The Mishnah Berurah (Oraḥ Ḥayim 25:4, s.q. 14) clarifies that the reason one must be careful while reciting Shema' Yisra'el (and the 'Amidah) to also don tephillin is so as not to appear as a false witness (since Shema' Yisra'el mentions wearing tephillin and one who recites it without tephillin appears to be saying one thing and doing another).

The Mishnah Berurah (Oraḥ Ḥayim 34:2, s.q. 15) cites this same reasoning to explain why one must also recite (the first two paragraphs) of Shema' Yisra'el while donning Rabbe'inu Tam tephillin.

I'm having difficulty understanding the Mishnah Berurah's logic in Siman 34. The concern about donning (any) tephillin while reciting Shema' Yisra'el is that in doing so one appears to be a false witness. But, that's only true when one is required to recite Shema'. In the case of Rabbe'inu Tam tephillin being donned after one already recited Shema' Yisra'el (and the 'Amidah) while donning RaSh"I tephillin, why one must one recite anything?

In summary, my understanding of the Mishnah Berurah in Siman 25 is "if Shema' then tephillin" whereas in Siman 34 it appears that the logic is reversed (i.e. "if tephillin then Shema'"). Can someone please help me explain what appears IMHO to be reverse logic?

  • Where is the link for this mishna berura online, not in hebrewbooks, is it free?
    – kouty
    Jul 27, 2016 at 22:30
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    @kouty It's from mishnaberurayomi.org
    – Lee
    Jul 28, 2016 at 4:20

1 Answer 1


The logic is that if one said Shema with Rashi's, but Rabbeinu Tam's is the correct Tefillin, then one didn't say Shema with Tefillin earlier, so say it now, properly. So the logic is that the proper way to say Shema is with Tefillin on, so if you failed to do it before, do it now. That is what the Mishna Brura is saying that he "fixed" his failure to say Shema with Tefillin by saying the first two paragraphs.

Kitzur Yalkut Yosef (25:40) says in part:

ואין בזה משום כל הקורא קריאת שמע בלי תפילין כאילו מעיד עדות שקר בעצמו, אחר שבדעתו להניח תפילין אחר כך. ובלבד שיהיה בדעתו לקרוא שוב לאחר זמן קריאת שמע עם התפילין


וגם מניח תפילין אחר כך בו ביום, אין בזה משום מעיד עדות שקר בעצמו. מאחר שבדעתו לומר קריאת שמע אחר כך עם תפילין

The context there is someone who is late and doesn't have time to put on Tefillin before the end of the time to say Shema. He says by saying Shema before the end of the time without Tefillin and having in mind to re-say Shema afterwards with Tefillin avoids the "false testimony" issue.

It is quite possible that this the mechanics that the Mishna Brura (et. al.) have in mind here.

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    Didn't he already fulfill the Mitzva? What Mitzva is he fulfilling now by saying those verses? I don't get how saying true testimony later solves having said false testimony earlier.
    – Double AA
    Jul 27, 2016 at 20:36
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    @DoubleAA My understanding of Yishai's answer is that, while not solving the earlier (possible) "false testimony", one is at least ensuring "true testimony" each day by reciting Shema' with each set of tephillin. It's like a hedge.
    – Lee
    Jul 27, 2016 at 20:56
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    @Lee Seems more like you'd be guaranteeing that you would deliver some false testimony. Indeed, how is saying Shema with RT Tefillin permitted at all? I understand why you have to say it once and so we are forced to pick a set of Tefillin to wear then. But how can you justify saying it again (especially given that the "main Halakha" is against RT)? Since when is there an obligation to say one true testimony about Tefillin each day?
    – Double AA
    Jul 27, 2016 at 20:58
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    @Lee I also don't know how you are ensuring a true testimony. The Mitzva of Shema is over. Everything else is just saying random verses with no Halakhic import and no one TTBOMK thinks reading verses about Tefillin without Tefillin on is a problem of false testimony (can I not practice Leining Bo/Vaetchanan/Ekev without Tefillin on???). Unless the principle is to say Shema Al Tenai? That would be an interesting position valuing Keriat Shema with Tefillin over (the first two paragraphs of) Keriat Shema with its Berakhot.
    – Double AA
    Jul 27, 2016 at 21:01
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    Yishai, FWIW I don't think you'll find answers, and the key is that this suggestion is for someone who לבו נוקפו. It's just a sort of 'extra' for someone who is overly concerned. It's not a strict Halakhic thing. If you find anything different please let me know.
    – Double AA
    Jul 27, 2016 at 21:36

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