Tefillin

Tefillin (Askhenazic: /ˈtfɪln/; Israeli Hebrew: [tfiˈlin], תפילין), also called phylacteries (/fɪˈlæktərz/ from Ancient Greek φυλακτήριον phylacterion, form of phylássein, φυλάσσειν meaning “to guard, protect”), are a set of small black leather boxes containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with verses from the Torah. They are worn by male observant Jews during weekday morning prayers.

Although “tefillin” is technically the plural form (the singular being “tefillah”), it is loosely used as a singular as well.[1] The arm-tefillin, or shel yad, is placed on the upper arm, and the strap wrapped around the arm/hand, hand and fingers; while the head-tefillin, or shel rosh, is placed above the forehead. The Torah commands that they should be worn to serve as a “sign” and “remembrance” that God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt.

The scriptural texts for tefillin are obscure in literal meaning. For example, Deuteronomy 11:18 is one of the standard texts referenced as supporting the obligation, but does not designate what specifically to “bind upon your arm,” and the definition oftotafot between your eyes is not obvious. It is the Talmud, the authoritative oral tradition for Rabbinic Judaism, which explains what are to be bound to the body and the form of tefillin.[2]

From the Wilderness and LebanonAn Israeli soldier’s story of war and recovery (Hebrew: מן המדבר והלבנון‎‎) is the English translation of the first novel by Israeli author Dr. Asael Lubotzky. The book records his experiences when serving as an officer in the Israeli army during the Second Lebanon War and recounts autobiographically his long period of recovery from the wounds he sustained in battle. The book was originally published in Hebrew by Yedioth Books in 2008 and became a bestseller, and in English translation under this title in 2016. The army’s former chief of staff, General Moshe Ya’alon, wrote a laudatory Foreword.

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