Tefillin at Minha on Erev Yom Kippur
Over the holiday I saw an advertisement for a Syrian synagogue, Magen David of Union Square, that described minḥa before Yom Kippur as being “with tefillin.” I had never heard of this custom before and a little searching found some discussion of this custom.
In the always helpful Keter Shem Tov I found the following: (6:272)
Herbert C. Dobrinsky in his book, A Treasury of Sephardic Laws and Customs wrote the following in the section on Syrian Jewish customs for Yom Kippur: (p. 333)
Minḥa is prayed on Ereb Yom Kippur early in the afternoon between one and four o’clock. All the men put on tallit and tefillin (with berakha) to demonstrate to the Almighty that, should they have been neglectful in the performance of this mizvah during the course of the year, this extra effor to put on tefillin on this day is to prove their sincerity in desiring to do teshubah.
This custom is also mentioned here.