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This is only a partial answer. I have heard from Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch, (formerly in South Africa where he was my family's Rav, now Raavad of the Edah Hachareidis, Jerusalem), that a Baal teshuva does NOT wear tefilin on Chol Hamoed as this is lechumrah. One only wears tefilin, if one has an existing family tradition to do so.


This page (it is too much to simply copy and paste) speaks of the medrashic concept that the righteous die on their birthdays [scroll down to citation 27 in the text]. As such, acknowledging that Avraham Avinu was righteous, and the gemara mentions possibilities for the Yahrzeit: Avraham Avinu (2124 - 1638 B.C.E.:), according to some sources (Bava Basra ...


Unless of course you are in Israel, as there are major Sephardi big wigs who say something entirely different. "Rav Avraham Yosef, the Chief Rabbi of Cholon and son of Rav Ovadiah Yosef, is now following in his father’s footsteps and promoting the psakim (customs and laws) of the Sefardim, according to the Beit Yosef, as the overruling authority in Eretz ...

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