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29:1. (1) One should not make any blessing when taking off tefillin; even when taking them off late Friday afternoon (2) close to Shabbos.

MB 1: One should not make a blessing – This ruling was necessary, because in the Talmud we see that those from Western countries used to make the blessing ‘that he sanctified us with his commandments and commanded us to keep his statutes’ after they took off their tefillin at night. Their opinion was that nighttime is not the time for tefillin, which they derived from the verse ‘and you shall keep this statute for its time for all your days’ which implies days but not nights. [They therefore believed that removing their tefillin at night was in response to an explicit commandment, warranting a blessing.] Our opinion is that this verse is intended for a different topic, as is explained in the Talmud — and we rule that tefillin can actually be worn at night, just that the Rabbis decreed that one should preferably not put them on because he might fall asleep in them and let out gas [which is forbidden while wearing tefillin, as we learned earlier.]

MB 2: Close to Shabbos – This is true even though we rule that Shabbos and Yom Tov are not times for tefillin – and we even say that should he put them on for the purpose of fulfilling the commandment, he transgresses the commandment of ‘don’t add [to the commandments].’ Still, since one does not violate the Torah if he puts them on _without_ the intention of fulfilling the commandment – only the Rabbinic decree, which was made to prevent him from accidentally wearing them into a public domain (and there are even those who disagree with this as well, as will be explained later in Siman 31) – therefore he should not make a blessing, because he fulfills no mitzvah by removing his tefillin. Rather, he is only taking them off because of the Rabbinic decree.

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Although this Halacha was intended for last Shabbos, it is now actually Wednesday. Therefore let both this _and_ the Halacha for 12 Av be dedicated l’aliyas nishmos [as a merit for the soul of] Pesach ben Shimon Ephraim Olesker.




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