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I once heard from a Sofer the shocking revelation that Rabbeinu Tam's Tefillin do not actually follow Rabbeinu Tam's opinion. Is that correct? Did I misunderstand? Are there any Soferim in our forum who are not only intimately familiar with how "Rabbeinu Tam Tefillin" are made, but also intimately familiar with Rabbeinu Tam's actual, written Shittah?

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up vote 13 down vote accepted

Rabenu Tam (as cited in paragraph 6 of the Rosh's laws of sefer Tora) holds that ink made of gallnuts (which we use even in 'his' t'filin) is no good.

Also, Rabenu Tam (as cited in Tosafos to M'nachos 33:1 s.v. "Ha daavida") holds the parchments must be lying flat in their case, and we put them upright (per SA OC 32:45), and even in 'his' t'filin.

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@HodofHod, I'm afraid I don't have a good source for that. But it's true. :-) – msh210 Dec 29 '11 at 20:33
@HodofHod ask your local Sofer – Hacham Gabriel Dec 29 '11 at 20:52
To clarify for those not in the loop: when we say "Rabbenu Tam tefilin", we mean the 4 Biblical paragraphs on the parchment inside are in Rabbenu Tam's specified, non-Scriptural order. So they're "tefilin following Rabbenu Tam's ordering", not necessarily "tefilin that meets every single one of Rabbenu Tam's criteria." – Shalom Dec 29 '11 at 20:53
I heard recently that R"T's order is not something that was not something that he made up; rather, there is a mesorah for it. Archaeological evidence has been found in the Qumran caves of the Dead Sea Scrolls. – Adam Mosheh Dec 30 '11 at 5:39
@HachamGabriel In the end of the first Bach in Siman 34 the Bach quotes a Smag and Mordechai saying that it was Rashi tfillin buried there. Some say that it was because Rashis are pasul and that's why they were buried there. The Bach says that it couldn't be for that reason as one could just change the order of the parshios and doesn't have to bury them. – Shmuel Brin Mar 2 '12 at 18:43

In addition Rabeinu Tam holds (see Bais Yosef (3rd from top)) that the word Letotofos in the Parsha Vehaya Im Shomo'a is written without any Vov while we write it with a Vov after the first Tes even in Rabeinu Tam's Tefillin.

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