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[“Parashiyot” – Portions from the Torah, written on parchment and inserted into the Tfillin.

“M’hadrim” – Those who perform the mitzvah in a superlative, but non-obligatory manner.]

34.1: (1) The order of the placement of the parashiyot in the Batim [inner compartments of the tfillin], according to Rashi and the Rambam, is first:

A) “Kadesh” [“Sanctify to Me all first-born”, Ex. 13:1-10], in the left-most compartment (2) of the one wearing the tfillin [i.e., to the wearer’s left], and after it

B) “Ki Y’viacha” [“When the L-rd shall bring you”, Ex. 13:11-16] in the second compartment, and

C) “Sh’ma” [“Hear, O Israel”, Deut. 6:4-9] in the third compartment, and

D) “V’Haya Im Shamoa” [“If you shall listen”, Deut. 11:13-21] in the fourth compartment, which is the outermost on the wearer’s righthand side.

(3) And according to Rabenu Tam, in the third compartment “V’Haya Im Shamoa”, and in the fourth compartment which is the outermost, “Sh’ma”. And the universal custom is (4) as Rashi and the Rambam.

34.2: A G-d-fearing man will fulfill his obligation according to both opinions and he will make two pairs of tfillin (5) and put on (6) both of them [simultaneously] and when he puts them on he will think: (7) “With those tfillin which are according to the law I [intend to] fulfill my obligation, and the others are like (8) mere straps [i.e., not tfillin of mitzvah]”, for there is space on the head to put on two tfillin, and also on the arm. And if he is unable to set them in the proper place and put on (9) both of them together [because it is hard to fasten two tfillin simultaneously in one act], then (10) he should put on tfillin which are (11) according to one of the opinions [i.e., not one of Rashi and one of Rabenu Tam], (12) both hand-tfillin and head-tfillin (and remove them immediately)* and then put on the other pair on the basis of the blessing he said at the beginning [and not bless again on the second pair]. (And some say that)* if he is unable to put on [wear] both of them at the same time, he should put on the tfillin of Rashi and say the blessing on them and they should be on him during the recital of Sh’ma and Prayer [i.e., Shmoneh Esreh, Amidah], and after the prayer he should put on the tfillin of Rabenu Tam without a blessing and recite while wearing them “Sh’ma” and “V’Haya Im Shamoa” [“If you shall listen”, Deut. 11:13-21].

* “and remove them immediately”, “And some say that” – According to the Mishnah Brurah, these words should not be in the text of the Shulhan Aruch, although they are found in printed editions.


Siman 34 The Order in which the Torah Passages are Placed in the Tefilin (continued)

34:3 One should not conduct himself (16) in this manner [i.e., put on both Rashi and Rabbeinu Tam Tefilin], unless he is well known (17) for piety.

MB 16: In this manner – That is, even if he wishes to put on Rabbeinu Tam Tefilin only after the prayer service. And the Be’er Heiteiv (commentary on the Shulchan Aruch by R. Yehudah Ashkenazi, mid 18th cent., that appears in printed editions of the Mishnah Brurah) writes about a certain person who had the practice of putting on R. Tam Tefilin after prayers, in public. The question was raised whether this practice appears pretentious. It was ruled in a responsum of the Maharash HaLevi (R. Shlomo B. Yitzchak HaLevi, mid 17th cent) that this practice _does_ appear pretentious and he must stop it. And likewise it is written in a responsum of the Shevus Yaakov (R. Yaakov Reischer, early 18th cent.), Part 2 Siman 44, that even if a few people do it, it has a pretentious character to it, and if they do it in the presence of a great person whose practice is to put on R. Tam Tefilin only at home, it certainly appears pretentious (see there).

MB 17: For piety – Since the general practice is like Rashi (i.e., to put on only Rashi Tefilin), one appears pretentious in being stringent on himself in this (i.e., to put on both Rashi and R. Tam Tefilin) if he is not known for being stringent on himself also in other areas (of Jewish law).


34:4 (18) One should not place two pairs (of Tefilin, i.e., one Rashi and one R. Tam) (19) in a single bag, since one of them (20) is non-sacred and it is forbidden to put it into a Tefilin bag. Rather he should make two bags, and label each bag so that he doesn’t put the Tefilin that belong in one bag into the other bag.

[Presumably the intent here is that purchasing bags is alright, provided that one doesn’t purchase a bag previously used for Rashi Tefilin and use it for his R. Tam Tefilin, and vice versa. Also, the term “non-sacred” (“Chol”) in this context means lacking the sanctity _of Tefilin_; however, both pairs contain HaShem’s name and must therefore be treated with appropriate sanctity. LC]

MB 18: One should not place – This is speaking of the situation in which the bag was already designated for only one of them (i.e., Rashi or R. Tam Tefilin), but if the bag was designated from the beginning to hold both pairs of Tefilin, it is permissible (to place both pairs in it).

MB 19: In a single bag – A bag (dedicated to) Tefilin, as (the Shulchan Aruch mentions) at the end (of the sentence), but it is permissible to place both pairs of Tefilin in a Talis bag, even if they are not in their own bags (i.e., loose in the Talis bag), since the Talis bag is designated for something non-sacred, that is, the Talis. [As above, the term “non-sacred” is relative. Obviously a Talis has sanctity, as we have learned, at least while it has Kosher Tzitzis attached, but perhaps the meaning here is that Torah passages containing HaShem’s name, even if they lack the sanctity of Tefilin, have at least as great a level of sanctity, probably greater. LC]

MB 20: Is non-sacred – It follows that it is forbidden to exchange the bags and all the more so the housings, straps, and Torah passages from Rashi Tefilin to R. Tam Tefilin or vice versa. But if no person has ever put on the Tefilin (i.e., any of those parts) in order to fulfill the Mitzvah of Tefilin, one may transfer (any of the parts) to another set of Tefilin (that accord with the other view). However, once anyone has put on any of these parts even once in order to fulfill the Mitzvah of Tefilin, and they were arranged according to the view of one of them (Rashi or R. Tam), it is henceforth forbidden to transfer those parts ever again (to Tefilin in accord with the other view). Even if one made a prior stipulation (i.e., before the first use) to transfer them when desired, it doesn’t help, because a stipulation doesn’t permit one to transfer something used for a sacred purpose to a non-sacred purpose (later authorities; i.e., contemporary with or later than the Shulchan Aruch). The Pri Megadim (R. Yosef Teomin, late 18th cent.) writes (in Mishbetzos Zahav, one of the two works comprising the Pri Megadim) that if one finds straps (by themselves) and he doesn’t know if they are from Rashi or R. Tam Tefilin, he may use them as part of Rashi Tefilin [i.e., attach them to housings containing the Torah passages arranged according to Rashi’s opinion], since most people put on Rashi Tefilin [so we may assume that the straps came from Rashi Tefilin], and also since we are of the opinion that Rashi’s opinion takes prevalence (over R. Tam’s) and we go up in holiness. [That is, we may move something from a lower to a higher level of holiness, but not the reverse, so even if the straps came from a pair of R. Tam Tefilin, using them for Rashi Tefilin, which have a higher level of holiness, would be elevating their status. LC] See in the Be’er Heiteiv and the Biur Halacha. [The latter seems to suggest that making a prior stipulation might help in some circumstances, but he leaves the issue unresolved.] And some of the later authorities are even more lenient. They hold that since we are of the opinion that Rashi’s opinion prevails as stated above, one may take a strap from R. Tam Tefilin and transfer it to Rashi Tefilin if he has no other strap available, but it is forbidden to transfer a strap from Rashi to R. Tam Tefilin under any circumstances. If it happens by chance that one (who puts on both Rashi and R. Tam Tefilin) takes out the bag containing the R. Tam Tefilin first, he should pass over them (and put on the Rashi Tefilin first), since we hold that Rashi’s opinion prevails, and there is not a problem here of passing over one Mitzvah in order to do another [which is generally forbidden, as in the case of taking out one’s Tefilin before one’s Talis; see 25:1. LC]. Nevertheless, before the fact one should be careful that this situation doesn’t occur. During Chol HaMoed (intermediate days of Passover or Sukkos, when there is doubt about whether Tefilin should be worn at all) one should not put on R. Tam Tefilin. On Tisha B’Av at Mincha one may put on R. Tam Tefilin if one wishes.