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I have heard that the baal haTanya put on his t'fila shel yad while seated (as S'faradim do).

  • Does anyone have a source for this (or for the opposite: that he put on his shel yad standing)?
  • If he did put it on sitting, does anyone know why he did so?
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up vote 9 down vote accepted

I don't know whether he personally did, but he does mention this custom in his siddur, and gives the Zohar as the source. (It states that the seated part of davening corresponds to the shel yad, and the standing part - primarily Shemoneh Esrei, I guess - to the shel rosh.)

Dayan Raskin, in his notes to the siddur there, has an extensive discussion of this issue, and cites a source that R. Shalom Dovber of Lubavitch indeed followed this practice. (Present-day Chabad custom, though, is to put both tefillin on while standing.)

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When I was in Lubavitch Yeshivah, I remember the Mashpia saying that the best thing to do was to put it on sitting and then stand for the bracha thus fulfilling the Zohar and the Ashkenazic custom of saying Berachas of Mitzvahs while standing. – Aaron Shaffier Nov 27 '11 at 15:06
@AaronShaffier This is not the minhag of Chabad today. While the Rebbeim at times do things different, it is not a raya for the Chassidim. The Rebbe says this is not our custom. – user1292 Mar 8 '12 at 23:41
@mochinrechavim out of curiosity, do you have a source of the Rebbe's statement? – Shmuel Brin Mar 9 '12 at 4:44
@ShmuelBrill The footnote should appear in A.R. S.A. new printing. Its Section 25 Halacha 27. If not, its printed in the Reshimos of the Rebbe on Rama Orach Chayim 25:11 – user1292 Mar 9 '12 at 17:29
An important thing to know about minhagim of the rebbe and the previous rebbeim of chabad is that just because they did something does not necessarily mean it is an appropriate minhag for the rest of us. Too many this seems strange at first as many of us would like to emulate the practices of the Rebbe. However, the Rebbeim of chabad have made it clear which minhagim we are to follow by publishing them in the shulchan aruch haRav and the siddur. Reshis chachma yiras HaShem – yid Nov 18 '13 at 23:15

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