Hurricane Sandy Takes Toll On Bayswater Tefillin Leave a comment

Somebody brought me four sets of tefillin from a shul in Bayswater that had been completely submerged under water for many hours as a result of Hurricane Sandy. They were so wet that the battim were soft like a sponge, and their shape was totally distorted. The parshios were also soaked, except for one shel yad which somehow remained dry. Several of the parshios were unable to be opened because as I was opening them, I could see that some of the ink was sticking to the other side of the klaf. This creates a serious problem when it comes to Hashem’s name, which is forbidden to erase. After consulting with Reb Wosner, I only opened parshios that the ink was not sticking to the other side. Out of four sets, all of the battim are ruined  and about half the parshios cannot be opened. As you can see in the picture, the writing is actually clear, not smudged, but as they dry out, they become wrinkled, and hard. They will never be able to be rolled up and put into battim again. As for my advice, never allow your tefillin to get wet, but if a drop or two of rain got on them, don’t panic. What has happened here is on a totally different level than anything I have ever seen.

Too dry and wrinkled to ever be used again.

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