Tefilin Sel Yad With 7 line Shma Yisrael - תפילין של יד עם שמע ישראל ב7 שורות

Tefillin – Ancient Black Boxes With Milk and Honey Inside

Inside Tefillin – A Land Flowing With Milk and Honey

Tefillin are a set of small black leather boxes containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with verses from the Torah. They are worn by Jews during weekday morning prayers; Some wear them all day long while working or studying Torah.

The tefillin are to serve as a reminder of God’s intervention at the time of the Exodus from Egypt. Maimonides details of the sanctity of tefillin and writes that “as long as the tefillin are on the head and on the arm of a man, he is modest and God-fearing and will not be attracted by hilarity or idle talk; he will have no evil thoughts, but will devote all his thoughts to truth and righteousness” The Sefer ha-Chinuch (14th century) adds that the purpose of tefillin is to help subjugate a person’s worldly desires and encourage spiritual development. Joseph Caro (16th century) explains that tefillin are placed on the arm adjacent to the heart and on the head above the brain to demonstrate that these two major organs are willing to perform the service of God.

Tefillin on the head is close to the Frontal Cortex where higher thoughts are processed
Tefillin on the head is close to the Frontal Cortex where higher thoughts are processed

What’s in the Tefillin Boxes?

The Torah mentions the mitzvah of tefillin four separate times. Each of these texts is inscribed on parchment and placed into the tefillin. These passages discuss the unity of G‑d. They describe the miracles G‑d performed for us when He took us out of Egypt, and how G‑d alone has the power and dominion to do whatever He wants in the physical and spiritual worlds. In other words, these verses cover the fundamentals of our faith.

These texts are:

1–2. Kadesh (Exodus 13:1–10) and Vehayah ki yeviacha (Exodus 13:11–16): These describe the duty of the Jewish people to always remember the redemption from Egyptian bondage, and the obligation of every Jew to educate his children about this and about G‑d’s commandments. It includes the promise to bring the Jewish people to a land flowing with milk and honey.
3. Shema (Deut. 6:4–9): Pronounces the unity of the one G‑d, and commands us to love and fear Him.
4. Vehayah (Deut. 11:13–21): Focuses on G‑d’s assurance to us of reward that will follow our observance of the Torah’s mitzvahs.

 

Tefillin worn on the head, One side has a Shin with 4 heads, it usually has three
Tefillin worn on the head, One side has a Shin with 4 heads, it usually has three

In the perashiot inside the Tefillin the statement that Israel is a land flowing with milk and Honey is written.

Tefillin has the verse telling the Jews that the land of Israel flows with milk and honey
Tefillin has the verse telling the Jews that the land of Israel flows with milk and honey

Both words milk and honey instill positive connotations to virtually every human being. Their presence in the land demonstrates a good economy. This goes so far that honey is actually the word used to describe any “sweet” concept. Milk and milk products are universally rich and fatty substances.

Bees Honey Comb
Bees Honey Comb

Riesh Lakish was an Emora during the Talmudic period. He says that he saw a lamb grazing under a fig tree dripping with honey. The lamb itself was dripping its milk onto the honey. He said that this represented the land flowing with milk and honey. (Ketubot 111b)In the Torah honey generally refers to date honey. However, several uses of the word honey refer to bee’s honey as well as others that refer to any honey like substance that easily exudes from fruit.
 

Our Rabbis of Blessed Memory have additionally said that the fruit of Israel are fatty like milk and sweet like honey. (Ketubot 112a)

Tefillin Shel Yad worn on the arm with the 7 lines of the Shma Yisrael prayer.
Tefillin Shel Yad worn on the arm with the 7 lines of the Shma Yisrael prayer.

It seems that the term honey is in reality a difficult word to specifically understand. Above we saw that Reish Lakish leaves the term honey open ended by referring to fig “honey” while discussing the phrase, “A land flowing with milk and honey.” However, what the words milk and honey include seems to be a disagreement of Tanaim of the Mishnaic period.

According to Rabi Eliezer milk in “Milk and Honey” means that the milk of the fruits is very rich and that the honey refers only to Date Honey. However, Rabi Akiva disagrees and says that milk refers to real milk and that honey refers to “Yearot Dvash” “Yearot Honey .“ (Mechilta Derashb”i)

 

Sugar Cane Juice Sold in Israel
Sugar Cane Juice Sold in Israel

There is further disagreement between Rashi and his school of thought and Radak as to what “Yearot Dvash” means. According to Rashi it means canes with honey in them that grow in Israel. It seems possible that Rashi refers to cane sugar or perhaps another sweet cane. However, Rada”k questions Rashi’s source material and then says that “Yearot Dvash” refers to ordinary bee’s honey combs. (Shmuel 1 14 25)

Stubborn People need a land with great natural resources

In Parashat Ki Tisa The Holy one Blessed be He stated that he would not himself lead the people of Israel into the Holy land instead an Angel will do this. “A land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go in your midst, since you are a stiff-necked people, lest I destroy you on the way.” (Shemot 33 3)

On this Pasuk Seforno points out that the Jewish people need a land that is naturally rich. They are a stiff-necked people. Do to this they will not be successful living in a place like the desert where they need constant miracles to survive.

Dairy products are central to many Jewish customs. On Shavuot we eat dairy. Many say that this is because the Jewish people did not have time to learn the laws of Shchita (ritual slaughtering) and Kashrut laws. Therefore, they ate dairy.

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Honey has left a great impact on the Jewish people. Although a tiny portion of the worlds population is Jewish we consume 20% of the world’s honey. This was pointed out to me by the people buy honey sellers who thought that  as a Jewish website milknhoney.co.il must want to market their honey. The most famous of these sweet customs is on Rosh Hashana when almost every Jew in the world dips an apple in honey.

 

Rabbi Steve Bar Yakov Gindi writing Tefillin parchments
Rabbi Steve Bar Yakov Gindi writing Tefillin parchments

The Tefillin Experience

To Order Tefillin  Call 0544572366 or 029991554 or email  steve@gindi.co.il

I offer a wonderful program for those who purchase Tefillin. This is great for Bar Mitzvah boys. It is grandparent approved too. You actually assist in producing the Tefillin. It is called the Tefillin Experience. It consists of up to three meetings.

The three meetings are  hands on. The first meeting involves the boy making crowns on the letters of his  Shema Yisrael parchment,  In  The second meeting we together place the Perashiot in the Batim and sew them. The third meeting is for the whole family, We learn some Halachot, some stories and everyone learns how to write a few letters on parchment

The Tefillin have many Hidurim and are reasonably priced. I personally write the Perashiot. The Gassot have Chut Hatefira, Shin Meshucha, Hand made straps and many more Hidurim. All Perashiot are computer checked and checked by a rav.

 

I have over 25 years of experience.

Gassot Tefillin – 2600 Shekels

Peshutim Mehudarim 1400 Shekels

Those living far away from Jerusalem can benefit from the new Live  Program via internet Video Chat: Tefillin: The Spirit of Bar Mitzvah

You can see samples at http://milknhoney.co.il/gallery

Call 0544572366 or 029991554

 

 

Inside Tefillin – Introduction to Tefillin

There are four perashiot (paragraphs written on leather parchments) inside Tefillin boxes. The same four appear both in the Tefillin that are placed on the head and the one on the arm. These perashiot speak about central concepts in Judaism.

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The first perasha of “Kadesh li” discusses the freedom from slavery in Egypt. Two of the four sons from the Passover Seder are found in these paragraphs. The second perasha of “Vehaya Ki Yevi’acha” speaks about the plague of the first born of Egypt. The death of the first born of Egypt, in addition to redeeming of out first-born sons and animals, actuate a rejection of the strengths of idolatry and magical powers. The first born of the Egyptian as well as those of other nations were priests. The sanctity of the first born within Judaism is actually a rejection of idolatrous beliefs.

The final two paragraphs that are written in the tefillin are the most famous in Judaism. They are the first two paragraphs of “Shema Yisrael”. The portion of “Shema Yisrael” speaks about the Unity of the Blessed Creator and loving him. The final perasha is “Vehaya im Shmo’a”. It discusses Devine Providence and heavenly reward and punishment.

There is a distinct relationship between these four perashiot. They all mention the importance of study and internalization of these subjects. Additionally, educating children in these particular subjects is mandatory. One needs to constantly teach them to his children and even more so during the Passover Seder.

Tefillin: The Spirit of Bar Mitzvah – Connect Your Son with the Mitzva of Tefillin

To order Tefillin: email steve@gindi.co.il or call +972544572366

Bar Mitzvah – Connect Your Son with the Mitzva of Tefillin

I personally write the Perashiot – parchments of Tefillin and sell complete sets. As a new service I offer Sessions via Internet video chat that connect boys celebrating their Bar Mitzva with the central mitzvah of Tefillin. This Set of Tefillin and the program “The Spirit of Bar Mitzvah” is available to anyone, especially those not living near Jerusalem.

 

 

Via video chat we have two sessions. The second session is after delivery of the Tefillin package which includes a beautiful set of Tefillin, a feather Kulmus pen, some Sofer ink, blank parchment.

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For over 25 years I have written the perashiot of Tefillin for Bar Mitzva. I have also taught many kids to connect with Torah and the spiritual connection that Tefillin ties them to.

Local kids from Jerusalem attend the “The Tefillin Experience” program which includes participating in producing the Tefillin. 

 

email steve@gindi.co.il or call +972544572366