If one looks into the sources - as well as the give and take throughout the recorded history of the mahloqeth - it becomes clear that the majority of the world wore tephilin according to the shitta of Rabenu Tam exclusively until rather recent history. (cf. `Arokh HaShulhan, Hilkhoth Tephilin 34:1-9)

My question is: "Can one today wear RT tephilin and be yosse y'dhe hova (fulfill his obligation)? Why or why not?"

  • When did the Machlokes start and when did it end? – Shmuel Dec 10 '13 at 2:01
  • I don't understand the question. Are you asking if a posek can choose to paskin like RT? Why would anyone think he couldn't? – Double AA Dec 10 '13 at 2:34
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    @DoubleAA - Well, I guess my assumptions are that A) since Rash"i is "in" at this time, and since that designation would make RT tephilin "pasul," it would follow that one would not be able to, and B) that since "everyone knows" that Rash"i tephilin are "correct" halakhically then a poseq would be "unable" to posken like RT - at least l'ma`aseh. Kol tuv. – user3342 Dec 10 '13 at 3:48
  • @Maimonist I don't really follow why those would be true. – Double AA Dec 10 '13 at 5:15
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    Why the downvoting? – user3342 Dec 10 '13 at 15:20

The Aruch Hashulchan that you refer to, clearly explains that nowadays you cannot wear Rabbeinu Tam Tefilin exclusively.

He admits that in very early times there was an argument, but then demonstrates how we Pasken like Rashi.

ופלא שהרא"ש והטור וכמה מראשונים סבירא להו דרב האי פסק כרבינו תם, והרמב"ם כתב שפתחו תפליו ואינו כן. ובמרדכי וכן בשארי ראשונים כתבו שנפלה הבימה שעל קבר יחזקאל הנביא, ומצאו תפיליו ופתחום, והם כסדר רש"י והרמב"ם. ועל כל פנים נראה שבין קדמוני קדמונים היתה מחלוקת בזה, וכל העולם תפסו כן להלכה. ואף המניחים תפילין דרבינו תם – מברכין רק על תפילין דרש"י ורמב"ם ומתפללים בהם, כאילו בת קול יצא דכן הלכה

He then writes in detail why this is so - quoting from the Zohar.

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  • I'm not sure how this is relevant. Is there some assumption that everyone forever on must paskin like this Aruch HaShulchan? – Double AA Dec 11 '13 at 15:32
  • @DoubleAA, the question was based on "historical fact" using this Aruch Hashulchan as the source - I was trying to show that even as per this source the question isn't really valid. – Danny Schoemann Dec 12 '13 at 13:37
  • I don't understand your comment. What do you mean "even"? The question is valid even though the Aruch haShulchan paskins a given way, unless you think no one can ever paskin against this Aruch haShulchan (which seems highly questionable). – Double AA Dec 12 '13 at 20:54
  • @DoubleAA, let me reword myself: Once the Shulchan Aruch decides the Halocho is one way - and nobody "major" subsequently argues, how could we Pasken otherwise? Admittedly, pre-Shulchan Aruch poskim argued, but the Aruch Hashulchan explain why it's no longer relevant. – Danny Schoemann Dec 15 '13 at 10:00
  • I still don't understand your last sentence. The Aruch haShulchan never explained "why it's no longer relevant". He just explained why he doesn't paskin that way. Do you think anyone in 1750's Vilna knew that they were about to have a rabbi who would revolutionize Ashkenazi psak? Of course not. I'm not going to go paskin like Rabbenu Tam here, and forgive me for doubting you to be on that level either, but that in no way makes it impossible. I'm not saying it's probable or even at all likely, only possible, and you have done absolutely nothing in this answer to show otherwise. – Double AA Dec 15 '13 at 17:50

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