I noticed in the Shulchan Aruch 555 that the Mechaber mentions the "minhag" not to put on tefillin in the morning of Tish'ah B'Av (with a citation from the Tur). On the other hand we know that there are different customs for this, according to the Maharam, Gra, and Sephardim (where poskim say one should wear tefillin as usual). Is there any specific statement in the gemara regarding the wearing of Tefillin on Tish'ah B'Av, and why does the Mechaber or Rema not be machriya on this? Also, when Tish'ah B'Av is a nidche, why wouldn't the minhag be to be machmir to wear tefillin shacharis? Thanks.
David Goldman, USA
1) There is no clear statement in the Gemara regarding wearing Tefilin on Tish'ah b'Av but some Rishonim do mention sources that they are not worn. The Rosh, near the end of Maseches Ta'anis (#37), cites Rabeinu Meir of Rotenberg that one should not wear Tefilin on Tish'ah b'Av, the same way that a mourner does not wear Tefilin on the first day of mourning. Amos (8:10) describes "like mourning on a lone beloved one, and the end is like a bitter day." The Gemara in Moed Katan (15a) states that a mourner must not wear Tefilin (on the first day). Rabeinu Meir writes that there is no day more bitter than Tish'ah b'Av, which is a day of weeping for generations. This is how we know that one does not wear Tefilin on Tish'ah b'Av.
2) The Bi'ur ha'Gra on Shulchan Aruch, beginning of #555, cites the Midrash on the verse, "He cast down from Heaven the glory of Yisrael (Tif'eres Yisrael)" (Eichah 2:1). The glory of Yisrael is Tefilin. Just as Moed Katan (15a) states that a mourner for the deceased does not wear "Pe'er" (glory), so also we do not wear Tif'eres on Tish'ah b'Av.
3) The Rosh (Ta'anis #37) disagrees with his teacher, Rabeinu Meir of Rotenberg, and writes that it is logical to say that one should wear Tefilin on Tish'ah b'Av. However, it is not problematic that the Shulchan Aruch writes that the custom is not to wear Tefilin on Tish'ah b'Av morning, because the Magen Avraham (OC 690:22) cites Rebbi Eizik Stein, in his commentary to the Semag, who writes that when Maseches Sofrim (14:18) states that "custom uproots Halachah," this applies even when the Minhag is based on a Pesikta or "external books" as opposed to the Talmud. The reason we rely on the custom is that our forefathers must certainly have thus received the custom, passed down through the generations. The Mechaber and the Rema are Machri'a on this. They decide in favor of the custom not to wear Tefilin on Tish'ah b'Av morning.
4) As far as I am aware at the moment, Tish'ah b'Av which is Nidcheh is only different from a standard Tish'ah b'Av with respect to fasting, but not with respect to other Halachos on Tish'ah b'Av itself.
I saw a nice source from Gemara Rashi for not wearing Tefilin on the morning of Tisha b'Av. This in from one of the commentaries in an edition of Ma'aseh Rav, of the Gra. In fact the minhag of the Gra is said to be that he only did not wear Tefilin when he was saying Kinos; whilst after he finished saying Kinos he put on Tefilin, even though it was before midday. However I think that the source that I saw could also be helpful for understanding the more widespread custom not to wear Tefilin at all before midday.
1) The source is from Berachos 11a, which states that during the 7 days of mourning for his deceased relative, the Ovel is obliged in all the mitzvos of the Torah, with the exception of Tefilin. Tefilin are different because Hash-m said to the Prophet Yechezkel (24:17) "Your Pe'er, glory, should be worn by you". Rashi DH Alamah writes that generally speaking a mourner "rolls around in his pain in the dust" so wearing Tefilin cannot represent glory for such a person.
2) Therefore when the Gra said Kinos, he was "rolling with pain". However Rashi could also be the source not to put on Tefilin for the entire morning. Shulchan Aruch 559:3 states that on Tisha b'Av one sits on the floor until Mincha. In the language of Rashi, on Tisha b'Av morning we "roll in the dust". Since Tefilin represent glory, it is clearly not glorious to wear Tefilin when one is sitting on the dust of the ground.
Thank you. So essentially we don't know anything from Chazal or the Geonim what the practice was with tefillin, and we rely only on inference from some of the Rishonim in their time.
I do not understand what you mean in #4 about the nidche. Do we not have any inferences of being meykel on the fast when it is nidche?
Finally, regarding "custom uproots halacha" would rishonim etc. really state that it is from Har Sinai or Chazal when it is only mention in Maseches Sofrim?! Including a "custom" such as not wearing tefillin (even privately) or taking the lulav on first day d'oraisa (even privately) on second day of yomtov when we have the fixed calendar in the case of mitzvos that are d'oraisa?! Surprisingly such a yesodisdike statement of Yiddishkeit does not appear in the Talmud, AND it itself does not say a minhag uproots a D'ORAISA mitzva of the Torah, ONLY "halacha." In any case in light of this I still find this rather incredible (!)
1) The Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 38:6 writes that Tefilin are obligatory on Tisha b'Av. What we have been discussing above is a question of minhag.
2) Yes, certainly, the Biur Halacha 559:9 DH writes in the name of the Shevus Yaakov that on a nidche someone who is slightly ill, or a pregnant mother who has slight pains, may eat.
What I meant to say in #4 was that while we are meykel concerning fasting on a nidche, it does not follow that the practice of wearing Tefilin, which has nothing to do with not eating, is any different on a nidche.
3) The issue of customs is discussed at length in the Mishnayos and Gemara in the 4th chapter of Maseches Pesachim. The Gemara there (end 50b) states "your forefathers have already accepted this custom upon themselves, as is said (Mishlei 1:8) 'Hear my son the Musar of your father, and do not abandon the Torah of your mother'". This is a source for the importance of custom. Mordecai Pesachim #602 writes that accepting a custom is equivalent to making a vow, so this can be Deoraisa.