I've read this M.Y. question that explains why tefillin are removed before Musaf on Rosh Hodesh and Hol Hamo'ed.

From what I have noticed in Nusach Ashkenaz shuls, on Hol Hamo'ed Pesach, tefillin is removed before Hallel whereas on Rosh Hodesh, they are kept on for Hallel and removed prior to Musaf. Why is there a difference?

Note: I intentionally did not ask about Hol Hamo'ed Succot, because I have heard that the wearing of tefillin is considered chatzitza when you are holding the arbah minim (four species) during Hallel. Thus, the tefillin are removed prior to Hallel.

  • When it comes to when and if to take off Tefillin on Chol HaMoed and Rosh Chodesh, every opinion possible exists.
    – Double AA
    May 15, 2019 at 21:18
  • @DoubleAA Doesn't surprise me. I would hope that at least most of them have some reason behind it other than, "I'm following everyone else."
    – DanF
    May 15, 2019 at 21:32
  • 1
    The minhag I've seen is that on Chol Hamoed, the tefillin are removed before Hallel. The exception to this minhag is the first day of Chol Hamoed Pesach, when the kriah is the first two parshiyos of tefillin, when the tefillin are removed before Mussaf.
    – Menachem
    May 15, 2019 at 21:46
  • @Menachem I have heard and read about the exception for 1st day HHP since the Torah reading mentions tefillin. I haven't been in any shul that follows this minhag, though.
    – DanF
    May 15, 2019 at 21:48
  • I've never davened in a straight Ashkenazi congregation. Everywhere I daven, some people put on tefillin and some don't, and we make accommodations to separate them or not, and we hope to avoid violating לא תתגודדו however. Therefore, maybe most people feel that it makes sense to return to togetherness as soon as possible, during the Chazaras Hashas, so that by the time of Torah reading we're all the same.
    – MichoelR
    May 19, 2020 at 13:05

1 Answer 1


There is no dispute that ראש חדש is definitely a day which has an obligation to don תפלין. (Why we actually remove them before מוסף is a separate discussion.) The רמ"א in OC 25:13 also mentions that one should preferably hear 3 קדושות and 4 קדשים, which is not accomplished until the קדיש preceding מוסף.

On חול המועד, since there is a disagreement according to the פוסקים, most people only don תפלין for the bare minimum. The רמ"א (ibid) actually seems to indicate that there is no difference between ר"ח and חוה"מ.

Since the רמ"א makes no distinction with regard to סכות vs. פסח, it would seem that there is no חציצה problem with the אתרוג. Either it is not a problem at all because we are doing a מצוה, or it there is no actual חציצה since the fingertips are never covered.

As an aside, I can testify that in KAJ in New York, there is a distinction between פסח and סכות with regard to the חזן. On פסח, where there is no break to pick up the ארבע מינים before הלל, the ש"ץ (who cannot remove תפלין after קדושה) does not remove תפלין until שיר של יום (which is recited before קריאת התורה) to avoid טירחא דצבורא.

  • "which is not accomplished until the קדיש preceeding מוסף" Maybe in his day, but by the time we start musaf at my shul there have been 6 kaddishes said already.
    – Double AA
    Apr 17, 2020 at 20:32
  • @DoubleAA - 6? B4 Boruch SheOmar, Yishtabach, after Hallel, after Krias HaTorah - that's 4. (KAJ don't insert the novel Mizmor Shir). Buy anyway you need to 3 Kedushos. Apr 19, 2020 at 7:07
  • @Danny 2 before baruch sheamar and one after uva letziyon. If Barkhu counts as a kedusha as some acharonim hold, then we have 6 kedushas before uva letziyon, and if not we have 3 after it, but certainly no need to wait till after the kaddish before musaf to take them off. (I realize historically there are different practices for how many kaddishes before baruch sheamar, I'm just talking about the most common modern practice. I assume you know my shul isn't KAJ for better or worse.)
    – Double AA
    Apr 19, 2020 at 11:27
  • In KAJ (when there is no magefah) the chazzan dons tallith & tefillin immediately prior to boruch sheomar, so any kaddish beforehand would not count. I believe that even the kaddish following korbonos is of recent vintage, and in addition, not everyone will have tefillin on yet, especially on winter mornings, so they would not be counted in any congregation. Apr 20, 2020 at 10:29

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