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Is it a requirement to read the two passages directly after wrapping (V’ydaber Hashem el Moshe l’mor and Vehaya ki yviacha)? What if one is in a hurry?

Thanks!

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    No, it is not a requirement. Not all communities recite the first two paragraphs of Shema' after putting them on (R' Binyomin Shlomo Hamburger writes that in Western Ashkenazi communities, it was only the practice of yechidei segulah to do so) Dec 14, 2023 at 18:08

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Welcome to Mi Yodeya!

The Shulchan Aruch OC 25:5 writes that one should have in mind the 4 passages that are actually inside the tefillin, when donning the tefillin.

There are several reasons given:

  1. To remember His Oneness, and the Oneness of His Name
  2. To remember the Exodus, and all the miracles and demonstration of His omnipotence.
  3. Recall that his soul (which resides in the brain) and his heart (which houses one's physical desires and thoughts) are subjugated to Him and one should moderate his pleasure seeking.

The Mishna Brurah 25:16 explains that as a result of this obligation, some have a custom to recite these passages. If it is one's custom, then one should really try to do so, as Minhag Yisrael Torah (customs of Israel have the status of Torah). However, if one can't for whatever reason, one still fulfils the obligation of donning tefillin (one should still have the above 3 points in mind when donning them, and recall those passages). If one has time later, one can say those passages.

Even those who do not have the minhag to say them should try to say them anyway as it is proper (see Halacha Brurah by Rabbi David Yosef, 25:21). However, it is important to note that there are many sections of the siddur that are given this status of "should but don't have to", and many people do indeed skip them, and we do not cast aspersions on them.

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  • I had never even heard of this minhag! Dec 14, 2023 at 15:39

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