kosher Mehadrin Tefillin - Special
Tefilin of ox-neck skin meeting the highest standards (mehadrin). The Torah passages are handwritten according to Ashkenaz practice by an expert scribe, and are proofread by an expert proofreader, before undergoing a computer check.
The source of the commandment of Tefillin appears in the passage of Shema Yisrael:
You shall love the L-rd your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Take to heart these instructions with which I charge you this day.... Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them serve as a symbol on your forehead. (Deuteronomy 6:5-8)What are Tefillin?
Tefillin are passages from the Torah that are written on parchment and are placed within leather batim (casements), with leather straps attached to the batim. These straps are used to bind the batim and the parchment Torah passages within them on one's arm and hand and on one's head.
The four passages are written on a single parchment in the hand Tefillin (tefillin shel yad), while in the head Tefillin (tefillin shel rosh) each passage is written on a separate parchment, so that each passage can be placed within one of the four compartments in the head Tefillin. These inner compartments of the head Tefillin also are called 'batim.'
The four passages are:
'Consecrate to Me every first-born' (Exodus 13:1-10)
'And when the L-rd has brought you' (Exodus 13:11-16)
'Shema Yisrael - Hear, O Israel' (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
'If, then, you obey' (Deuteronomy 11:13-21)There are two traditional methods for the writing of the Torah passages of the Tefillin, that of Rashi, and that of Rabbenu Tam, Rashi's grandson. According to Rashi, the passages are written and are placed within the batim in the order in which they appear in the Torah, namely: 'Consecrate to Me,' 'And when the L-rd has brought you,' 'Hear, O Israel,' and 'If, then, you obey.' Rabbenu Tam places the passage of 'If, then, you obey' before 'Hear, O Israel.' Everyone puts on the
Tefillin of Rashi. Some people, in order to fulfill the obligation of Tefillin according to both views, also put on the Tefillin of Rabbenu Tam at the end of the Shacharit service, without reciting an additional blessing. The time of the obligation
In our time, the practice is to wear Tefillin during the entire weekday Shacharit service. Since the commandment of Tefillin has its source in the verse 'Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them serve as a symbol on your forehead' (Deuteronomy 6:8), on Sabbaths and holidays Tefillin are not put on. The reason for this is that the word 'sign' (ot) is also mentioned in the commandment of the Sabbath, as it is written: 'The Children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout the ages as a covenant for all time: it shall be a sign for all time between Me and the people of Israel' (Exodus 31:16-17), and one sign (that of the Tefillin) is not placed on another (that of the Sabbath), the Festivals are comparable to the Sabbath.
Customs differ regarding the putting on of Tefillin on Chol ha-Moed (the intermediate days of the Festivals), some people put on Tefillin, while others do not. In Eretz Israel, the practice is not to put on Tefillin during Chol ha-Moed.The symbolism entailed in the putting on of Tefillin
The Tefillin symbolize the eternal bond between the people of Israel and G-d, and attest that the person attired in them is a Jew connected to his heritage, as is stated in the passage of 'Consecrate to Me every first-born,' one of the
passages in the Tefillin: 'And this shall serve you as a sign on your hand and as a reminder on your forehead - in order that the teachings of the L-rd may be in your mouth' (Exodus 13:9).
The manner in which the Tefillin are put on also is highly symbolic: they are placed on the head and on the hand. The head represents the intellect, thought, and logic. The Jew who puts his Tefillin on his head is declaring by this very act that his thoughts are linked to Jewish tradition, and that he subordinates his mind and his thoughts to the L-rd and His Torah. The arm stands for power, the act and its implementation. The Jew who places the Tefillin on his arm thereby declares that he is conducting himself in accordance with Jewish practice.