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31:1. On Shabbos (1) and on Yom Tov (Holidays) (2) it is forbidden to put on tefillin, because (3) Shabbos and Yom Tov themselves are called a sign, and if one would put on (4) another sign during these days, (5) it would belittle the “sign” provided by these holy days.

MB 1: And on Yom Tov (Holidays) – The second days of the holidays are in the same category, for those outside of Israel. [While each holiday is one day long in Israel, we observe those same holidays for two days in essentially every other country. This recalls the fact that when the Temple was standing and there was a religious court in Jerusalem, they would declare the new month based upon sight of the moon beginning a new cycle. Runners would then be able to deliver the news only to those places that could be reached before the beginning of the festival. For this reason, those too far away would observe the festival for two days – the first assuming that the previous month was only 29 days long, and the second assuming that the previous month was 30 days long (the only possibilities for Jewish months). — YM]

MB 2: It is forbidden to put on – There are those who say that it is even forbidden to move them, if not because he needs the tefillin for some reason, or because he needs the place where they are sitting – like any vessel whose normal use is forbidden on Shabbos or Yom Tov. And there are those who say that in order to insure that they won’t fall or be stolen, it would also be permissible to move them from place to place; and one may be lenient in an urgent situation. Look inside the Be’ur Halacha.

MB 3: they themselves are a sign – between The Holy One Blessed Be He and the Children of Israel, as it says in the Torah “for it [the Shabbos] is a sign between me and the Children of Israel etc.” Yom Tov is also called a sign, because the term “sign” is used when discussing the Passover holiday, and in the weekly Torah reading for Parshas Emor all of the holidays are interconnected.

MB 4: Another sign – Namely the tefillin, about which it the Torah says “and it will be for you a sign on your hand”.

MB 5: It would belittle – One would also transgress the negative commandment of “bal tosif,” the negative commandment of adding on to the commandments [a good example: one would not be permitted to shake a lulav on Sukkos for eight days, instead of seven]. This, however, is only when he is putting on the tefillin with intent to perform the mitzvah – but if he does not intend to perform the mitzvah, then there is no problem. He will also not belittle the “sign” provided by Shabbos, if he does not intend to perform the mitzvah and also does not wear them in public – which was forbidden by the Rabbis. There are those who are stringent, and forbid wearing tefillin in all cases unless the tefillin are being disgraced – for example, if one found tefillin in a field on Shabbos, he is permitted to wear them normally and thus bring them into the city, as will be explained later in section 301.

Yaakov Menken [email protected] and others

Project Genesis, the Jewish Renewal Network P.O. Box 1230, Spring Valley, NY 10977 (914) 356-3040 FAX: 356-6722 ————————————————————————— sha-31.02

Siman 31: The Law of Tefillin on Shabbos and Yom Tov (cont.)

31:2. On Hol Ha-Moed [the intermediate days of Succot and Pesach where the full work restrictions of Yom Tov do not apply] it is also forbidden to wear tefillin for the same reason [as above paragraph 1], that the days of Hol Ha-Moed (6) are also a “sign” [and therefore, adding an additional “sign” of tefillin is considered a degradation of the holiness of the day]. {Rama: And some say that on Hol Ha-Moed one is obligated to wear tefillin; and this is the custom in all our areas, (7) to wear them on Hol Ha-Moed and recite the blessing over them, but (8) not to recite the blessing over them out loud in the synagogue like every day of the year.}

M.B. 6: Are also a “sign” – [The sign is] on Pesach the eating of matzah and on Succot sitting in the Succah. And the “some say” [i.e. the other opinion] reasons that since from the Torah, it is permitted to work on these days [even though the Rabbis prohibited some types of work – AB], there is no “sign”.

M.B. 7: To wear them on Hol Ha-Moed – And the tefillin should be removed on Hol Ha-Moed before Hallel. And now, some people have made a custom of removing them after the Kedushah of Shemoneh Esrei [i.e. Amidah; of Shacharis], but they must yet be careful to pay attention and listen to the Chazzan’s repetition of the [Shemoneh Esrei] prayer.