Is there a bracha for when taking off tefillin? If so, what is it and when does one say it?
1. The bracha is "Asher kideshanu b'mitzvotav vetzivanu lishmor chukav".
2. Ramban z’l (Nida 51b) explains at length that the bracha "lishmor chukav" (see TY B’rakhoth 2:3) is to be said once a day when removing the tefillin in the evening. It seems that one also recites this bracha if one removes one’s tefillin during the day and does not expect to be able to wear them again that day.
3. It is worth adding that Ramban (op. cit.) quotes Rav Hai Gaon z’l as saying that although reciting "lishmor chukav" was not standard Babylonian practice, nevertheless, those who wish to recite this bracha (as done in Eretz Yisrael) may do so.
4. This demonstrates clearly that the position one sometimes hears to the effect that one must refrain from doing something if it is not the standard minhag, is simply untrue. This claim is not an halachik claim, but rather an hashkafik position being presented as an halachik opinion.
24th of Elul, 5770 Friday, 3 September 2010