Category Archives: tefillin

Term paper time :)

Some people expressed an interest in reading this paper. Here it is: The Variegated Career of Exodus 13:16, being a summary of the antics real and perceived of a biblical verse from antiquity until the rabbinic period Bear in mind that it’s a term paper, not a polished publication or anything, ok? But some of […]

Pics of tefillin

Been taking some photos of tefillin for a piece about how tefillin are made, creatively entitled How Tefillin Are Made. Can’t figure out how to get this image into the text, but I like it, so I’m sharing it here. Or possibly like this.

More Tefillin Barbies

Presenting the latest iteration of Tefillin Barbie. I’d keep making them like the original ones, but the ones with the long denim skirts are more or less impossible to find for a reasonable price now. I think this one’s quite cute; it’s the sort of outfit bat mitzvah girls wear. She’s available here. Now with […]

Tefillin and kids

Anyone want to tell me about their experiences with kids and tefillin? In particular: If they lay tefillin, why you got them started doing it and when you started them What you told them about why we do it. If you lay tefillin and they don’t, how/why that works. Whether they play tefillin. Who in […]


Something you do not need to see when you open tefillin: BUGS. The vacated exoskeletons of bugs, I grant you (note the hole in the centre one where the bug burst its way out), but still, ick. At least a dozen of them. Perhaps surprisingly, the klafim were ok, once I’d brushed the crumbled bugs […]

What dictates variation in tefillin prices?

In short – the amount of time it takes to produce them. Every bit of a pair of tefillin is made by hand, and the longer it takes to do, the more it costs. The biggest price factor of a set of tefillin is the parchments. They have a lot of writing on them, and […]

A1 Soferim – Good Reports

I get emails like this on average twice a month: If you have advice about what I should do with my ancient tefillin, that would be great. They were my great-grandfather’s and I would love to use them, but they are tiny, and the man I talked to at [Big Judaica Store] told me that […]

Tags on tefillin

So – recently, someone sent me these tefillin, and as you can see, they have these little tags wired onto them. Funny, eh? Here are close-ups. They’re little seals, stamped into blobs of lead. One side reads “כשר” and the other side reads “הרבנות הראשית ת”א-יפו” – kosher: chief rabbinate of Tel-Aviv-Yaffo. I didn’t know […]

parcels which come in the post

and they coil madly out of the box! and I get to sort them into pairs! and have them fixed! And Emfish says to recite the blessing Lehaniakh, tefillin!, or “Lie down, tefillin!” so I will do that later and they will all uncoil themselves and behave perfectly.

tefillin gemach

I keep sets of tefillin for loaning to women. Women, because men have an easy time of it if they want to borrow tefillin. A woman who wants to borrow tefillin – because she wants to try the practice before committing a few hundred dollars to tefillin, or because she hasn’t got that sort of […]