What are Tephillin?

By Dr. Victoria Sarvadi

The Hebrew people were instructed in Deuteronomy 11:18 this command “Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.” Since there were no instructions as how to bind His Words, the ancient people created a small box with straps that the wearer would wrap around his arm 7 times, then around the hand near his thumb, the middle finger and ring finger to create a shin, the letter of the alphabet that stands for El Shaddai (God Almighty). Inside of the small box was a parchment with 4 scriptures from the Torah. Another tefillin was bound around the forehead which also contained 4 separate compartments for the same 4 scriptures which are Exodus 13:1-10, Exodus 13:11-16, Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Deuteronomy 11:13-21. These tefillin (also called phylacteries) are still worn by observant Jews today. Read more