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Mivtza Tefillin: The Rebbe Clarifies
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WHEN A JEW DONS TEFILLIN EVEN ONLY ONCE – HE IS NOT ANYMORE IN THE UNIQUE CATEGORY OF A “HEAD WHICH DOESN’T DON TEFILLIN”!

After the Rebbe initiated “mivtza Tefillin” – encouraging Jews world-wide to put on Tefillin, thereby helping our brethren in Eretz Yisrael, there were questions asked to which the Rebbe responded in detail.

The following is a continuation of answers of the previous several issues - taken from some of the Rebbe’s talks – during the 2nd farbrengen of Shabbos Bereishis 5728: Question#2: What is the great benefit if one is already successful and one Jew will put on Tefillin one time? Of what value is it to put on Tefillin once? And is it worth it to put in such great effort to achieve this?

Answer: 1) So then let the efforts be made with many Jews and many times! 2) It is a clear ruling in the Rambam (Laws of Teshuva ch. 3 halacha 4) that “A person should always look at himself as equally balanced between merit and sin, and the world as equally balanced between merit and sin.....If he performs one mitzvah, he tips his balance and that of the entire world to the side of merit, and brings deliverance and salvation etc.

And whoever accepts for himself the ruling of the Rambam – he will certainly make efforts consistent with bringing the entire world to the side of merits and causes salvation and redemption etc. 3) A “head which has not donned Tefillin” has a unique category (Rosh Hashana 17a) and it’s a clear ruling in Rambam (Laws of Teshuva 3:5) that this means that he never in his life donned Tefillin. It thus, follows that, when one dons Tefillin even one time, he is removed from this category. (Although there are many sources in Rishonim that phrase it “a skull which has not donned Tefillin” (and they do not mention the word “never”) and they do explain this differently, nevertheless, as was mentioned before, that as far halacha is concerned (as the Rambam rules clearly) it means “ever.” And it is obvious that this was the version in his Shas (Talmud).

This is also how it appears in Rabbeinu Chananel, RI”F (but see there the Rosh), in the Itur quoting the Teshuvos Hagaonum etc. 4) The Mishna says in Avos (4:2): That every mitzva brings another in its wake. And by influencing another Jew to don Tefillin even once, this mitzva brings along another mitzva etc. And whoever errs in what is written in a Mishna – his view is null and void – that ruling is nothing whatsoever. (Even if they are a majority and experts – Tur & Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat beginning of siman #25).

(Likkutei Sichos v. 6 p 272)

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22 Sivan 5777