Real or imagined?

I got this story from yeshivah world news. See below. My questions are:

  • What percentage of errors exactly like this did not cause problems with Sons? Surely this isn’t the first example that Machon Pe’er found of this error?
  • Would Hakadosh Baruch Hu condemn the sons because the father’s T’efillin were faulty?
  • I thought Mezuzos provided Shmirah specifically, not Tefillin
  • Does Hakadosh Baruch Hu act according to mistakes in our Tefillin? At worst, we aren’t performing a Mitzvas Aseh, surley
  • Don’t misread me. I’m not suggesting that people shouldn’t have their Tefillin checked based on the advice of their Rav regarding how often to do so. I’m also not suggesting that Hakadosh Baruch Hu acts in strange and mysterious ways. I’m just trying to get my head around the concept of tragedy manifest on children due to a Sofer error in the Tefillin of the father.

    The following story is circulating in the chareidi media throughout Eretz Yisrael.

    A well-known Yerushalayim talmid chacham bought a pair of tefillin 18 years ago. After 12 years, after one of his sons-in-law lost his own tefillin the rav gave his pair to him (the son-in-law) and he used them for six years.

    The talmid chacham used the tefillin for 12 years, during which time he lost two sons, one 6 and the second 12. While the son-in-law used the tefillin he experienced a number of “incidents” involving a son, which almost ended in disaster. One of the “incidents” involved the son being badly burned.

    This week, the tefillin were checked by the sofer and then sent to מכון פער to check for additional or missing letters/words and they discovered that in the second parsha of the של ראש the posuk וכל בכור… was missing the word בני.

    The computer checking lab, מכון פער, asked to have the story circulated as widely as possible in the hope of encouraging people to have their tefillin check, by a sofer and by computer.

    Author: pitputim

    I've enjoyed being a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia, as well as band leader/singer for the Schnapps Band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel and later in life at Machon L'Hora'ah, Yeshivas Halichos Olam.

    8 thoughts on “Real or imagined?”

    1. True or not, real or imagined, if it encourages people to have their tefillin checked, then there are two who benefit. the wearer is assured that his is donning kosher tefillin, and the sofer is earning a parnosoh. Nisht geferlich.
      There are plenty of bedidi haveh uvdoh stories where great tzadikim and rebbes have advised people to check their mezusois, tefillin and even sifrei Torah when there was a problem, physical or otherwise.Some anshei maasei have the minhag of having their tefillin checked in the month of Elul.


      1. One pitfall is that people will also stop checking their Tefillin if they find that a) there were errors like this and “nothing” happened, and b) they were told to check their tefillin and mezuzos by a Rav/Tzaddik and then these were found to be perfectly kosher.


    2. I don’t think the idea is to have tefillin etc checked only when there are problems. They should be checked periodically anyway.


      1. There is a Minhag to check in Ellul. There are some who check once a year. On the other hand check out Orach Chaim 39:10 where it’s clear many never checked there Tefillin and relied on Chazaka. Either way, the point I was making is to check one’s Tefillin based on whatever Minhag/Halocho one follows but not because of these types of stories. A story can be a reminder, however, there is this tendency, especially in our day, to over emphasise metaphysical ascriptions which really are quite questionable and for some people can create more problems than solve these.


    3. A person should check his tephilin and mezuzos as is stated in Shulchan Aruch.
      If there are situations in his life that are disturbing, it may be a good idea to have his tephilin and mezuzos checked.
      His Rav should guide him.
      To extrapolate that bad occurs because problems were found with the parshios is a highly questionable approach, to say the least.
      HaShem gave us the Mitzva, we carry it out, if there is a problem, we fix it.


    4. There are many, many stories around where tragedy is narrowly avoided when a fault is found in tefillin or mezuzahs. I think the question being asked here is why these bad things happen to observant people, whilst people who don’t use tefillin or have mezuzahs do not have this problem.


    5. I heard a story about a person that was sacked from his jobs becouse he was too slow, and when his tefilin were checked the sofer found that instead of ואבדתם מהרה was written ועבדתם מהרה


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