Rabbenu Tam Tefillin

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Arrangement of Paragraphs

  1. There is much discussion among the rishonim (early authorities) about the order in which the biblical passages should be written in the arm and head Tefillin. The rabbis most famous for this dispute were Rashi and his grandson Rabbenu Tam. Rashi held that the order is: Kadesh Li (Shemot 13:1-10), VeHaya Ki Yeviehcha (Shemot 13:11-16), Shema (Devarim 6:4-9), VeHaya Im Shemoa (Devarim 11:13-21). Rabbenu Tam held that the last two passages were switched (thus making the following order Kadesh Li, VeHaya Ki Yeviehcha, VeHaya Im Shemoa, Shema). The custom of the world is to follow Rashi's opinion. [1]
  2. However, pious individuals have the practice of wearing both Tefillin of Rashi and Rabbenu Tam, with no bracha when putting on the Rabbenu Tam. [2]
  3. Unmarried individuals should not wear Tefillin of Rabbenu Tam unless they know that they are capable of having pure thoughts for as long as they are wearing Tefillin. [3]
  4. If one mistakenly put on Rabbenu Tam first, some poskim say to recite a bracha when putting on the Rashi Tefillin. [4]

Wearing Rabbenu Tam Tefillin

  1. The ShAr states that only someone who is established and known as a pious individual should wear Rabbenu Tam Tefillin. The Magen Avraham states that since so many people wear Rabbenu Tam Tefillin nowadays there is no more issue of haughtiness and anyone that wants to, can wear them. [5] Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano states that those who fear heaven don the tefillin of both Rashi and Rabbenu Tam. [6]
  2. The Rashi and Rabbenu Tam Tefillin should be placed in separate bags. [7]


  1. Shulchan Aruch 34:1, Halacha Brurah 34:1, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, miscellaneous laws (of tefillin), seif 2
  2. Shulchan Aruch 34:2-3 rules that that the especially pious should wear both sets, but added that only one commonly known to be especially pious may do so, so as not to appear as arrogant in one's piety. However, Halacha Brurah (Rabbi David Yosef, 34:1) writes that since it has become the practice of many common people to wear both Tefillin of Rashi and Rabbenu Tam it is not considered an issue of arrogance to wear both pairs of Tefillin. Sh"t Yabia Omer OC 3:4 writes that if one has this stringency he should remove the Rashi and place the Rabbeinu Tam before the kedusha of "uva litzion".
  3. Halacha Brurah 34:2. Chacham Ben-zion Abba Shaul Sh"t Or Litzion 2:13:11 also writes that Sephardim should only wear Rabbenu Tam Tefillin after marriage.
  4. Ben Ish Chai Vayera 24. Rav Ovadia Yosef in Halichot Olam volume 1 page 26 says that this is only if the person has prayed something in between but if he remembers immediately no bracha should be recited.
  5. Aruch HaShulchan 34:5
  6. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, the order of the donning, seif 2
  7. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, the order of the donning, seif 5