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The Gemara in Sukkos on Daf 35a and 35b says:

אבל חייב בכל המצות האמורות בתורה, חוץ מן התפילין, שהרי נאמר בהן פאר

A mourner is obligated in all the mitzvot in the Torah, except for tefillin, because by them [tefillin, in Yechezkel] it says Pear [i.e. they are called Pear].

That being the case, why do we say the brachot LeHaniach Tefillin and Al Mitzvat Tefillin...

We should be saying Borei Pri HaEtz!!


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closed as off-topic by Monica Cellio Mar 27 '16 at 4:37

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  • I'm missing something in your "logic" and the word "we". The quote says that aveilim don't put on tefillin. Therefore, they wouldn't be saying ANY bracha at all. Are you trying to extract something from this rule that says that throughout the year, everyone else (NON mourners) should be saying "Ha'etz" because of what mourners DON'T do? I' m confused, here. – DanF Mar 17 '16 at 15:56
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    @DanF The pasuk quoted is from Yechezkel and describes tefillin. The Gemara uses that description to say that aveilim don't wear tefillin, but it's a general statement that applies to all of us that tefillin==pears. – andrewmh20 Mar 17 '16 at 15:58
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This is as indicated in Parshas Noach. As each of the animals entered the taivah, Noach had to welcome each one of them individually even though they arrived in Pears. Similarly, we have to acknowledge the yad (husband - strength) and rosh (wife - mind) individually.

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You are absolutely correct in your thinking. We should be saying some type of food bracha on tefillin, because after all, one of the verses relating to tefillin says:

Exodus 13:9:

וְהָיָה֩ לְךָ֨ לְא֜וֹת עַל־יָדְךָ֗ וּלְזִכָּרוֹן֙ בֵּ֣ין עֵינֶ֔יךָ לְמַ֗עַן תִּהְיֶ֛ה תּוֹרַ֥ת יְהוָ֖ה בְּפִ֑יךָ כִּ֚י בְּיָ֣ד חֲזָקָ֔ה הוֹצִֽאֲךָ֥ יְהֹוָ֖ה מִמִּצְרָֽיִם׃

And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thy hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the law of the LORD may be in thy mouth; for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt.

Since the tefillin contain words of the Torah, a great way to put the Torah in your mouth would be to eat your tefillin. And, of course, since the tefillin are called "pear", and we're not supposed to eat anything without making a bracha first, we should be saying Borei Pri Ha'etz.

The reason we don't eat our tefillin is because if we did, we would be erasing G-d's name. It's not the chewing of the tefillin that would be the main problem. The acid in the stomach would completely destroy G-d's name, and we're not allowed to do that. Therefore, we have to wear these pears on our arms and heads and deal with these fruit on our bodies.

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