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Hilton asks:

Hi! I read your Insights on this daf. I was wondering if you could help me with this question.

If you are right handed, you put tefilim on your left hand is that correct? (That's what i got taught) But my question is, why do we use our right hand when we say the Shema?

Shouldn't i be using my left hand? In the Siddur it says use the right hand, so that's what I do, but I don't know why. Is it because in your article you said G-d gave us the torah in your right hand. If this is the case, then why do we have to wear Tefilim on the left hand.

If you could answer me, or point me in the right question, I would be very grateful.

From Hilton.

The Kollel replies:

Greetings Hilton,

Yes, a right-handed person dons Tefilin on the left arm.

The reason we use our right hand to cover the eyes when we say the Shema is because the right is always considered the more important side. Thus, we cover our eyes when we recite the Shema with the right hand, we get dressed on the right side first (such as putting the right shoe on before the left), etc. Putting Tefilin on the left arm is because of other reasons. See Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan's book, "Tefilin," for an excellent, clear explanation of many of the aspects of Tefilin, including this one.

Y. Shaw