An accepted rule: If two people come to a doorway, and one of them is a Kohen, the Kohen should enter first, because we must show respect and honor for the high kedusha of Kohanim, and precedence shows respect. Similarly, if one is a talmid chacham, the chacham enters first. If two people come to a doorway, and one of them is carrying tefillin, the person carrying the tefillin enters first, because in this way we honor the kedusha of the tefillin. What if one person is carrying tefillin, and one man is wearing tefillin? Who should enter first? Simple logic would tell you there should be no difference between the two, or if there is a difference, we should show honor to the tefillin that are being worn, since not only are they holy, but they are being used to fulfill a mitzva, they are engaged in the specific function for which they were written, which ought to increase their holiness.
If that were true, would I be writing this?
The Brisker Rov and Reb Yaakov Kaminetzky are quoted as saying that the person carrying tefillin goes in front of the person wearing tefillin. They prove this from this week's parsha, Parshas Metzora.
וְהַבָּא אֶל הַבַּיִת כָּל יְמֵי הִסְגִּיר אֹתוֹ יִטְמָא עַד הָעָרֶב.
From here we learn that anything susceptible to Tumah, whether it is a person or a utensil or clothing, which enters a house that had been declared tamei under the law of Tzaraas, becomes tamei immediately.
וְהַשֹּׁכֵב בַּבַּיִת יְכַבֵּס אֶת בְּגָדָיו וְהָאֹכֵל בַּבַּיִת יְכַבֵּס אֶת בְּגָדָיו.
From here Chazal learn that clothing that enters the house while worn by a person is tamei only after it remained in the house long enough for a person to eat four beitzim of bread- kdei achilas pras, at least three minutes.
So the rule, as stated here in the Toras Kohanim, and the Mishna in Nega'im 13:9, is as follows:
If one enters a house that has Tzaraas while carrying a hat in his hand, he and the hat are immediately tamei. If, however, one enters the house wearing the hat, he is tamei immediately, but his hat is only tamei if he and it remain in the house for three minutes.
Rashi in Eiruvin 4a explains that in the latter case, the clothing is considered tafeil, secondary, to its wearer, and so we cannot view them as having "come" into the house. The man came into the house; his clothing is there only because he is there. Tosfos in Chulin 71b explains that the clothing becoming tamei a few minutes later is a secondary and delayed effect of the tumah of the wearer. As Tosfos says, the Tumah comes to the clothing only through the tumah of the wearer; evidently, the clothing are not really in the house at all, they are not called בָּא אֶל הַבַּיִת; and their tumah is only because a man who is in a Tumah house is wearing them for an extended period.
On the basis of this Rashi and Tosfos, say the Gri'z and Reb Yaakov, we must say that if one carries tefillin, the tefillin are entering the room, and they should enter the room first. Where one is wearing the tefillin, the tefillin are not viewed as entering the room, they are not בָּא אֶל הַבַּיִת; the person enters the room, and the tefillin happen to be there. An item that is secondary to its wearer is not viewed independently, and therefore we cannot say that the tefillin entered the room. Since they are not "entering the room", they are not in the equation of "who should enter first."
The problem I have with this rule is that the Toras Kohanim here says that the rule that the tumah of the worn clothing is delayed is a kula, a leniency, based on passuk 47, not a din in tafel. Secondly, the Toras Kohanim, and the Rambam in 16 Tumas Tzaraas 6-7 says that this rule is only true where a Jew, who is susceptible to tuma, wears the clothing. If a gentile or an animal in clothing would walk into this house, they, of course, would remain non-tamei, but the clothing they are wearing would be tamei immediately.
Tosfos in Chulin does ask the second question, but he doesn't really answer it. He also asks, it says in the Toras Kohanim that if one would put his ringed finger into the window of the house, the ring would become tamei after kdei achilas pras. He asks, if the tumah comes to the worn object only through the man's tumah, in this case, where the man is not tamei at all, the ring should never become tamei. Tosfos says that maybe this tumah is only derabanan.
So, it appears that the Tosfos, which is the basis of the Griz and Reb Yaakov, is very difficult, and resorts to dochek answers to explain bigdei akum and posheit yado lechalon.
And more importantly, even according to Tosfos, the concept of Tafel only applies where the person can become tamei. For some reason, in a case where the wearer can become tamei, the tumah only effects his clothing through him. This is not at all a proof that clothing is secondary to a person, or that the clothing is not considered to have entered the house, it's a din that as far as tumah is concerned a person who can become tamei renders his clothing tafel. This has nothing to do with tefillin. The din of the tefillin going in first has nothing to do with the person, and a person in a shul is no different than an akum or an animal in a house of Tumah. Also, it seems that according to them, it would be muttar to wear tefillin into a bathroom, so long as you don't stay there for more than k'dei achlas pras.
Furthermore, according to them, the Gemara in Makkos 22b is difficult:
I find the connection to tefillin extremely hard to understand.
(In order to avoid false starts on teirutzim it is important to know that keilim that were in the house before it was declared tamei, that remained there, are tamei immediately. There is no requirement of "coming into the house" for becoming tamei. Simply being there is enough to make them tamei without delay. See Shavuos 17b.)
In the same Toras Kohanim, there is a machlokes Reb Yehuda and the Rabanan. If a person stood outside the house and put his hand into the house through a window, and he has a ring on his hand, the man does not become tamei at all. When does the ring become tamei? The Rabanan say it only becomes tamei after KAPras. Rav Yehuda says it is tamei immediately. The Rabanan asked Reb Yehuda, why should it become tamei right away? Even if the man walked into the house wearing the ring, where he himself becomes tamei, the tumah of the ring is delayed: certainly, kal vachomer, the tumah of the ring should be delayed when the wearer is not tamei at all? Reb Yehuda answered that this is clearly false, because when a gentile wears a ring into the house, and the gentile cannot become tamei, the ring is tamei immediately. We see, says Reb Yehuda, that it is the fact that the wearer becomes tamei that delays the tumah of his ring.
Everyone agrees that keilim sitting in a house are tamei immediately; and that keilim that independently come into a house are tamei immediately. Everyone agrees that keilim worn into a house by a Jew have a delayed tumah, whereas if worn by a gentile they are tamei immediately. The machlokes is where you stuck your gloved or ringed hand into the house; Reb Yehuda, immediate. Rabbanan, delayed.
We pasken, as seen in the Rambam, like the Rabanan. But what is the machlokes about? Obviously, they are arguing about the nature of the delay of tumah where a garment in worn into a house. But what is the machlokes?
It seems to me that the machlokes is related to the Gemara in Shabbos 5a, אגוז בכלי וכלי צף ע״ג מים. See Tosfos there d'h Egoz and Shabbos 11a d'h Lo.
The pshat is this:
The din tumah by nigei batim is not ohel. If it were ohel, everything would become tamei immediately. The din tumah is that a bayis hamenugah is metamei things whose kviyus makom is in the house. An object whose makom is on a person, even if they are in the house, don't become tamei immediately, they only become tamei because they're on a person whose makom is in the house. This is only true by a Yisrael, because his chashivus as an equal to us means that he is the ikkar, and the clothing are seen as batel to him, not having an independent kviyus in the house. But by Akum and Be'heima, it is irrelevant to us that the beged is being used by someone or something. As far as we're concerned, the same way the person's makom is in the house, the beged's makom is in the house as well. This is what Rashi and Tosfos mean by "Tafel."
Rebbi Yehuda, on the other hand, holds that it is the fact that the wearer is susceptible to Tumah that causes the delay of tumah of what he is wearing. We don't pasken like Rebbi Yehuda.
In any case, this is a unique halacha involving tzaraas which is only metamei something whose makom is in the house. We find no such halacha by other tumos, such as Tumas Ohel; in the case of Tumas Ohel, it doesn't make a difference whether a glove is carried or worn into the house. Therefore, this unique halacha by nigei batim has Z E R O shaichus to being mechabed by tefillin.
The Rov and Reb Yakov, on the other hand, hold that the special din by nigei batim of בָּא אֶל הַבַּיִת is what causes the distinction between wearing and carrying. Therefore, in any case where there's a din of בָּא אֶל הַבַּיִת, the corollaries will apply. By kavod when entering a room, the idea is also בָּא אֶל הַבַּיִת, and therefore the same idea will apply. My tzad is that it's not a din directly in בָּא אֶל הַבַּיִת; it's just that בָּא אֶל הַבַּיִת creates a rule of kvius makom. Kvius makom is not relevant to kibud.
Having posted this, I learned several things. 1. There is Set A, people who read long and complicated divrei Torah in Torah Journals. 2. There is Set B, people who read divrei Torah on the web. 3. Intersection(A,B) is miniscule. 4. If I want a shakla vetarya with chaveirim who read the posts, I better stick to either hashkafa or short divrei Torah.