Here's a great tip:
Enter your email address and we'll send you our weekly magazine by email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life, week after week. And it's free.
Oh, and don't forget to like our facebook page too!
Contact Us
Rabbi and archeologist, Yonatan Adler, tackles a medieval rabbinic debate about the proper arrangement of the parchments within tefillin by comparing these opinions to actual 2,000-year-old phylacteries found in Qumran.

The Tefillin of Qumran

The Tefillin of Qumran

Archeology and Halacha

Rabbi Dr. Yonatan Adler is an Israeli archaeologist, and has recently completed his Ph.D. dissertation at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, entitled: “The Archaeology of Purity: Archaeological Evidence for the Observance of Ritual Purity in Ereẓ-Israel from the Hasmonean Period until the End of the Talmudic Era (164 BCE – 400 CE)”. Adler is also a graduate of Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav in Jerusalem, where he received rabbinical ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. He is currently resident at Oxford, as a Visiting Scholar at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with's copyright policy.
Sort By:
Discussion (5)
February 5, 2014
Thank you so much
I think there is a mistake at the 18 min mark. There, the rabbi describes right to left as going from the tefillin wearer's right to the tefillin wearer's left. However Rambam and others explain that right to left means from the perspective of the reader (i.e. the perspective of someone standing opposite the wearer).
September 18, 2011
The Tefillin of Qumran
The Tefillin from Qumran cannot be trusted at all as to the order of the Parshiot.

1) The people who wrote the Qumran Tefilin were Essenes and not Pharises.

2) Maybe the Tefilin that were found were part of a Genizah, where Tefilin written in the wrong way were discarded.

Judah Mansbach
Judah Mansbach
Flushing, NY USA
September 8, 2011
thank you!
Excellent...thank you!
Cedar Rapids, IA
September 6, 2011
Rabbi Yonatan Adler on Tefillin
This fascinating talk by scholar Rabbi Yonatan Adler, on the history of Tefillin, was brilliantly presented, yet easy to follow and comprehend.
Please let me know when we can expect to hear more from this amazing scholar. Thank you Rabbi Adler, for a very enlightening and
interesting lecture.
new york, usa
September 1, 2011
Toda Rabba!!
thank you R. Adler for providing this interesting talk. I really look forward to more talks about archeological subjects in the holy lands from the perspective of orthodox judaism; i hope in the near future.

I agree: a very very fruitful topic.
Noted scholars and experts in their fields share their knowledge at the Oxford University Chabad Society.