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Intent for Rabbeinu Tam Tefillin

It says that when one wears 2 pairs of Tefilin, Rashi & Rabbeinu Tam, one should have in mind that whichever is not according to halacha should be regarded as wearing plain straps.
Does that only apply when wearing them both at the same time, or also when putting on Rabbeinu Tam after Rashi does one have to have in mind that if this is not according to halacha it should be regarded as straps?
Thank you!


Even when one pair is worn after the other, one should have in mind that if this is not the “true” Tefillin then they are straps alone.

The reason for this is out of concern for the prohibition of “adding” to the mitzvos of the Torah.

Best wishes.

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  1. Is there a source that even when ding a mitzva to fulfill a safek chiyuv (or when theres a halachik opinion to back the activity ) one must be concerned with bal tosef, and have in mind that if the halacha is the opposite he’s not fulfilling any commandment (and that the principle of elu velu divrei elokim chaim doesn’t negate the bal tosef prohibition )?

    1. If a person is doing something because of a Safek, there is no bal tosif (this is for instance why we are not concerned for blowing the Shofar on the second day of RH or doing a second Seder on the second day of Yom Tov in chutz la’Aretz). See also Semak 153; Magen Avraham 31:2. However, for Tefillin Poskim write that one should be careful about the matter of intention, as we find that two pairs of Tefillin at the same time are bal tosif. It would presumably also be okay if one has clear intent that one is putting them on out of safek, and not out of vaday.

  2. Should one also have in mind if the halacha is according to the kabbala that they are yotze with both?

    1. I think that this is beyond the call of duty, and if the Kaballah is “right” then I assume this will happen automatically.

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