Hello. Someone brought to my attention that there is no actual obligation to wear tefillin every single day, and that this is discussed by rishonim. There isn't even a gezeyra mentioned in a Mishnah about it, but comes up only among amoraim as on this daf of Brachos. I find this incredible, given what Ulla and R. Yehuda say about a person who says Shma without tefillin. Yet if this is the case, why is there no specific halacha to do it, or at least an explicit gezeyra? Thanks.
David Goldman, USA
The obligation is to wear Tefilin, not only every (week)day, but all day, which is what they used to do in former times.
What you probably heard was that there is no obligation to wear Tzitizis - only to put Tzitizis on any four-cornered garment that one wears.
Be'Virchas Kol Tuv,
Thank you. There can't be an actual halacha to wear them all day because we'd know about it from the Torah or from a gezeyra in a Mishnah.
Indeed, the fact that the minhag of second day Yomtov despite the permanent calendar puts off the doraisa of tefillin. And some rishonim even held not to wear tefillin during Shiva or Tisha B'Av..
I read hat the Meiri even says they wearing them every day is a middos chasdidus.
This would explain why poskim were never bothered by pushing off this doraisa, simply because there is no actual obligation to wear them every single day.
1) The Bi'ur Halacha (37:1, DH Mitzvasan) cites the Pri Megadim who says that if someone did not put on Tefilin at all one day, he has annuled a Mitzvah d'Oraisa. However, if he wore them for one moment of the day he has fufilled the Mitzvah d'Oraisa, but it is a choice Mitzvah to wear them all day. This explains why there is no Gezeirah or Mishnah that they must be worn all day.
2) The Teshuvas ha'Rashba (that I cited elsewhere) writes that Chazal have the power to cancel Tefilin on Yom Tov Sheni in the same way that they have the power to annul any d'Oraisa in a passive way ("Shev v'Al Ta'aseh"), such as not blowing the Shofar when the first day of Rosh Hashanah falls on Shabbos.
1) I argue that, on the contrary, the Halachah that a mourner does not wear Tefilin proves that for people who are not mourners there is in fact a Torah obligation to wear Tefilin every day. My proof is from the Gemara in Sukah 25b which states, "A mourner is obligated in all the Mitzvos that are stated in the Torah, with the exception of Tefilin."
Clearly, the Gemara is telling us that there is a big difference between the obligation of a mourner in Tefilin and the obligation of everyone else. The implication of the Gemara is that mourners are not obligated in Tefillin but everyone else is obligated by the Torah to wear them. If it would only be a Midas Chasidus to wear Tefilin every day, we would not need the Gemara to tell us that mourners do not have this Midas Chasidus, or at least the Gemara should not have used the word "obligated" in this context.
2) The Bi'ur ha'Gra (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 555:1) cites a Midrash as a source for the custom not to wear Tefilin on Tish'ah b'Av. The Midrash derives this from Eichah 2:1: "He cast down from Heaven to the ground the glory of Yisrael." The "glory of Yisrael" is Tefilin, and this is why we do not wear them on Tish'ah b'Av.
So Tefilin are d'Oraisa every day, but the reason we do not wear them on Tish'ah b'Av is that we learn this from a verse. In addition, according to the Pri Megadim that I cited in my first reply (that mid'Oraisa one only needs to wear Tefilin for one moment of the day), according to our custom we fulfill this since we wear Tefilin at Minchah on Tish'ah b'Av.
Thank you as always for your interesting reply, R. Dovid Bloom.
However, if it is the opinion of the Pri Megadim about tefillin every day, why shouldn't such a yesodusdike point have been stated explicitly in a Mishnah from Chazal rather then stated just 250 years ago? The fact is that Chazal never had a gezeyra that tefillin must be worn every day, long before the Pri Megadim!
Secondly, why does the Rashba have to resort to his theory about pushing off a doraisa when shev ve'al taaseh doesn't really apply since the establishment of the fixed calendar since there is no Sanhedrin, and he himself calls second day Yomtov just a minhag?
Besides, since there is no gezeyra in the Gemara to be required to wear tefillin every day anyway, this doesn't require annulling anything. It is merely part of the minhag itself such as in the shita of a minhag of not wearing tefillin during Shiva or on Tisha B'Av??
1) See Shevuos 25b, which discusses an oath of "I have not put on Tefilin today." The Gemara states that it would not be possible to make such an oath in a future mode: "I will not put on Tefilin today." Rashi (DH Mi Ika) explains that if one was to make such an oath it would not apply, because this is equivalent to making an oath to annul the Mitzvah. Since every Jew swore at Sinai that he will observe the Torah, it is not possible later to swear that he will not.
One learns from this Gemara that there is a binding obligation to wear Tefilin every day. If it would be only a Midas Chasidus to wear Tefilin every day, it would be possible to swear, "I will not put on Tefilin today."
2) The Gemara itself (end of Beitzah 4b) calls the observance of the second day of Yom Tov a Minhag. Nevertheless, the Gemara there tells us that we must be careful about this custom of our ancestors.
I suggest that what the questioner heard, is that there are those who opine, that there is no specific NEW obligation to wear tefillin every single day, rather that the obligation to wear them is a constant one; day and night.
This opinion is cited several times by Rabbi Moshe Shternbuch shlita in the name of the Brisker Rav, Rabbi Yitzchok Ze'ev Sloveitchik zt"l [See: Mo'adim Uzmanim (3:267, note 1), Shut Teshuvos Ve'hanhagos (1:369), ibid. (2:30)].
Rav Shternbuch also cites that this was the position of Rabbi Chaim Soloveitchik, R" Yitzchok Ze'ev's father [ibid. (2:30)].
In light of this position, the Brisker Rav would be meticulous to wear his tefillin for extra time after Yom Tov, to "make up" for the time he missed wearing them on Chol Hamo'ed.