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Teffilin at Mincha with Bracha

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Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Iyyar 11, 5772
Question
If i am too sick to put on Teffilin in the morning and decide to put them on for Mincha, do i make a Bracha of Le’Haniach and Al Mitzvas Teffilin? Thanks!
Answer
Since this question was asked in connection to a previous answer of mine, I wish to clarify a few things. The Mitzva of Tefillin is one of the most important Mitzvot of the Torah, since Chazal say it encompasses all mitzvoth. (Kiddushin 35a). It is most important to have you Tefillin on for Shacharit, and if circumstances do not allow, than at least the Tefillin should be on for Shema and Shmoneh Esreh. (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 25:4, 37:2) Chazal said that he who says Shema without Tefillin is like someone who bears false testimony.(Berachot 14b) Even so, if one does not have Tefillin, he should not delay the Mitzvah of Kriyat Shema. In addition to the above, I assume you are aware that the time of Kriyat Shema is limited and also the time for Tefilla. Therefore, even if one is only slightly ill, he should make an effort to do the mitzvoth properly. Furthermore, even in a case where someone missed the time of Kriyat Shema and Tefilla, the mitzvah of Tefillin is still incumbent upon him and one is not allowed to eat before performing the mitzvah of Tefillin. (Mishna B'rura 70:20). The option of putting on Tefillin for Mincha is for one who didn't have Tefillin sooner or for someone who has a custom to put on Tefillin for Mincha in addition to Shacharit. (However, as said in my previous answer on this issue, this particular custom does not apply to everone.) Therefore, we must be careful not to delay putting on Tefillin if not for extreme circumstances or if one simply did not have Tefillin on time. In any case, the brachot on Tefillin may be said all day. (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 30:5)
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