Here's a great tip:
Enter your email address and we'll send you our weekly magazine by email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life, week after week. And it's free.
Oh, and don't forget to like our facebook page too!
Contact Us

On Which Days Do We Not Wrap Tefillin?

On Which Days Do We Not Wrap Tefillin?

 Email

Question:

I've recently started wrapping tefillin every morning and saying the Shema. Eventually, I hope to build from there, especially once I move to a Jewish community where this is a daily minyan.

Like I said, I'm doing this every day. Now I'm told that I'm supposed to skip Shabbat mornings. Are there any other days to skip--and why?

Response:

Great to hear you've made this a habit. But even the best of habits needs a break once in a while. So here are the rules:

Jewish men (over the age of 13) wrap tefillin every day other than the holidays listed below:

Saturdays (Shabbat)
Rosh HaShanah
Yom Kippur
Sukkot
Passover
Shavuot

Concerning the intermediate days of Sukkot and Passover (chol hamoed), there are a number of divergent customs. Sephardim, Chassidim (including Chabad), and many Ashkenazim do not wear tefillin, while other Ashkenazim do. Among those who do wear tefillin, there are some who recite the accompanying blessings and some who do not. (Have a look at Do I put on tefillin on Chol Hamoed? for more on this.) Make sure to speak to your rabbi to ascertain what your community's practice is.

Now, you may ask, if these days are so special, shouldn't they be special for wrapping tefillin as well?

So here's the explanation taught by Rabbi Akiva, cited in the Talmud Menachot: The Torah (Exodus 13:9) refers to tefillin as a sign of the special bond between G‑d and the Jewish people. Shabbat and the holidays are also a sign (Exodus 31:13) of this bond. Since there already is the special sign of the holiday, the additional sign of the tefillin is superfluous. As rabbis and architects are wont to say, more is less. Wearing tefillin on those days would demean the sign of the holiday.

Also note, on the fast of Tisha B'Av, the donning of talit and tefillin is delayed until the afternoon, as a mark of mourning.

Your truly,

Rabbi Menachem Posner


Sources
Talmud, Menachot, 36b.
Code of Jewish Law, O.C. 31, 555.

Rabbi Menachem Posner serves as staff editor for Chabad.org.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
 Email
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
11 Comments
1000 characters remaining
Mark Rogowin Chicago,Illinois April 13, 2017

Went to shul this morning without Tefillin thinking I was doing the right thing because I read not to wear tefillin on pesach, the people in the shul all Litwish said to put on Tefillin but I did not have them with me. I felt weird Reply

Manny Alonso April 4, 2017

May one wear tefillin during the morning of the fast of the first born before Passover? Reply

Chabad.org Staff April 5, 2017
in response to Manny Alonso:

Yes tefillin are worn on the fast of the firstborn. Reply

marcel Brasil December 29, 2016

thanks Reply

Chabad.org Staff July 24, 2016

Yes! Reply

Shai Israel July 24, 2016

Do you put teffilin on on the 17 of tamuz (Ashkenazi) Reply

Anonymous April 24, 2016

Concise and well written! Thank you!! Reply

Chabad.org Staff March 15, 2016

Yes Tefillin are worn on Purim, in fact, if one is at synagogue on Purim morning, according to the Code of Jewish Law it's best to wear the Tefillin while hearing the Megillah reading. Reply

Yosef March 15, 2016

Do you put on Tefilin on Purim? Reply

Mark Steinfeld Toronto December 5, 2013

Thank you for this most helpful site. It is of great comfort to have a site like Chabad. I would be hesitant to rely on just any other anonymous site. Reply

Joseph Dadon (Joe) New York , NY May 27, 2012

It is always great to come to the internet and find an answer so well written with so much detail. The beauty of Judaism. It's not just a "religion" it's a way of life. Great job Rabbi wherever you are from. Reply