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Are Tefillin worn during Chol Hamoed?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg


Library » Mitzvot » Tefillin | Subscribe | What is RSS?


There is a difference of opinion amongst Halachic authorities1 whether teffilin are donned on Chol Hamoed or not. Therefore, many Jews (including those who follow the Chassidic path) do not wear Tefillin at all, there are those who put on teffilin without saying the blessings, and some who will even recite the blessing, albeit quietly (but most authorities agree that the blessing should not be recited).

[Those who do wear tefillin remove them before the Hallel, and some remove them immediately after the kedushah of the Shacharit Amidah. The chazan, however, removes them after the hallel.]

Every Jewish adult male2 needs two signs (acts of testimony) of his covenant with G-d. One is the circumcision3 and one is Tefillin4. Shabbat and Yom Tov are also signs5, and therefore Tefillin is unnecessary on these days. The question is whether the intermediate days are also considered a sign.


  • 1. See Rama, Orach Chaim, 31:2; Mishna Berura, 31:2 s.k. 8.
  • 2. Women don't need to do an action to accomplish this testimony. See ",2131955/Why-are-women-exempt-from-time-related-Mitzvot.html" ",2136219/If-women-are-important-why-can-t-they-do-the-same-things-men-do.html" And the third page of ",2136422/The-Mysterious-Tefillin.html".
  • 3. See Genesis 17:11
  • 4. See Exodus 13:16.
  • 5. See Exodus 31:17


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Holidays » Sukkot » Chol Hamoed
Holidays » Passover » Chol Hamoed
Life Cycle » Bar/Bat Mitzvah » Tefillin

(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Pertaining to Jewish Law.
Black leather boxes containing small scrolls with passages of the Bible written on them. Every day, aside for Sabbath and Jewish holidays, the adult Jewish male is required to wrap the Tefillin--by means of black leather straps--around the weaker arm and atop the forehead.
Hebrew word meaning "praise." Normally is a reference to Psalms 113-118-- Psalms of jubilation which are recited during the morning prayers of all joyous holidays.
(Pl.: Chassidim; Adj.: Chassidic) A follower of the teachings of Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760), the founder of "Chassidut." Chassidut emphasizes serving G-d with sincerity and joy, and the importance of connecting to a Rebbe (saintly mentor).
Highlight of every prayer, recited silently while standing. Weekday Amidah consists of nineteen blessings, Sabbath and holiday Amidah contains seven blessings.
Morning prayer service. One of the three prayers a Jew is obligated to pray every day.
Chol Hamoed
(lit. "mundane [days] of the festival"), the intermediate days of the Festivals of Passover and Sukkot. On these days many of the holiday work restrictions are lifted.
A cantor, or any individual who leads the congregation in prayer.
Yom Tov
Jewish Holiday.
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.