For whatever reason, I was unable to put on tefillin while davening shacharit this morning. However, I have access to tefillin now, and the sun has not yet set. After I put on the tefillin, what should I do before I take them off? Consider both the case where I have and have not yet davened mincha.

  • You should not have davened shacharis. Someone who davens shacharis without tefillin is compared to someone who offers sacrifices without wine libations. B'kitzur, it is repulsive to God. – Adam Mosheh Feb 12 '12 at 15:37
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    Sam, what you did was completely appropriate. @AdamMosheh is referencing a gemara Berachot 14b, but he seems to have misunderstood slightly. First, the gemara is talking about reading the shema not davening shacharit. Second the story leading up to that gemara clearly indicates that if one doesn't expect to have tefillin before the end of the time to read the shema he should say the shema without the tefillin. Even though it is a less than ideal way to perform the mitzva, it is the best available. – Double AA Jun 25 '12 at 6:29

I'm sure this is too late to be of much help in your specific case, but it might be good information anyway to keep in reserve for the next person or if you have the same issue arise again.

There are a number of things you could do while wearing Tefilin that would, in a sense, enhance the wearing, rather than just sitting with them on your head for a moment.^^ It is certainly accepted practice that when putting on Tefilin, one should recite Shema'. It is also not uncommon to recite the other two of the Four Parshioth. The first two paragraphs of the Shema', and two paragraphs from Parashath Bo (specifically Shemoth/Exodus 13:1-16; see this link for an English-Hebrew text of the full chapter: http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0213.htm) refer to the commandment to wear the Tefilin, and in fact are inscribed inside them, and so it is a generally accepted custom by many to recite all four paragraphs while wearing the Tefilin.

In addition, the more prayer you recite, and the more Torah you learn, while wearing Tefilin, the better, assuming that you finish before sunset. So if you have not yet recited Min*h*ah, then by all means, recite Shema', and you might even want to immediately recite Shemoneh 'Esreh. I suggest this - not as a Posek but as someone who's thought this through on my own without a Posek's guidance - based on a few things. First, there is an idea that one should be "Somech Geulah LeTfilah." You should connect redemption to prayer. This is why the third paragraph of the Shema' was put where it is. It's (almost) immediately before Shemoneh 'Esreh (the silent prayer that is the central element to all three of our daily prayer services). And even the short break separating this paragraph from Shemoneh 'Esreh, in the morning at least, ends on the theme of redmeption, and one is not allowed to interrupt even to respond "Amen". Second, one recites Ashrei before Shemoneh 'Esreh at Min*h*ah because, after a pattern of reciting SOMETHING before Shemoneh 'Esreh (Shema' and its blessings) for the first two daily prayers, it seems wrong to just jump right in for the third. So it seems to me - and, again, I'm not an authority - that it would make sense to recite Shema' and then Shemoneh 'Esreh if one is wearing Tefilin at Min*h*ah.

Then, if you have time, it would not hurt to learn a Mishnah or a Halachah or more. There are many Torah scholars who, despite the custom to remove one's Tefilin at the conclusion of morning prayers (which is a custom that is based on serious considerations grounded in Halachah), continue to wear their Tefilin as they begin to learn for the first large portion of the day until the first time that they take a break, whether it be to eat something or to use the restroom or to engage in conversation.

My recipe for this, then, would be^^: 1. Put on the Tefilin 2. Recite the two paragraphs from Bo 3. Recite Shema' 4. Recite Shemoneh 'Esreh 5. Continue with the normal formula for Min*h*ah 6. Add Ashrei at the end so that you can still get your three for the day (a topic for a different post) 7. Learn some Torah (time permitting) 8. Remove Tefilin before sunset

^^Please remember that I am writing this, not as an authority in Halachah - because I certainly am not - but as someone who has thought about this topic in depth for a variety of reasons. I would urge anyone reading this to speak with an authority if you have the opportunity before making a decision in how to act in accordance with Halachah in the above situation. In a pinch, since this is something most of us don't plan to do, if it is not possible to ask an authority on the spot, I believe that the above solution works within Halachah, and it seems to me to fill the need to do something productive in a situation in which one has only a few minutes remaining in the day in which to wear Tefilin.

  • Seth, smichus Geulah litefilah is clearly not even a havah aminah (theoretical consideration) by minha. See Brachos 4b hebrewbooks.org/shas.aspx?mesechta=1&daf=4b&format=pdf where it is evident that R' Yohanan applies the concept to arvis and Rashi comments that a fortiori it applies to shaharis. Unless you want to learn that the Yerushalmi meant it by all tefilos and you are concerned for that possibility, and in that case, find me a commentary that learns it that way. – Yahu Feb 9 '11 at 7:33
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    Yahu, I appreciate your points, though I think you are over emphasizing my "recipe" and ignoring the reasoning behind it. Also, nobody suggested that this is what one SHOULD do. We're discussing a less than desirable situation in which one did not have the opportunity to wear Tefilin while Davening Shaharith. Assuming he was not at fault, why restrict him to quickly putting on and taking off the Tefilin? What happened to Hidur Mitzvah? Let him learn Torah (Shema'), Daven, and say some Tehillim (Ashrei) before removing them? (Wow, I sound Lubavitch - recommending Chitas - but I'm not!) – Seth J Feb 11 '11 at 15:09
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    Yahu, you may be right that he already Davened. That's not how I read it. It seemed more than a remote possibility that he had not, and I was taking into consideration that possibility and the possibility that someone may read this in the future. As for Ashrei, I'd never heard of that before. So let him say Ashrei first. What is the big deal? Why does your tone sound like an angry attack instead of a helpful suggestion? And speaking of which, where IS your suggestion for this situation? – Seth J Feb 18 '11 at 13:35
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    I was going to edit my answer in accordance with your comments, but I think I'll leave it as is, with the hope that someone will read the comments and realize that I conceded. It makes a good Shakla VeTarya for the reader, I think (LeHavdil). – Seth J Feb 25 '11 at 14:47
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    You do not need to say lehavdil on a genuine Torah discussion that happens to be in cyber-space! Yiyasher Kochachah for the chance to engage in Torah learning and be mekadesh shem shamayim in a virtual environment! – Yahu Feb 27 '11 at 2:45

One may wear Tefillin at any time during daylight hours....If one did not lay tefillin in the morning, they may be worn (preferably) before mincha (and preferably also during), or after mincha but before sunset. As the current halacha stands, it is required to say the blessing on laying tefillin AND "Shema Israel" to fulfill the mitzvah and it is permitted to continue directly to the "Shmonah Esreh"....HOWEVER, according to the Kabbalah (and Sephardic tradition..heh, heh) ALL FOUR verses that are contained within the Tefillin MUST, MUST be read. They must be read IN ORDER of appearance in the Torah (and their order in the tefillin...Rashi of course) and then ALSO "Ashrei" MUST be said before the "Shmonah Esrei" because the "Shmonah Esrei is in "Atziluth" and one cannot "jump" strait to the "top" and the proper concentration and kavanah required for real Tefillah cannot be achieved without at least a short preliminary meditation, which in this case is from "Ashrei" until "Tikon Tefillati." The Rabbinical lenience in the matter is to insure that more Jews will at least WEAR tefillin in situations when proper tefillah and concentration is not practical or impossible. BUT this leniency should be viewed as BEDIAVAD!!!!

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    Hello Yonatan Hillel and welcome to mi.yodeya! Thank you for your detailed answer providing an additional perspective on the matter. Consider doing one or both of the following: Clicking the Register link at the top of the page to enjoy all of the benefits of the mi.yodeya user experience and giving your answer even more teeth by providing sources for finding this information. – WAF Feb 7 '11 at 13:05
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    Yonatan, I have 3 comments on your answer: 1. If someone did not put on Tefillin, he may do so, out of doubt, even after sunset. Though according to the Biur halacha he would not make a bracha. (see Mishna Berura 30:3 hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14170&st=&pgnum=77 and the final few lines of the Biur Halacha in 30). 2. Since many times our halachic mesorah differs from kabbalistic halacha (like in this case), I would have refrained from doubling and capitalizing the word 'must'. 3. What 'rabbinic leniency' are you refering to? – YDK Feb 7 '11 at 17:15

It's best to repeat the Shema while wearing Tefilin. (Some people even do this before Mincha on Tisha B'Av.) And daven Mincha if you hadn't already.

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  • Any good sources? – WAF Feb 7 '11 at 13:06
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    IIRC it's a Zohar that says to recite Shema without Tefilin is like false testimony; I think you'd find the halachic discussion with regards to Tisha B'Av (whether to say Shema before mincha-with-Tefilin). – Shalom Feb 7 '11 at 15:21
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    One side: The Mishnah Berurah - 555 (4) - says not to say it on Tisha B'Av afternoon. – JeremyR Feb 7 '11 at 20:38
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    Right, as on Tisha B'Av there's the downside of studying/reciting non-sad Torah other than what is absolutely required. But if one was davening mincha on a normal day in tefilin, there's certainly nothing wrong with saying Shema again. – Shalom Feb 7 '11 at 20:59
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    @Shalom the Gemara also says the thing about the false testimony. – Hacham Gabriel Jan 19 '12 at 0:34

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