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Tefillin
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"Bind them as sign on your hand and let them serve as a symbol on your forehead"
 / Deuteronomy 6:5-8

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"
 
 What are Tefillin?
What are Tefillin? What are Tefillin?

Tefillin are passages from the Torah that are written on parchment and are placed within leatherbatim (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.


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 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.


 The "Tefillin for Generations" project

he quality of the batim of Tefillin is dependent in great measure upon the amount of time allotted for their drying, especially in the later stages of the production of the batim. The slower and more thorough the drying during the creation of the perfect square shape by grinding, the better the production process and the higher the quality of the Tefillin.


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 Protecting the Tefillin
Protecting the Tefillin Protecting the Tefillin
In order to guard the Tefillin against damage that is liable to render them unfit, they must be carefully protected from moisture and heat.
Moisture is liable to mar the passages and the writing, and heat may harm the color of the Tefillin.
It is strongly recommended not putting the hand Tefillin on a sweaty arm, or the head Tefillin on a wet head.
Care must be taken when removing the Tefillin from their
case, in order to pray, and when returning them, so that the corners of the batim will not receive any blows.

"Oter Israel"`s Maginit provides optimal protection for your Tefillin. The Maginit (from the word magen, protection) guards Tefillin against moisture and blows. It is highly recommended that everyone keep their Tefillin in a Maginit. Such protection is especially important while traveling or hiking, for people who are accustomed to keep their Tefillin in their automobile, and for soldiers.

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