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Can one put a tallis or tefiliin on top of chumashim? Torah shel bal peh?


  1. Can one put a talis on top of chumashim or torah shel bal peh?
  2. Can one put tefillin on top of seforim?



  1. There are five levels of kedusha, 1. Kedusha itself, ( such as a sefer torah, parshios of tefillin, seforim, papers that have torah written onthem. 2. Tashmishei kedusha- item that service the kedusha item, such as the pouch that teffilin are kept in. 3. Tashmish d’tashmish- a server of a servicer, such as a simple bagthat the tefillin were put into. 4. Tashmishei MItvah- mitzvah items, such as a kosher tallis 5. Tahsmishei mitzvah- a itzvah itm that is no longer in use- such as posul tzitzis.

A tallis is considered tashmishei mitzvah, as it is used for a mitzvah. It’s kedusha is less than a sefer, which is on the level of kedusha itself, therefore it may not be placed on top of a chumash, and not on a gemorah which is torah shebal pe. Even torah shebal pe ( gemorah) even though it is also kedusha should not be put on to a nach or chumash, thereore a tallis surely should not be placed on to a sefer.        However one may use their tallis to cover their tefillin or a sefer , because then it is being used or he purpose of the sefer, and it isn’t considered disrespectful.

As a side point, the sefer Menucha Ukedusha (pg. 32) in his perek on Kedushas Haseforim -9 writes, “A worse sin, more than the above, (leaning on a sefer for convenience) while someone is putting on his tallis, and he hasto remove his hat, and he puts it on to a sefer, even if the whole table is empty, and there is only one sefer on top of it. This is the work of the yetzer hora, that he should put it specifically on the sefer. This is similar to do it in spite! And this is done in a Bais Midrash or Bais Hakneses, whoa to the eyes that see this!


  1. Tefillin are kedusha iself on a very high level, as they are written on klaf etc., and contain some parsha’s of the torah, therefore they may be put even on top of a chumash.



Y:S 282-17, Rivivos Efrayim 1-118, Ginzei Hakodesh3 -24, in the name of R’ N. Karelitz shlit”a

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