- Question: [Monday, 13th Adar 5783]
Due to my tight work schedule in the morning, I often wear my Tefillin Rabbeinu Tam only later on in the day. My Question is regarding if I need to be careful to also wear my Tallis Gadol when I put on the Rabbeinu Tam Tefillin, or if this is not necessary. Also, if necessary, then do I say a new blessing on the Tallis Gadol?
While there is certainly no obligation for you to wear a Tallis Gadol when you put on the Rabbeinu Tam Tefillin later on in the day, nonetheless, it is possible that according to Kabbalah it is proper for this to be done. Practically, while you do not have to do so, and so is the custom of many, there is an advantage if this is done. Regarding saying a blessing on the Tallis Gadol, if three hours have passed since you last took it off, then a new blessing of Lihisatef is to be recited, which is then followed by performing Atifa Yishmaeilis. If three hours have yet to pass, then no new blessing is recited and you may simply put it on, with exception to if you are now wearing a different Tallis Gaddol, in which case a new blessing must always be recited.
Explanation: From the letter of the law there is no connection between the two Mitzvos of Tallis and Tefillin, which are two independent Mitzvos and can be fulfilled individually. Thus, there is no requirement to wear the Tallis Gadol prior to putting on Tefillin of Rabbeinu Tam. Nonetheless, while not required from the letter of the law, some may argue that based on Kabbalah it is proper for you to wear the Tallis Gadol prior to putting on Tefillin of Rabbeinu Tam, even later on in the day. You see, according to the teachings of Kabbalah one is to always first wear the Tallis, which represents an Mochin Degadlus, and only then where the Tefillin, which is Mochin Dekatnus. However, there is a dispute amongst the Kabbalists as to whether this refers to both the Tallis Gadol and Katan, or only to the Tallis Katan. Likewise, some Poskim explain that even according to Kabbalah the requirement is only prior to the prayer of Shacharis, however, prior to prayer, this does not apply, and hence one may wear Tefillin without a Tallis for the sake of saying the Shema on time, and so was the custom of Gedolei Yisrael who would wear Tefillin without the Tallis in order to be Yotzei Shema before Davening.
Based on all this, one could argue that there is no real need even according to Kabbalah to wear the Tallis Gadol when putting on the Tefillin of Rabbeinu Tam, being that a) one is already wearing a Tallis Katan, and b) perhaps this requirement is only applicable prior to prayer. Nonetheless, being that the vast majority of the Mekubalim, and the most accepted of the Mekubalim, learn that it refers to specifically to the Tallis Gadol, and it is possible that this applies any time that one wears tefillin and not just prior to prayer, therefore there is room for stringency in this.
Sources: See regarding the Kabbalistic obligation to always put the Tallis on before the tefillin: Rav Chaim Vital in name of Arizal brought in Shaar Hakavanos Tzitzis 2 and Peri Eitz Chaim Shaar Hatzitzis 3 and Shaar Hatefila 7, and Nagid Mitzvah brought in Kaf Hachaim 25:1 and 7 and 12; Zohar brought in Arizal ibid and Beis Yosef, Birkeiy Yosef 25; Yad Ahron 25; See Os Chaim Veshalom 25:4 that this applies specifically prior to Davening; See regarding when a new blessing is to be said when placing a Tallis on for a second time: Admur 8:23-25; Siddur Admur; See Ketzos Hashulchan 7:6 for a summary of the ruling of Admur