Eruvin 96

Michal, daughter of Kushi, King Saul, would don phylacteries, and the Sages did not protest against her behavior, as she was permitted to do so.

מִיכַל בַּת כּוּשִׁי הָיְתָה מַנַּחַת תְּפִילִּין וְלֹא מִיחוּ בָּהּ חֲכָמִים

Tosafos ibid quotes a Pesikta Rabasi (22) which states the rabbis did object.

רא״ש חולין ח:כו

וכן מיכל בת שאול היתה מנחת תפילין עירובין דף צו.  ומסתמא היתה מברכת

רמ״א לח:ג פסק כתוספות

נשים ועבדים פטורים מתפילין מפני שהוא מצות עשה שהזמן גרמא: הגה ואם הנשים רוצים להחמיר על עצמן מוחין בידם [כל בו]:

One who wears tefillin must be cautious to avoid thoughts about desire for a woman. Rema: "And if it's impossible for him not to think [about this desire] it is better not to put on tefillin."

There is a tradition about the only Female Rebbe, the Maid of Ludomir 1806–1888), popular title of Hannah Rochel Werbermacher, that she wore tefilin (source: )


There is a tradition of unknown origin that Rashi’s daughters wore tefilin ( source ) and also that one of the Rav Chaim ben Atar Ohr Hachaim (1696-1743) wive’s wore tefilin ( )


While of course this is not an endorsement that women should wear tefilin, however at the same time we should not suppress the history of this fascinating topic. After all, any Bas Mitzvah girl these days is capable of looking up these facts and so we need to adopt more realistic views of how to work with and discuss controversial ideas expressed within traditional texts.  Hiding them will only suggest that we have something to hide, and then we it is discovered that teachers and rabbi held back this information there will be resentment and anger at being duped, and tend to mistrust their teachers and their rabbis.

for Video Shiur click here to listen:  Psychology of the DAF Eruvin 96


For Video versions of this click here, and look for title and daf.  

Translations Courtesy of Sefaria