My son has unfortunately not been using his Tfilin for a few years now. I would like to lend them to someone who will use them,or to a mentor that will have young men use them.
Being that my son’s spiritual state was on the decline for a few years before he actually stopped using them completely, I am wondering if the Tfilin has become ‘sullied’? Would these impure energies have an effect on the user? Do holy objects (dvarim sheh’bkdusha) stay inherently holy, or can their value be lessened, depending on the user’s holiness?
This may be a hashkafic question rather than a halachic issue (?)
Thank you for our question.
Here are few thoughts on this difficult situation.
Regarding the tefillin getting sullied, that would not be a reason not to lend the tefillin to someone of to stop someone from using one’s tefillin. The idea that they might have gotten sullied by wearing them with improper thoughts is a lofty kabalistic ideas, and it is not for simple people such as us. Therefore that in itself would not be a reason not to lend them out.
On the other hand, although your son unfortunately has not used his tefillin for the last few years, I don’t think it is a good idea for your to lend them to someone else. By giving away his tefillin, in a certain way it is giving him a message that his being religious is a thing of the past, and closed. You want him to always have the feeling that he can always associate himself with the time that he was religious, and that he can always come back to it. Aside from that, the tefillin are his and for you to lend them out to someone else, would need his permission (which I surely would not ask him, because it might just cause him to just say “give away my tefillin”, which you do not want to do, which would be terrible).
May Hakadosh Boruch Hu, send a ruach of tahara to your son, and he should come back to being religious, and you and your family should have much Jewish nachas from him.