”. And as any half learned Jew can attest, the same goes for all of Jewish literature until today. Especially when writing something which hasn’t been heard of before or a novel idea, the… Read more »

To number 33
June 28, 2017 12:23 am

You know the story: once there was a huge storm, and this guy got stuck outside in very deep water. He davens for a miracle. Just then, his neighbors pass by in a boat and tell him to get on. “No, don’t worry hashem will help me.” Then a helicopter comes and tries to help him out of the water, but again he refuses “hashem will help me.” Another boat passes by, and again he refuses. Unfortunately the water gets too high, and he drowns. When he comes up to shamayim he complains to hashem “why didn’t you help me??”… Read more »

To number 32 (no 7).
June 27, 2017 11:45 pm

you write “and in many instances if the general shape is obvious, the letter is still Kosher and fixable.” FYI The letter isn’t kosher if there is a crack, even if it’s not nikur lehedia . Even a nifsek which is not nikur lehedia is possul and needs fixing. Just doesn’t need a shailos tinok. And the psul has nothing to do with the shape of the letter. Obviously the shape is recognizable, otherwise you would not be able to fix it because of kesidran. The reason why it’s possul has nothing to do with the shape, only that it’s… Read more »

To #7 and #32
June 27, 2017 11:06 pm

With respect, Your premise is completely incorrect. A cracked letter is a PSUL. The tfillin are not kosher. The only 2 exceptions are the ones i enumrated in my comment #25. Regarding your premise that if its possul it could never be fixed in Tfillin… this too is incorrect. Various psulim may be corrected in tfillin even she looks kesidran i.e. nifsak (depending on size), hekef gevil,and even psulim in the Os itself like missing Kotz of yud. So, yes these were possul and yes they might be fixable (as Rabbi Eli Gutnick attests). Feel free to reach out to… Read more »

Not surprised
June 27, 2017 11:04 pm

Eli Gutnik is an excellent magiah. Melbourne is lucky to have him

To 14
June 27, 2017 11:03 pm

The Rebbe said a sefe4 hamanorim, not just the Rebbe’s Torah bichlal…

To number 24
June 27, 2017 10:55 pm

I find your statement disingenious, in that haaroh the Rebbe says, “because of the great caution regarding the holiness of seforim kedoshim maybe it would be better not to use them, and for sure not regarding mundane matters”, your statement in the name of the Rebbe is much harsher than what the Rebbe actually said, which is what makes it disingenious because you make it appear as if the Rebbe said this is an issur d’oirasa when in fact he said “maybe”. Asides for that I believe that Rav Glichovsky shlit”a (forgive me for the spelling of his name) was… Read more »

A Way
June 27, 2017 9:49 pm

I understand people’s need and desire to have a connection to the superpowers.And I understand that we will find a way to connect dots into a line. And I understand that the Rebbe indicated that a Rebbe can or will find a way to connect to his chosid. And I understand that the Rebbe said that a way to connect to a Rebbe is through his Torah. I don’t understand how that all translates into putting a letter into a Rebbe sefer and arbitrarily extricating (meaning you are creating) the answer. If the Rebbe will find a way to answer… Read more »

#7 responds
June 27, 2017 9:32 pm

This isn’t the right forum to elaborate but I appreciate the discussion and perhaps a forum sjould be created to discuss all the halochos in depth. We all agree that if it’s nikar lehedya (obviously visible) it’s possul. As I stated, the compeyent Sofer who checked determines that factor when checking the Parshiya. Since the Sofer found it to be noticeable, there is no argumemt thete. As to the comment that a crack renders the letter possul – numerous factors have to be considered and a crack differs from a lightly detached part etc… etc… and in many instances if… Read more »

For the record:
June 27, 2017 8:28 pm

It says in the headline that the bochur was Australian.

For the record, the bochur was not Australian, he is American learning in Yeshivah Gedolah in Melbourne Australia.

This is important that stories like this are repeated accurately, every detail must be correct!

I have seen this many times b'h
June 27, 2017 7:48 pm

I have received countless very direct answers and open miracles from the Rebbe via igroys koidesh and I strongly encourage it, the Rebbe finds a way to answer and from my experience the Rebbe in our times of darkness and Golus will use igroys koidesh to guide and direct and bless those who make a sincere effort to connect with him according to his instructions of Chitas and limmud Hatorah and being involved with Anash and the Rebbes moisdois etc. The Rebbe can also choose to use other means or messengers to provide answers and guidance and blessings if that’s… Read more »

To Fitz Rabin
June 27, 2017 7:12 pm

As the sofer who checked the tefillin, I can verify that the nifsak was easily noticeable to the eye (it actually looks thinner in the photo).

I asked not to put my name in the story but I feel compelled to comment here, because as you say, poshet halocha is that a nifsak like this is not kosher until fixed.

I’m not sure why someone would say otherwise? (no. 7)

With blessings,

Eli Gutnick

To Number 7
June 27, 2017 6:53 pm

With respect, some of the things you wrote are not halachically accurate. The nifsak (broken letter) was easily noticeable in real life. This means that the letter is not kosher, because to be kosher, letters must be of one golem (form) and not be broken. This can be, and was, easily repaired. It does not require a shailos tinok (showing to a child). (A shailos tinok would have been necessary if there is a question that the nifsak (break) has caused a shinuy tzurah (radical change in the letter formation ) such as mem which is broken a little on… Read more »

to #4 & #7
June 27, 2017 6:28 pm

Hifsik could mean stop. Maybe Rebbe was telling him he stopped putting on tefilin since they were not kosher. The sofer who checked it said it was a hefsek in the letter. Some of the comments here remind me of our problem we could hear from Hashem that we should go into erets yisroel or Moshe Rabainu is nosi or Aaron Is kohen gadol and people still question…

WOW ...
June 27, 2017 6:17 pm

AMAZING! i write to the rebbe, and it is so amazing how the rebbe answers me through igros kodesh! I have a good friend who is a young grandmother, her husband and her and their siblings are very prominent and well known in the litvisher community. she has alot of contacts with lubavitchers and knows all about the igros miracles. she herself has brought litvisher yidden to the ohel and help them write to the rebbi via igros kodesh. today i just mentioned to her that i need to write to the rebbe about summer decisions for one of my… Read more »

To #7 and the community
June 27, 2017 5:54 pm

A cracked letter can only be Kosher if the crack is so thin – “Dakkah min hadakka” – that it is discernable only by putting the Parsha against the sun. Other than that, ANY cracked letter is possul – unless the Crack is not within the minimal requisite dimensions of the letter (like a Crack at the tippy end on a Langer nun and above the Crack there still is the minimum length required for that letter. We are seeing an enlarged version of the tefillin. So we don’t know exactly how discernable the crack was or wasnt. Regarding the… Read more »

June 27, 2017 5:30 pm

In 1950, R. Sholom Posner asked the Rebbe how one should communicate with the Friediker Rebbe after 10 Shvat, he received a handwritten note from the Rebbe, saying: “And that that you ask isn’t it impossible to ask the Rebbe my father in law what to do when you aren’t sure – if you will stand strong in your Hiskashrus (bond, connection) to him, without paying attention to the “Pituyey Hayetzer” ( the Yetzer Hara discouraging), and you will ask your question at the Tziyun of the Rebbe my father in law, the Rebbe will find a way to answer… Read more »

The Rebbe said that you should not open Seforim for answers!
June 27, 2017 4:52 pm

The Rebbe clearly said that one must NOT open Seforim for answers, it’s is not Kovod for the holy Seforim.

Since when has writing to Igros because standard practice???????

To Number 4
June 27, 2017 4:34 pm

From this story!

To #4
June 27, 2017 4:23 pm

Maybe we should also ask ” how are we allowed to go into the Rebbe’s room or house? There’s no Horah re: that. Maybe those who go there are “trespassing”.

Answer to 4
June 27, 2017 4:15 pm

We communicate with the Rebbe by writing to him. Period. The Rebbe communicates however he wants.

June 27, 2017 4:13 pm

This gimmel is Kosher and may be fixed.

To #4
June 27, 2017 4:11 pm

Exactly! Let’s continue living in the dark!

June 27, 2017 4:11 pm

This story seems to be an answer to your question.

Gershon Avtzon - Cincinnati
June 27, 2017 4:07 pm

I was in Crown Heights for the Yom Tov of Chanukah this year. One night – after a Farbrengen – I came to 770 to Daven Maariv. It was late and most of the lights were closed. I wend upstairs to the small-Beis Midrash and noticed two Bachurim learning. I knew who they were and went over to say hello. We started talking and the conversation came to the topic of Igros Kodesh. They said that they do not write to the Rebbe though the Igros and there is no source for such behavior by Chassidim. I told them my… Read more »

To num 4
June 27, 2017 4:02 pm

I do remember there was a story of the rebbe of sending a tanya to russia for communication for those unable to get to the rebbe. So why not through iggros

To number 4
June 27, 2017 3:59 pm

I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that you might not be familiar with the Rebbe’s teaching, but you should know that the Rebbe did say/write that someone who can’t give his pan to the Rebbe should put it in the Torah of the Rebbe, and I would like to know one chosid who doesn’t believe that the igros kodesh is included as the Rebbe’s Torah

To Number 4
June 27, 2017 3:52 pm

From this story!

June 27, 2017 3:42 pm


June 27, 2017 3:23 pm

BS”D The proof is in the pudding #4; and great Gedolim utilized this method of obtaining an answer to their questions only they used a Chumush

Number 4
June 27, 2017 3:15 pm

story with the kneich in the Tanya should answer you.

June 27, 2017 3:15 pm

Always check your teffillin!

To #4:
R’ Meilich in Morristown used to tell us that “I don’t know if you should use Igros Kodesh for answers, but I can tell you 100% that it works”. It obviously worked for this boucher. I try not to judge people’s hiskashrus.

To # 4
June 27, 2017 2:45 pm

Do you have a better option ?

Diffrrent perspective
June 27, 2017 2:27 pm

If a person decides to use the igros, the answers etc… are up to him to intèrpret and apoly to his request. However, since it was made public, i”d like to share a point. הפסיק means he stopped. So that implies that he DID put on RT but later stopped. Also, that word means that he stopped through his action of not doing it. To tie it to a נפסק in a letter, is very questionable. Especially, to deduct frim this that NEVER put on RT! Another point, a Sofer needs extreme caution in establishing the status. Usually, he will… Read more »

To #4
June 27, 2017 2:15 pm

Relax, I have a simple solution for you
Don’t write in.
If it works for someone else and he is ok with it, let live and let miracles happen for him
If you don’t want, don’t do it. Simple

June 27, 2017 1:58 pm

Surprised that he doesn’t have his tefillin checked every year as per the Rebbe’s horah.

June 27, 2017 1:46 pm

How do we know that we can communicate and receive “answers from the Rebbe” via Igros?!

We never heard such a Horah from the Rebbe,

June 27, 2017 1:30 pm

The Rebbe’s is poshut with us more than ever!!

June 27, 2017 1:10 pm


Amazing story of how the Rebbe is actively, really there for us,
June 27, 2017 12:19 pm

thank you for publicizing this. Very encouraging and inspiring!

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