I was discussing the subject of tefillin with my father motzei-Shabbat and particular, the battim (leather boxes that contain the parshiyot, or parchment scrolls). We ended up wondering what the mid-to-late 20th century Acharonim, in particular those with a more "modern-Orthodox" background, preferred in regards to the use of tefillin peshutim in the modern era, when better forms of battim are available. We also wondered on the opinion of R' Moshe Feinstein זצ”ל, as his teshuvot are often used as a yardstick to measure others.

Modern- and Neo-Orthoodox opinions (if they exist):

  • The Rav זצ”ל
  • R' Amital זצ”ל
  • R' Michael Melchior שליט”א
  • R' Aharon Lichtenstein זצ”ל
  • R' Norman Lamm שליט”א
  • R' Teitz (rabbinic family from Elizabeth, R' Pinchas, זצ”ל or R' Elazar Mayer, שליט”א in particular)
  • R' Josef Breuer זצ”ל, rav of KAJ/Washington Heights and former head of the Frankfurt Realschüle
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    What would be the advantage of peshutim? – Shmuel Brin Dec 14 '14 at 2:28
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    @ShmuelBrin, the only advantage I know of is cost (and if the battim are destroyed, they're less expensive to replace, assuming the parshiot are still kosher). – Noach MiFrankfurt Dec 14 '14 at 2:35
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    OTOH, Gassos are fixable if damaged, so they may not need replacement – Shmuel Brin Dec 14 '14 at 3:00
  • @ShmuelBrin, I don't disagree. The issue behind this is that I'm looking into buying new tefillin, however my father (who is fromm) is a bit skittish about the battim making up about half the price (they're not the most expensive) even if he isn't paying for them. So we're looking for halachic opinions. – Noach MiFrankfurt Dec 14 '14 at 3:28
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    @NoachMiFrankfurt Indeed, it does seem that many are so concerned with the battim they end up spending less than they should on the most important part of tefillin - the parshiyos! I'd like dakkos battim with really nice parshiyos, you know? – ezra Mar 20 at 3:52

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