Jewish Tefillin (Explained)

What are Those Blocks that Jewish Men wrap around their arms and head?

Well, Those Blocks are called Tefillin

Allow us to explain what Tefillin are and the spiritual power they hold:

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What are Tefillin?

Tefillin are cubed shaped boxes with black leather straps that Jewish Men place on their arm and head while Praying.

Inside The Tefillin, there are 4 Parchments with Verses from The Torah.

The 4 Verses are:

  1. Kadesh
  2. VeHaya Ki
  3. Shemah
  4. V'Haya Im

It is required for Jewish Men to Lay Tefillin every day, except on Shabbat or on Jewish Holidays

The Torah says to Tie The Box of The Tefillin on your arm and you put it on your head.

There is no Halacha (Jewish Law) that your forearm needs to be involved at all. This is referring to wrapping the Tefillin Straps on your arm.

Although it is customary to wrap the Tefillin Straps around your arm 7 times.

The Gemara says: If a person went through his whole life without putting on Tefillin, he cannot get to Olam Haba (The World To Come)

Jewish Men will start wearing Tefillin from the day of their Bar Mitzvah.

It is most common for Orthodox Jews to wear their Tefillin throughout Shacharit which is the Morning Prayer Service.

What is Meaning of Tefillin?

Tefillin are placed on the head.

At the site, of the root, of what it means to be human.

Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki) says that Tefillin need to be worn where the skull of a child is open.

When a child is born, there is a piece of skull missing. And the child is born with an open connection To The World Above.

There are bones of the skull that are missing when a child is born. And The Front of The Head Tefillin are placed in the missing fontanel of the skull. And The Knot on The Back of The Head Tefillin are placed also, where the missing fontanel of the skull is.

The idea is that The Tefillin is The Crown. And the meaning of a Crown is The Connection to Something Above.

When The King wears a Crown on His Head, it is not part of him, but it indicates his real status.

As a child grows, the fontanel of the skull begins to grow and consequently close. And Tefillin is the re-opening of that primordial connection To The Higher World.

Tefillin comes from the same word as Tefillah, and Tefillah means a "direct connection"

The Only Two Direct Connections Jews Have With G-d are Torah and Tefillin

In Torah G-d Speaks to us and in Tefillin we speak to Him.

The Mitzvah (Commandment) of Tefillin is an opportunity to reconnect in an immortal level. One wears The Crown (Head Tefillin) that indicates The Regal and Royal Status of a human being.

This is the deeper meaning why people look at someone with Tefillin on and have a natural awe and fear. And the reason is because you are now looking at a person who is expressing the highest levels of The Soul.

We know in Halacha (Jewish Law) that every Mitzvah (Commandment) done in This World, manifests something into The World Above.

And for putting on Tefillin, you are putting on The Crown that allows The Holiness of The World Above Shine Through You.

The Secret of the Shin ש on Tefillin

There are two Shin's ש on side's of the Head Tefillin.

The Ben Ish Chai says the concept of Heaven and Earth is hinted on the Shin's ש of the Head Tefillin.

On the Tefillin of the hand there are no letters.

One side of the Head Tefillin has a Shin ש with 4 lines and the other side has 3 lines.

Why are there 4 arms on one of the Shin's ש ?

The 4 arms on one of the Shin's Tefillin ש is responding to Shimon HaTzadik:

  1. Torah
  2. Avodah (Serving G-d)
  3. Gemilut Ḥasadim (Kindness With The Body)
  4. Chesed (Kindness With The Mind)

And These are the 4 Pillars that is holding The Heaven sitting on The Earth.

In order to hold a City, you need Pillars.

So, we have Pillars holding Heaven. According to Shimon HaTzadik, These 4 Pillars that are Holding The Heavens.

Shimon Ben Gamliel says that there are only Three Pillars that The World is sustaining on:

  1. Din (Judgement)
  2. Emet (Truth)
  3. Shalom (Peace)

It is important to be very dilligent that you are doing these three Pillars.

You have to have the right judgement. And the right judgement is not only towards yourself, it is also how you judge another person.

The Mishnah (Jewish Text) says, "Never Judge a Person, Till You Stand in His Place"

It is very easy to judge someone badly when you have never been in their situation. And then when you are in the same position, suddenly you want mercy and for people to look at you completely different.

Then moving onto Emet (Truth). Without truth, nothing can sustain in This World.

And the third Pillar: Peace. G-d Created The Torah only to bring peace into The World.

And peace is not just between you and another person. Or between two countries. Peace is also about being at peace with yourself.

The Ben Ish Chai then goes on to say: "Don't Take Bribery"

What does this mean?

We have two Shin's ש on side's of the Head Tefillin.

The first Shin ש on the left hand side corresponds with Shimon HaTzadik's 4 Pillars when you have: Torah, Avodah (Serving G-d), Gemilut Ḥasadim (Kindness With The Body) and Chesed (Kindness With The Mind). And These are the 4 Pillars that The Heavens are Standing on in The Earth

And then we have Shimon Ben Gamliel who says no. The second Shin ש on the right hand side corresponds with The Three Pillars: Din (Judgement), Emet (Truth) and Shalom (Peace). And These are the 3 Pillars that The Heavens are Standing on in The Earth

So when The Ben Ish Chai says "Don't Take Bribery", he says the hint here is not 4 Pillared Shin ש but the 3 Pillared Shin ש

And Din (Judgement), Emet (Truth) and Shalom (Peace) is where you can be easily bribed.

On the other hand, the 4 Pillars Shimon HaTzadik's mentions cannot be bribed.

There you have it!

The Power of Tefillin and why Jews Put Them on Every Morning.

Till next time!


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