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About Tefillin PDF Print E-mail
Tefillin.
A Commitment Of Hearts, And Heads, and Hands

The Torah says "You shall bind them as a sign on your arm, and they shall be as frontlets on your head between your eyes" (Deuteronomy 6:8).

The Torah tells us in four places that we should put on Tefillin: Exodus 13:1-10; Exodus 13:11-16; Deut.6:4-9; Deut. 11:13-21.

Each of these texts are written on parchment and placed into leather compartments, which a man binds on to his arm and head, with leather straps. These are Tefillin.

The texts discuss how G-d is One in the universe. They declare the miracles G-d did for us when He took us out of Egypt, how G-d alone has the power and dominion to do whatever He wants in the physical and spiritual worlds.

The Tefillin on our arms is near the heart: to subjugate the desires of our hearts to serving G-d.

The Tefillin is on our heads: to subjugate our thoughts to serving G-d.

We wear Tefillin are every day except Shabbat and Jewish Holidays. It is an obligation for all Jewish males over the age of thirteen, Bar Mitzvah.

The Torah texts are inscribed in black ink with a quill pen by a specially trained, religiously devout scribe on handmade parchment from a kosher animal.The scribe concentrates intensely and writes with special Hebrew characters in a beautiful calligraphic hand. There are 1594 letters in each of the Tefillin. If one letter is extra or missing it the Tefillin are invalid. Jewish Law dictates and defines every letter's form in numerous laws. To be written in accordance with Jewish law, a Tefillin must meet thousands of requirements.

If one of the Tefillin's 1594 letters is missing or shaped incorrectly, the Tefillin are invalid, the Mitzvah is unfulfilled, and the blessing said over them is in vain.

(Just as every Jew is indispensable for the integrity of the community as a whole.) Some errors can be corrected in accordance with Jewish law. Some can't.

Tefillin, even when written by the most expert of scribes, must be inspected before being purchased and very few years after. 

 
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