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Background: There seems to be a popular movement amongst those who wear tephilin on Chol Hamoed to leave them on until after krias hatora on the second (first, in the Diaspora) day of Chol Hamoed Pesach.

The reasoning given is since we mention tephilin in the Torah reading, one who holds they are to be worn that day shouldn't be found without them as this constitutes a tartei disasri, a contradiction in practice.

Question: What is the history of this practice? I.e. how new or old is it, is it mentioned in any works from more than a few decades ago?

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This seems to start with an idea brought by the Chok Ya'akov, although he doesn't quite describe the current practice which you mention.

He writes (in 490:2) that the prevalent custom (in his day and location) was like that mentioned by the Rema in Orach Chaim 25:13, i.e. to remove the tefillin on Chol Hamoed before the amidah of Musaph.

The Chok Ya'akov explains that the reason for this is due to the impropriety of reading the Torah reading for the third day of Pesach (which contains the command to wear tefillin twice) without wearing tefillin:

איך יסיר התפילין קודם קריאת הפרשה הזאת

How can one remove his tefillin before reading this portion?

He goes on to say the since one keeps tefillin on until after the Torah reading on the third day of Pesach, one keeps them on on every day of Chol Hamoed until after the Torah reading, due to the principle of lo plug (avoiding making distinctions).

It seems like the custom you describe is to take into account this concern of the Chok Ya'akov with regard to the Torah reading on the third day of Pesach, but not to extend it via lo plug to all other days of Chol Hamoed.

  • Very nice! Thank you. I doubt there will be too many records kept about which communities followed this and when, so I'll just go ahead and accept this answer:) – user6591 Mar 18 '18 at 15:08
  • As I understand Chok Yaakov is saying that it is removed before the Hallel (only in this case the question is relevant, and this is the practice of this minhag), while the Rema says that it is removed before Musaf. – Kazi bácsi Apr 20 '18 at 11:02

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