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?


2 Answers 2


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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    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, 2011 at 20:53
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    "which we use even in 'his' t'filin" Not always. As in, we don't rule that you must use that ink. It's 100% kosher to go get RT's ink if you want even according to how "we" paskin, and indeed such ink is available if you ask for it. (This is unlike many other considerations on this page where it is actually a mutually exclusive situation.)
    – Double AA
    Oct 24, 2017 at 15:17

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.

  • This is probably a mistaken interpretation of Rabbenu Tam. See the Bach who explains the quote of RT differently
    – Double AA
    Mar 12, 2021 at 3:08

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