Tefillin fell on floor-Atonement of fasting and charity if one’s Tefillin fell on the floor:
Tefillin fell without casing: It is the custom of the world to fast when Tefillin falls from one’s hands onto the ground without their cover. [This applies whether to the Tefillin Shel Rosh or Shel Yad, and whether to the Rashi Tefillin or Tefillin Rabbeinu Tam. This applies whether or not one is the owner of the Tefillin, as explained in the Q&A. This applies irrelevant of the height of the fall. However, one who is weak, old, or sick, is not required to fast and is rather to redeem his fast with charity. This means that he is to give to charity the value of one day’s worth of meals. Practically, today we do not fast a full day if one dropped Tefillin onto the floor without their case, and rather one is to fast a half day and redeem the fast with charity, and do other forms of Tikkunim, such a Taanis Dibbur, adding in Torah learning, studying the laws of Tefillin and the like.]
The Tefillin fell while in their case or bag: If the Tefillin fell within their case or bag then there is no need to fast. [Nevertheless, one is to give money to charity as atonement. Some Poskim learn that this applies even if the Tefillin fell after they were already wrapped in their case and placed into their bag, and hence even if the closed bag with Tefillin fell, one is to give money to charity. However, other Poskim are lenient in such a case and rule that no Tikkun is required if the Tefillin were in their bag when they fell. Furthermore, some Poskim are lenient to not require atonement even if the Tefillin were not in their bag, but fell while in their case. If the Tefillin were in a non-designated bag, such as a knapsack, then according to all, no Tikkun is required, even if they were not in their case/bag.] [However,] if a Sefer Torah fell even with its cover, the custom is to fast.
Summary [includes Q&A]:
One is to fast a half a day and give money to charity if the Tefillin Shel Yad or Rosh of Rashi or Rabbeinu Tam fell onto the ground, if all the following conditions are fulfilled:
1. The Tefillin fell onto the actual ground/floor, as opposed to onto a rug, chair, or table in which case only charity is required.
2. The Tefillin personally fell from one’s hands or as a result of one’s actions [i.e. knocking them off the table], as opposed to if one merely witnessed them fall.
3. The actual Bayis of the Tefillin touched the ground, whether the top, side or bottom of the Bayis, as opposed to if the Bayis fell while in its cover, in which case only charity is required.
4. The Tefillin are Kosher and have been used once before for the Mitzvah, as opposed to if Pasul Tefillin fell onto the ground, or are new and have never yet been worn. Although in the latter case, one is to give charity.
The order of the half day fast:
If one had not yet eaten or drank anything that day, then he may continue to fast until midday, and have it count towards this fast, while if he had already drunk or eaten, then he is to fast the next day. Aneinu is recited in Mincha even when fasting only a half a day, and even if one did not accept the fast the day before. Nonetheless, when fasting the next day, it is proper to accept the fast the previous day, from the Mincha before.
Q&A on who must fast
If one witnessed Tefillin fall onto the ground, must one fast?
No. One is only obligated to fast, or redeem the fast with charity, if he himself dropped the Tefillin.
If someone dropped, or knocked down, another person’s Tefillin, must he fast?
The person who dropped it: Yes. It makes no difference who the owner of the Tefillin are, and the person who dropped it requires atonement for his mistake.
The owner: The owner of the Tefillin does not require any atonement if someone else dropped his Tefillin, and rather the atonement is only needed by the person who dropped it, as explained above. [Nonetheless, some Poskim rule that if the owner witnessed this occur then he is to fast or donate money to charity, as stated above.]
If one’s Tefillin were dropped by someone else, must he fast?
See previous Q&A!
If a child dropped Tefillin onto the floor, does he require a Tikkun?
If the child is of age of Chinuch, it is proper for him to perform some type of Tikkun.
Q&A on scenarios of falling
If the Tefillin slipped off the table on their own, must one fast?
Seemingly, no one is required to fast. However, if they fell from the table due to being in a negligent position, then seemingly one is to redeem the fast with charity.
If one knocked into a ceiling ledge which caused his Shel Rosh to fall to the ground, must one fast?
Seemingly he is required to fast.
If one was pushed by another person which caused the Tefillin to fall, must he fast?
Seemingly, he is not required to fast. However, the person who pushed him is to fast.
Q&A on the state of the Tefillin that requires Tikkun
Must one fast if Pasul Tefillin fell onto the floor?
No, however, he it is proper for him to donate money to charity. [Thus, if the Parshiyos are invalid, or the Bayis became Pasul, or the Parshiyos were removed from the Bayis for checking, then a Tikkun is not required if it fell. If, however, the Bayis and Parshiyos are Kosher and the straps were removed simply to be replaced, then one is required to fast if the Bayis fell from one’s hands onto the floor.]
Must one fast if new Tefillin fell onto the floor?
New Tefillin which were never yet used for the Mitzvah do not require fasting if they fell onto the floor. Nevertheless, it is proper for one to donate money to charity.
What is the law if one dropped his Rabbeinu Tam Tefillin?
It follows the same laws as the Tefillin of Rashi.
Q&A on the parts of Tefillin that require atonement if fell
If the Bayis of the Tefillin was covered only on its top, and fell to the ground, is one to fast?
If the Titura or Mabarta touched the floor, then one is nevertheless required to fast.
If the straps touched the ground, must one fast?
If the straps fell onto the ground, there is no need to fast or do other form of Tikkun. This applies whether the entire Tefillin fell onto the ground while the Bayis was fully covered, or if simply the straps rolled off the table onto the ground. However, some Poskim rule that if the Kesher of the Daled touched the ground then one is to fast.
Q&A on area of fall that requires Tikkun
If one fell onto the floor while wearing his Tefillin, must he fast?
No, so long as the Tefillin itself did not fall onto the floor in the process.
If the Tefillin fell onto an object [i.e. rug/table/chair], is one to fast?
If the Tefillin fell onto an object rather than onto the ground or floor, then one is not required to fast. Nevertheless, it is proper for one to give charity as a Tikkun.
Q&A on the Tikkun
Must one send his Tefillin to be checked if they fell on the floor?
No. However, some are accustomed to do so, especially if the Tefillin had not been checked for a while.
A “Segula” for the Tefillin not to fall on the floor:
Put on the Tefillin with your body slightly bent over the table, so if they fall, they fall on the table and not the floor.
 Admur 44:2; M”A 44:5; Mishpitei Shmuel 12; Chaim Sheol 1:12 “So is the custom amongst all Jewry”; M”B 40:3; Ketzos Hashulchan 8:23: See Kaf Hachaim 40:5-8; Piskeiy Teshuvos 40:2; Nitei Gavriel Bar Mitzvah chapter 57
 Seemingly, the same applies if he knocked them over with his body while they were on the table. [See Aruch Hashulchan 44:3 “due to a reason fell”; Piskeiy Teshuvos 40 footnote 13] Vetzaruch Iyun.
 Setimas Haposkim; Hagahos Shoel Umeishiv 44; Piskeiy Teshuvos 40 footnote 3
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that one is only required to fast if the Tefillin Shel Rosh falls on the floor. [Halacha Lemoshe 10]
 Piskeiy Teshuvos 40 footnote 3; See Shaareiy Teshuvah 34:1; P”M 301 A”A 53; Shevet Hakehasi 4:25
 See Ben Ish Chaiy Chayeh Sarah 18; Kaf Hachaim 40:7 [however concludes that by less than three Tefachim from ground one may be lenient not to fast]
 Chaim Sheol 1:12
 Divrei Chaim end of Vol. 2
 Piskeiy Teshuvos 40:2; Nitei Gavriel ibid that he should do Taanis Shaos; See Chaim Sheol ibid regarding Torah scholar that he may redeem the fast with charity [no mention is made of fasting even half a day]; Mahariy Bruno ibid that young lads are to learn 2-3 hours that day; Beis Baruch 14:225 and Az Nidbaru 8:20 and Rivivos Efraim 6:14 that he is to do a Taanis Dibbur
 Implication of Admur and M”A ibid; M”B 40:3; See also Admur 44:1 “When they are in their case, there is not as much of a worry if they fall”
 In the original law, this refers to Tefillin which is kept directly in their bag without any casing, unlike what is done today.
 Elya Raba 40:4 in name of Mahariy Bruno; Machazik Bracha 40:2; Shaareiy Teshuvah 40:1; Machatzis Hashekel 44:5; Chesed Lealafim 40:5; Ben Ish Chaiy Chayeh Sarah 18; M”B ibid in name of Elya Raba ibid; Poskim in Kaf Hachaim 40:5
Other opinions: Some Poskim are lenient that no Tikkun even of charity is required in such a case. [Aruch Hashulchan 44:3] Other Poskim rule that if the Tefillin is inside a bag of a Tefach x Tefach then one may even initially place it on the ground, even if it is a designated bag, and that certainly no Tikkun is required. [M”A 43:13 in name of Rashi “It is permitted to be placed on the floor”; Shut Tashbeitz 3:26, brought in Shaareiy Teshuvah 40:2; Biur Halacha 43:6 “Umanichan” in name of M”A in name of Rashi] Admur 43:4 brings this opinion of Rashi and M”A ibid only regarding entering to a public bathroom and limits the allowance to only that case. He omits the continued ruling that it is permitted toplace the Tefillin on the ground when in its vessel.
 Piskeiy Teshuvos 40 footnote 11 that this applies even if they were in their second bag, being that the bag is designated for the Tefillin, and hence Tikkun is required.
 Aruch Hashulchan 44:3; M”A 43:13 in name of Rashi [omitted by Admur] and Shut Tashbeitz 3:26, brought in Shaareiy Teshuvah 40:2 and Biur Halacha 43:6 “Umanichan”, that if the Tefillin is inside a bag of a Tefach x Tefach then one may even initially place it on the ground
 Aruch Hashulchan 44:3
 Shut Tashbeitz 3:26, brought in Shaareiy Teshuvah 40:2
 Admur ibid; M”A ibid
 See Kaf Hachaim 40:6
 Mahariy Bruno 127; Beir Heiytiv 671:1; Kneses Hagedola; Elya Raba 671:5; Chesed Lealafim 44:5; Ben Ish Chaiy Chayeh Sarah 18; Kaf Hachaim 40:6; See Mishneh Halachos 5:15; Piskeiy Teshuvos 40:2 footnote 4
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that one is to fast only the next day. [Kaf Hachaim Falagi]
 See Rama 562:1 [Aneinu is said even by half a day fast] and 562:5 [Aneinu is said even if did not accept the fast the day before]; M”A 562;10; Taz 562:5-6; M”B 562:24-25; Kaf Hachaim 562:36
 Likkutei Teshuvos Minchas Yitzchak 2, based on Mahariy Shteif 268; Maharam Brisk 3:8
 Implication of Admur and Poskim ibid that atonement is only required if he actually dropped it; Mishpitei Shmuel 12; Chaim Sheol 1:12, brought in Shaareiy Teshuvah 40:1; Kapos Temarim Sukkah 41b; Peri Hasadeh 2:72; Arugas Habosem 20; Kaf Hachaim 40:8; Piskeiy Teshuvos 40:2
 Implication of Admur and Poskim ibid that atonement is only required if he dropped it, and it makes no difference as to who was the owner of the Tefillin; See Mishpitei Shmuel 12; Chaim Sheol 1:12, brought in Shaareiy Teshuvah 40:1; Kapos Temarim Sukkah 41b; Peri Hasadeh 2:72; Arugas Habosem 20; Kaf Hachaim 40:8; Igros Moshe 3:3; Piskeiy Teshuvos 40:2
 See Igros Moshe 3:3 that if one witnessed his Tefillin being dropped by another person he is to fast as stated above; Piskeiy Teshuvos 40:2
 Yad Yitzchak 2:197
 Os Chaim Veshalom 44:1; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid
 Shevet Halevi 5:5; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid
 Piskeiy Teshuvos 40 footnote 3
 Orchos Chaim Spinka 40 in name of Ashel Avraham Butchach; Piskeiy Teshuvos 40 footnote 11
 Elya Raba 40; Machatzis Hashekel 44:5 in name of Kneses Hagedola
 Shevet Hakehasi 4:26
 Rivivos Efraim 1:30; Piskeiy Teshuvos 40 footnote 4
 Afrasakta Deanya 3:194; Kaf Hachaim 40:7
 Afrasakta Deanya 3:194
 Dinim Vehanhagos 3:9 that so was the custom of the Chazon Ish