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I see in the Sidur HaRasa"g that he makes a seemingly strange comment about the b'rakha(oth) of t'philin. He states:

התפילין כשמהדקים של היד על היד ושל ראש על הראש צריך לברך אקבמ"ו להניח תפילין

ha-t'philin k'sh'm'hadhqim shel yadh al ha-yadh w'shel rosh al ha-rosh ssarikh l'varekh "asher qidshanu b'misswothaw w'ssiwanu l'haniah t'philin"

Translation: "T'philin: When we fasten the Shel Yadh to the arm and the Shel Rosh to the head it is necessary to make the b'rakha 'Who sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to set t'philin [in place].' "

The note at the bottom of the page in the sidur says that he essentially holds like Rav Amram Gaon (i.e. the standard shitta of the Sepharadim) that a b'rakha is made on the shel yadh only, but it seems to me that a simple diyuq in his wording yields the possibility that he held like the shitta of making two b'rakhoth on t'philin, but the same b'rakha each time (i.e. l'haniah t'philin).

My question is: How does the Rasa"g truly hold in this reagrd? Do we know from anywhere else in Geonic literature? Is the language in his sidur clear on this fact?

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The second part of your question is clearly answered in the background information: he is ambiguous. :) –  Yitzchak Dec 11 '13 at 14:57
I understand about the ambiguity, but I was more questioning my own analysis. As in, "Perhaps I am reading it incorrectly?" Kol tuv. –  Maimonist Dec 11 '13 at 20:41

1 Answer 1

There are (at least) two ways to read that statement.

One is that the appropriate Bracha on either Shel Rosh or the Shel Yad is LeHaniach Tephilin (say you only had a Shel Rosh to put on, you put on that one with that Bracha). But saying the Bracha once covers both, just like saying Hamozi on the roll white bread in front of you covers the whole wheat one next to it, and you eat both with the one Bracha.

The other is that you make the same Bracha on each one separately.

The words by themselves could be read either way. However, considering the issue of Bracha Sheina Tzricha (Brachos 23a - and see Yuma 70a, where this is even to make circumstances which require you to say a second one), it would certainly seem that if it is the same Bracha on both, it can be covered with one.

Given that the Gemara in Munachos (36a) says that you only make two Brachos if you spoke, it seems unlikely (unless the Rasa"g had a different version somewhere here) that he is saying you only say one, but say it again on the shel rosh, even without speaking. Why would you add a second, new Bracha specifically and only if you spoke?

So to sum up, there doesn't seem to be a plausible reading of the Gemara in Munachos and Brachos that would allow for saying one and only one bracha, twice, when putting on Tefilin, so it is hard to read an ambiguous statement as if it does.

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Except for that the Ba`al Halakhoth G'dholoth holds (based on those two Gemaras you mentioned) that one ALWAYS makes two b'rakhoth on t'philin. The Baha"g understands "hozer u-m'varekh" does not mean "bless again," but rather "go back and say both b'rakhoth (i.e. l'haniah and al misswath t'philin) on the shel rosh if you speak after putting on the shel yadh." I am familiar with the Gemaras you quoting, the S'varoth you mentioned, and the issues. My question is how, from the wording of his sidur, does the Rasa"g hold? Kol tuv. –  Maimonist Dec 12 '13 at 0:52
@Maimonist, that is what I am explaining, the language fits with the first reading. I know what the Baha"g holds, but obviously the Rasa"g doesnt, as he doesn't say to say the second Bracha at all. –  Yishai Dec 12 '13 at 2:53

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