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The Basics of Making Tefillin

The Basics of Making Tefillin

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1. What's in the Tefillin?

There are many laws and requirements regarding the making of tefillin, and it takes many years of training to qualify the scribes and craftsmen who make them. What follows is a basic description.

A set includes two tefillin—one for the head and one for the arm. Each consists of three main components: the scrolls, the box, and the strap.


2. The Scrolls

The scrolls are strips of parchment upon which are inscribed four passages from the Torah:

1) Kadesh (Exodus 13:1-10)

2) VeHayah Ki Yeviacha (Exodus 13:11-16)

3) The Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)

4) VeHayah Im Shamoa (Deuteronomy 11:13-21)

In the arm tefillin, the four passages are written on a single scroll. In the head tefillin, they're on four separate scrolls.


3. The Boxes

The scrolls are inserted into boxes made of leather that has been painstakingly pressed into the tefillin's perfectly smooth planes and precise geometrical shape, and painted black.

The upper part of the tefillin box is a perfect cube; the lower part is a flatter box that is wider than the upper part. On one side, the lower part extends further than the other sides and has a slit through which the tefillin strap is threaded.

The hand tefillin has one large compartment, in which a single scroll inscribed with the four portions is inserted. The head tefillin has four compartments, for its four scrolls, and has a raised Hebrew letter shin on each side.


4. The Straps

The straps are made of leather painted black on one side. They are threaded through the lower part of the boxes and knotted.

The head tefillin has a large, fixed loop to fit the head. The hand tefillin has a smaller, adjustable loop to tie on the upper arm.

The head strap's knot is in the shape of the Hebrew letter daled; the hand tefillin is knotted in the shape of the Hebrew letter yud. (Together, shin, daled, yud spell Sha-da-i -- one of the names of G-d.)

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Discussion (6)
December 1, 2013
Cesar you can get them in London at Torah Treasures
dan
EDGWARE
May 12, 2013
Difference in Tefillin
What is the difference in the texts between the Chabad, Sefardi and Ashkenazi tefillin? What is the reason for the difference?
Yakov Reuven
Houston
March 23, 2013
Length
How long is the arm strap?
Scott.
April 22, 2012
How to
Check out this handy guide chabad.org/272666 as well as chabad.org/515519
Chabad.org Staff
mychabad.org
April 19, 2012
Straps
Can anyone show me in detail how to tie the straps?
Irv Ash
Sarasota, fl
March 29, 2012
How can I get a Tefillin?
Hi, I just want to know where I can get some Tefillin for my self? I just want them to be genuine....
Cesar Luzunaris
Las Piedras, Puerto Rico
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