The Rebbe’s ‘Tikun’ For Missing Rabeinu Tam’s Teffilin



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    The Rebbe’s ‘Tikun’ For Missing Rabeinu Tam’s Teffilin

    Question: I , Baruch Hashem, have the zechus to serve as a Mashpia in a Lubavitch Mesivta. I try to sincerely listen to each bachur in my class and guide them in their emotional and spiritual growth. Recently, a bachur confided in me that he missed putting on Rabbeinu Tam’s Tefillin one time, and would like a “Tikkun” (a spiritual remedy). A Tikkun is something that only a Tzaddik can give. Did the Rebbe ever write about this? Rabbi Gershon Avtzon answers in this week’s Chinuch and Moshiach column • Full Article

    Question: I , Baruch Hashem, have the zechus to serve as a Mashpia in a Lubavitch Mesivta. I try to sincerely listen to each bachur in my class and guide them in their emotional and spiritual growth. Recently, a bachur confided in me that he missed putting on Rabbeinu Tam’s Tefillin one time, and would like a “Tikkun” (a spiritual remedy). A Tikkun is something that only a Tzaddik can give. Did the Rebbe ever write about this?

    Answer: Firstly, Thank you for the amazing work that you are doing. In today’s times, a proper Mashpia is literally the difference between the success and failure of a bachur through his Yeshiva years. 

    In response to your actual question, I will first clarify what the Rebbe wrote to bachurim that missed a day of Rashi’s Tefillin, and then what the Rebbe wrote about missing putting on Tefillin of Rabbeinu Tam.

    Regarding missing Tefillin of Rashi:

    1 – “In response to what you write, about the episode of (missing)Tefillin: You should become “baki- proficient”” in the laws of Tefillin that are necessary to know (not those that pertain to being a sofer-scribe) and from now on, you should also put on Rabbeinu Tam’s Tefillin.” (Igros volume 23 page 418 #9002).

    2- “In response to your question (about missing a day of Tefillin): You should become fluent in: 1) The laws of Tefillin 2) Certain Mamarim that speak about Tefillin. They can be found in Lukkutei Torah, The Siddur (with Chassidus) and Imrei Binah ” (Igros volume 25 page 24 # 9047)

    3 – In another letter (Ibid page 271 # 9259) the Rebbe repeats the above-mentioned directive and adds the following line: “It is self-understood that this is all in addition to complete regret of the past and a firm resolution to be careful about this Mitzvah in the future”.

    In regards to Tefillin of Rabbeinu Tam, some historical background is needed: For many years, the chabad minhag was that at Bar-Mitzvah a bachur would put on only Tefillin of Rashi. When he would be near his 18th birthday, he would ask the Rebbe for permission to begin wearing the Tefillin of Rabbeinu Tam. Only on Purim 5736, in order to eradicate the darkness of exile, did the Rebbe say that it is time for all boys to put on Rabbeinu Tam from the time that they begin putting on Tefillin of Rash (two months before Bar Mitzvah). It should also be pointed out that already in 5710 (Likkutei Sichos vol 2 page 507 footnote 39) that the Rebbe questioned the custom not to put on Rabbeinu Tam’s Tefillin right away.

    To Bachurim that missed putting on Rabbeinu Tam, the Rebbe wrote:

    “In response to your question (in regards to a tikkun for not putting on Tefillin of Rabbeinu Tam): Learn the laws of Tefillin until you become fluent in the laws which are needed to know. Being that you wrote that it happened twice, you should add – in addition to the halachos – the learning of the Mitzvah of Tefillin (in derech Mitzvosecha of the Tzemach Tzedek) and Shaar Tefillin (in the “Siddur with Da”ch”).” (Igros volume 23 page 8 #8686).   

    The Moshiach connection:

    While we are discussing the two pairs of Tefillin of Rashi and Rabbeinu Tam, we all know that in reality there are four pairs of Tefillin. The two additional ones are according to the Shmusha Rabbah and Raavid. 

    While it is not the custom to put on these four pairs of Tefillin now, see Likkutei Sichos vol 2 page 507 and Igros Kodesh volume 5 page 128 #1338 (in regards to starting after 40) , the Rebbe did reveal to all  – in the Hayom yom of 19 Av – the order of putting on the four pairs of Tefillin. 

    Many people ask: If we are not meant to put on the four pairs, why did the Rebbe reveal it to all of us in the Hayom Yom? On shabbas Parshas Teruma 5752, the Rebbe revealed to us that when Moshiach reveals himself, all Yidden will put on all four pairs of Tefillin!

    I will share a personal “Hergesh-feeling”:

    I personally have already bought these two extra pairs and I encourage others as well. The reason is two-fold: 1) Why should you wait months for a sofer to write Tefillin for you in Yemos Hamoshiach, and have to borrow from others, if you could be prepared now. 2) It is a physical and visual reminder to your entire household that you actually believe that Moshiach is coming and you are ready to invest money into that belief. (See Likkutei Sichos  Parshas Teruma in regards to the cedar trees that Yaakov planted in Mitzrayim so that his descendants will have a visual reminder of the Mishkan that will be built when they will leave Mitzrayim). 

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    The Rebbe’s ‘Tikun’ For Missing Rabeinu Tam’s Teffilin



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