What is Tefillin?

The so-called tefillin are the pair of boxes that are made up of leather and in the shade of color black. The tefillin are consist of some parchment scrolls from the Hebrew Bible of Torah. The pair of Tefillin is consist of two parchment scrolls, which are meant to put on the upper arm and in the head of a person. Each parchment scroll contains the three major components, which are the strap, the box, and the scrolls. The pair of Tefillin also considered as the most powerful type of mitzvah that a certain Jewish person can wear. Through placing a pair of tefillin in the head and in the upper arm of the Jewish people, it helps them to change their lives to give them better lives in the future.

The tefillin are considered as a very special and powerful box when you put it on your upper arms and head. This will help you to bind yourself to the other people. Phylacteries are also called as a replacement for the tefillin. The word phylacteries are coming from the Greek word phylakterion, which refers to the word safeguard. But there is a time that the Greek people misunderstood the meaning of tefillin and they describe it as a sacred amulet. But keep in mind that the tefillin are your key to have a stronger connection with God and it is not just a type of superstition.

What Does a Pair of Tefillin Looks Like?

The pair of the tefillin is placed in the traditional velvet bag that is only for tefillin. And the tefillin is still covered with plastic to keep it protected. The Hebrew Bible or the Torah stated that the Jewish individual especially the men are required to put a pair of tefillin in their upper arm and head during weekdays. This is usually made by many Jewish men to fulfill the needs and wants that they will read in the Torah in the verse of Deut. 6:8. The Deut. 6:8 states that “You shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be for a reminder between your eyes.

What is Inside the Boxes?

The mitzvah of the tefillin has been stated in the Hebrew Bible or the Torah of the Jewish people. These different texts are inscribed in every parchment and are located into the mitzvah of the tefillin. The passages mentioned in the Hebrew Bible or the Torah are all about God’s unity. It will also discuss the things that God did for them to get out in the cruel nation, which is Egypt.

These things performed by God is being considered as a miracle by many Jewish people. The mitzvah in the tefillin also discusses how powerful God is, how God possesses powerful power to do all the things He wants to do in both the spiritual world and the physical world. In short words, the verses written in the Torah discusses our overall faith’s fundamentals.

What are these Texts?

The verses written in the mitzvah of the tefillin are the following;

Verses 1-2

The verse 1 and the verse two or the Exodus 13:1 – 10 or the Kades and the Exodus 13:11 – 16 or the Vehayah ki yeviaha describes the works of all the Jewish people to God, these duties such as to have knowledge about every obligation of the Jewish people to their God, remember and teach the commandments of God to the Jewish children.

Verse 3

The Deut. 6:4 – 9 or the Shema discusses that all the Jewish people should be united in the name of God. This verse also said the Jewish people to fear and give love to their God and also to their neighbors.

Verse 4

Deut. 11:13 – 21 or the Vehayah discusses to the assurance that God is giving to us. This assurance is just like a reward on following all the written commandments of God in the mitzvah of the Torah or the Hebrew Bible.

How is Tefillin Created

For the Jewish people be kosher following their law, the tefillin are in need to meet many different requirements. It will be best for you if you will consider the tefillin in the Torah or in the Hebrew Bible as one of the different machines that have spiritual purposes only. If one of the verses in the tefillin was out of place, then the whole work will not work as effective as what other people think.  

A sofer is the one who will write the parchment scrolls in the tefillin, and he is the one who is considered as a well -trained scribe. The parchment scrolls written in the tefillin are written through a reed or quill pen that has a blank ink. It is always important that the parchment scrolls be all handwritten. And it should be written by a sofer. The scribes written in the parchment scrolls are consists of different Hebrew characters. In every box of the tefillin, it contains 1594 Hebrew letters.  If the Hebrew letters written in the tefillin exceed at 1594 or lower than 1594 or written incorrectly, then the tefillin are considered as not valid.

Both the straps and the boxes of the tefillin is made up leather. This leather came from the kosher animals. There are four different areas that a certain head-tefillin contain. Each area of the tefillin consists of a single parchment scroll that has one out of the four Torah selections. The hand made tefillin consist of only one area; this area contains all the four Torah selections in just one parchment scroll. You will also see a Shin (ש) which is a Hebrew letter on the two sides of the head tefillin, the first one will have three different branches, and the last one will have the four different branches.

Who Wears Tefillin

Tefillin are usually worn by the Jewish men whose age are higher than 13 years old who consider by the Jewish people as the age of the bar mitzvah.

When does Tefillin Wear by Male Jewish

Through putting a tefillin on the head and in the upper arm of the male Jews during weekdays will surely fulfill the mitzvah. Jewish people usually wear their tefillin from daytime to night time. The Jewish people are also required to spell out the prayers for their God, for they believe that through reciting all their prayers, the blessings will come automatically.

But when do tefillin worn by the Jewish male person? It is during weekdays where Jewish people are doing the Shema prayers during the morning. Also, keep in mind that tefillin are not being worn by the Jewish people during the celebration of the Jewish holidays such as Sabbath and Chol Hamoed, this is according to some Jewish people that are knowledgeable enough about their cultures and traditions.

How to Wear Tefillin

If you want to wear the hand tefillin, you should place it either in your right arm if you are a lefty handed or in the left arm if you are right-handed, with its black leather box that was also placed in the bicep who face your heart. The other strap of the hand tefillin should also be placed around your right or left arms for about seven more times that will extend the string or fringe downward. There are also some customized placing of the coils around your head and upper arms. If you are also using the head tefillin, you should wear it like a crown over your head, you will also put the black leather box of the tefillin near your hairline, and it should be at the central area of your forehead.

What is the Reason of Wearing Tefillin

The mitzvahs in the tefillin contain the commandments of God for His Jewish people. Tzavta is the root word of the mitzvah that is also similar to the word connection. The mitzvah written in the tefillin will make a bond between the people who are doing the commandments of God and the God who are commanding His commandments to His people. Through that, it will create the tefillin as a powerful type of mitzvah. The Jewish people are being commanded by God to bind them together and be united to the Kingdom of God, which is the heaven.

Additionally, one of the four leather boxes of the tefillin is being placed on the upper arm of the Jewish male and should place against the heart of the male Jews so that it will always remind him the several commandments of God to His people. It is located against the heart of the male Jews so that it will seat to the emotions that the male Jewish feels, while the strap of the leather box must be surrounded around the hand and left arm of the Jewish male.

The remaining leather boxes of tefillin should also be located at the head of the male Jews and must be above his forehead. Through putting the tefillin on the head of the male Jews, it will just teach the wearer to give his life on servicing God in all the things that they feel, do and feel.

Importance of Wearing Tefillin

Wearing a single pair of tefillin is a very important not just for you as a single person, it will bring the person the protection he wants from the things that might harm him and also protect him from evil doings. That is the reason why Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson started to have a campaign that will bring courage to the Jewish people either men or women to use a single pair of tefillin before the Six-Day War in the year of 1967 happen.

When you use tefillin, you are having a stronger connection to the fulfilling and infinite will of God and will always remind you to be a better individual every day. But as a Jewish person, you should also take the path which God already is taken. And if you do it successfully, I am sure that your future grandchildren will always willing to take your steps as well. The straps in the tefillin will not just give you a stronger connection with God, but it will also give you a chance on connecting to your people, future and your past.

What does the Word Commandments and Mitzvah Really Mean?

The two words commandments and mitzvah can be connected to the root word tzavsa, which means to bind or to connect. With this regards, the mitzvah in the tefillin acts as the binder or the connector between the Jewish people and their God. But the tefillin is just the paradigm of the mitzvahs, through that, the Jewish people will really connect or bind themselves to the Kingdom of God and to the presence of God. Tefillin literally mean as the total unity to the Lord Almighty.

The tefillin re very powerful to the lives of Jewish people to make their souls connected in the Lord. And scientifically, the tefillin are the one that has a connection with the acupuncture of needles that are being inserted to the people for them to be able to purify their thoughts and increase their spirituality. The two boxes of the tefillin refer to the ways on how the Jewish people will serve their God.

When they place the tefillin in their head, it means that it refers to the commandments of God and when they put the tefillin in their upper left arm, it will refer to the actions they will do to serve their God. When the Jewish people are wearing arm tefillin, it will just only mean that they are focusing on how to f=develop their strength and devotion to their God Almighty. When a Jewish person is wearing head tefillin, it will just only mean that they are focusing on the ideas on how to show their love to their God.

Arm tefillin should be located at the position opposite to the position of the heart, it will refer to the teachings that if your heart and mind aren’t synchronized, the decisions you will make will still be flat and half-hearted. It is very interesting that the head tefillin consist of four different areas and the arm tefillin only consist of a single parchment scroll in one area. Each type of tefillin has its own area and responsibilities.

From the Hebrew Bible of the Jewish people or the Torah, the head tefillin are similar to the word totafot, and the arm tefillin are similar to the word OT. The arm-tefillin and the head tefillin signify that the two different powers must work unitedly to deliver their service to God. We, people, are using our mental capacity to gather information about the services we can offer to our God, and we are in need to act according to our knowledge.

Why does Arm Tefillin Should be Put First?

The Jewish people are placing the arm tefillin instead of the head tefillin to let them know that committing and implementing certain action must be used first. This is because the Hebrew Bible or the Torah is not just theoretic writing but rather, Torah or the Hebrew Bible is a study that teaches the Jewish people that we are gathering ideas and knowledge for some intellectual purposes to fulfill their obligations to their God.

Wearing the Tefillin

Tefillin should only be worn by the Jewish people only when they are conducting a prayer during the morning every day. When conducting a prayer, there should be one representative of the Jewish people that will say the Shema prayer loudly. When a certain Jewish male is wearing a tallit, they should do the Shema prayer before putting the tefillin on.

If there are some instances that the Jewish people didn’t put their tefillin during the Shema prayer in the morning, they can do it again during day time or at the time before 6pm. Before the sun rises, it is the perfect time for the Jewish people to put their tefillin on. The tefillin must be kept and must not be worn by anybody during nighttime.

Even though the mitzvah of the tefillin can be worn by Jewish men all day long, they should not ever wear their tefillin after conducting the Shema prayer. This is only because a certain person must wear their tefillin if their body and soul are totally clean. Furthermore, it would be better for a certain male Jewish to avoid thinking unclean thoughts or act unclean doings while they are wearing the tefillin.

The person who is wearing the tefillin must only think about the goodness of God, it is because God’s name is written in the parchment scrolls of the tefillin. It is not easy to avoid thinking unclean thoughts and acting unclean actions, because of that, Jewish people are having difficulties in avoiding these things just to fulfill their obligations to their God.


Tefillin is very useful in a manner that it will always remind the certain person about his obligation to God. It will always give them the courage to do things in their everyday lives by the will of God.

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