Buy Kosher Tefillin Sets
So, you are buying a pair of Tefillin. Congratulations! We, at aJudaica, are here to help you. We want you to feel satisfied with your purchase. Since they are worn daily from bar mitzvah until the end of life, it is worth taking the time and effort to understand some of the background detail. That way, you can make an informed choice on the type and quality you wish to order.
What exactly are “Tefillin”?
They are the two small black leather boxes with connecting black straps worn by Jewish boys and men on their head and forearm during weekly morning prayers. Inside the boxes are parchment scrolls, inscribed with holy verses from the Torah.
What is the source for Tefillin?
The Jewish people were instructed in Shmos 13:9, 13:16 and Devarim 6:8, 11:18, “And it shall be for a sign upon your hand and as totafot between your eyes…And you shall bind them as a sign upon your arm and they shall be as totafot between your eyes”.
What about the multitude of laws
regarding the boxes, straps and parchment? How do we know when, where and how they should be worn? The answers to all these questions are found in the Oral Law, in the Talmud and the various commentaries and legally binding codifications passed down the generations.
What is the reason for wearing Tefillin?
Mitzvot are part of our Holy Torah and we observe them not because we understand their logic but because they bring us closer to G-d. With that concept clear, we can say that Tefillin serve as a daily reminder how G-d delivered us from the bondage of Egypt. They are an eternal expression of His divine love for us and His eternal bond with the Jewish Nation. Placed on the head and the left side, next to the heart, reminds us that a Jew’s intellect and emotions are to be used in the service of G-d and not wasted on the frivolous pleasures of the world.
What are Kosher Tefillin?
It is vital that every pair carries an authorized Kashrut certificate confirming that they meet all the ritual requirements. Unfortunately, the market today is flooded with imitations and some fraudulent dealers even use printed parchment scrolls. AJudaica is scrupulously careful regarding every stage of production ensuring that this article is prepared in full accordance with Jewish law. We have heard too many tragic stories of individuals who discovered in mid-life that their Tefillin were invalid.
What can you tell me about the parchment scrolls?
The scribes are trained and experienced G-d fearing pious men who are familiar with the intricate laws regarding the quill, parchment and lettering. Consider - Tefillin parchment passages contain over three thousand letters and if one letter is incorrectly written, the entire Tefillin can become invalid. Ajudaica supervises and takes responsibility for all its scrolls.
There are four Biblical passages inserted in the Tefillin. For the arm-box, they are written on a single piece of parchment. For the head-box, they are written on four pieces of parchment inserted into four separate compartments.
What can you tell me about the Tefillin boxes?
The boxes, called batim, usually measure 31-35 mm. They are painted black with special paint and a lacquer finish strengthens the box and gives it a fine finish. The vital condition is that they must be absolutely square.
What are the different kinds of batim?
Before deciding on the Tefillin you wish to purchase we recommend that you become acquainted with the various kinds of batim.
1. Peshutim (Simple Ones). You could call these “minimum Tefillin” – to be used only where there is no alternative. They are made of several pieces of parchment glued together – not always halachically acceptable. The parchments of peshutim are usually of questionable kashrut.
2. Peshutim Mehudarim (Superior Simple Ones). These too are made using a single piece of leather but from less durable goat skin. When completed they look almost identical to the expensive cow-hide batim. Be on the look-out for fraudulent imitations.
3. Dakot (Thin Ones). These are made by stretching a single piece of leather to form the entire box. Although halachically permitted, it is thin as its name indicates and does not stand up to daily regular use.
4. Gassot (Thick Ones). This is the category of most of today’s Tefillin. They are made from a single piece of choice thick cow-hide leather that has been softened, dried and pressed by a special process. They are usually strong enough to last a lifetime.
What else do I need to know before making my purchase?
There is a lot more to write… the different s, the leather straps, when Tefillin are worn, how Tefillin are donned and the blessings to be recited. By the way, there are many who after their morning prayers don for a few minutes another pair called Rabeinu Tam Tefillin where the parchments have been inserted in a different order.
The most important thing for you to know
is that your Tefillin should be purchased from a reliable dealer with impeccable credentials. For many, this is a once in a lifetime buy and many times, Tefillin are passed on to the next generation. So, make sure that they should be fully Kosher and that you receive optimal value for your money.