Imagine Binding Yourself Into Freedom – Tefillin

Wrapping yourself with Leather straps and leather boxes can give you that sense of freedom

Imagine that!

When you purchase tefillin from me, you also receive an education about Tefillin. You can help to make the tefillin yourself. If you can’t make it to Jerusalem you can watch via Facetime, etc while I write the Perashiot. Not only will you learn the technical aspects and halachot, but will also become familiar with the allegorical significance of binding those black boxes with there holy messages scribed on parchments inside.

Order now for yourself or an upcoming Bar Mitzvah

Accepting the  Yoke of Heaven can free you when you think positively

All of these concepts of accepting the yoke of heaven are written into the parchments inside the tefillin.

Shulchan Aruch 25 – When donning Tefillin one should contemplate on the four paragraphs in the Tefillin that discuss

  1. the unity of the Name of G-d
  2. the Exodus from Egypt tied to the arm facing the heart and on the head near the brain so that we will
  3. remember miracles and great events that He did for us that demonstrate his Unity, 4
  4. That He has the power of strength and rule in the heavens above and below to totally do as he pleases.
  5. He should dedicate all of the capabilities of his soul, which is in the brain and facing the heart, which contains the desires and thoughts. Through this he will remember his creator and reduce his pleasures (Rabienu Yona on Brachot 14 “Harotzeh Lekabel Alav”)

Cynics and Skeptics should remember that leaving slavery from Egypt is freeing. Exodus from Egypt is an important subject in the Tefillin Scrolls


Tefillin come in different sizes but are all the same square shape

The differences between the Tefillin that I make

I almost always make tefillin by order. I don’t prepare a stock of tefillin since every customer wants it a bit different. The differences are sometimes a bit confusing. The three main options that I offer are:

I write the perashiot with three different kinds of lettering “fonts”. You need to tell me which you prefer.

  • Sephardic
  • Ashkenaz – Beis Yosef
  • Ari-Zal – Hassidic

I write on two different kinds of parchment

  • Klaf Meubad according Rambam and the gemara. This is treated with Oak Gall.
  • Standard White Klaf parchment which is treated with Lime.

The two kinds of Gassot come in several different size groups. The smaller they are, the more difficult to make and more expensive they are.

  • Tiny is 22-23.5 mm – Slightly Less Than 7/8 inch –
    23mm Slightly More Than 7/8 inch
  • Medium 27-29 mm – between 1-1/16 inch  to 1-5/32 inch
  • Regular 32-34 mm – Betweent 1-1/4 inch to 1-11/32 inch

Peshutim Mehudarim are usually only one size of 32 mm – Slightly More Than 1-1/4 inch

I have several different grades of retzuot straps. They are usually, Avodat yad – hand made even when cheaper Peshutim Mehudarim are chosen. But the Gassot always come with Hand made.


  • Peshutim Mehudarim usually have straps that are painted on one side
  • For Gassot tefillin, you need to state whether you want black on both sides
  • Rambam Tefillin always come with straps that are black on both sides, because Rambam states that this is preferable


שולחן ערוך אורח חיים הלכות תפילין סימן כה
סעיף ה
(טו) ו ז’] ה’) יכוין בהנחתם שצונו הקדוש ברוך הוא (טז) להניח ארבע פרשיות אלו שיש בהם יחוד שמו ויציאת מצרים על הזרוע כנגד הלב, ועל הראש כנגד המוח, כדי שנזכור נסים ונפלאות שעשה עמנו, שהם מורים על יחודו, ואשר לו הכח והממשלה בעליונים ובתחתונים לעשות בהם כרצונו. וישעבד להקב”ה הנשמה שהיא במוח, וגם הלב שהוא עיקר התאוות והמחשבות, ובזה יזכור הבורא וימעיט הנאותיו

Tazria Metzora – Lepers that gave life a chance and brought good news to the whole nation

Metzorah Haftara – Four Lepers

Melachim II ch. 7.

18 And it came to pass, as the man of God had spoken to the king, saying: ‘Two measures of barley for a shekel, and a measure of fine flour for a shekel, shall be to-morrow about this time in the gate of Samaria’; 19 and that captain answered the man of God, and said: ‘Now, behold, if the LORD should make windows in heaven, might such a thing be?’ and he said: ‘Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof’;

מלכים ב פרק ז
(יח) וַיְהִ֗י כְּדַבֵּר֙ אִ֣ישׁ הָאֱלֹהִ֔ים אֶל־הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ לֵאמֹ֑ר סָאתַ֨יִם שְׂעֹרִ֜ים בְּשֶׁ֗קֶל וּֽסְאָה־סֹ֙לֶת֙ בְּשֶׁ֔קֶל יִהְיֶה֙ כָּעֵ֣ת מָחָ֔ר בְּשַׁ֖עַר שֹׁמְרֽוֹן:
(יט) וַיַּ֨עַן הַשָּׁלִ֜ישׁ אֶת־אִ֣ישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים֘ וַיֹּאמַר֒ וְהִנֵּ֣ה יְקֹוָ֗ק עֹשֶׂ֤ה אֲרֻבּוֹת֙ בַּשָּׁמַ֔יִם הֲיִהְיֶ֖ה כַּדָּבָ֣ר הַזֶּ֑ה וַיֹּ֗אמֶר הִנְּךָ֤ רֹאֶה֙ בְּעֵינֶ֔יךָ וּמִשָּׁ֖ם לֹ֥א תֹאכֵֽל

This Haftara brings to the fore the dialectic between those who are optimistic, even when things are hopeless and “realists”. G-d can use the “lowest” people to be the messenger to fulfill the Word of G-d. When this happens it can make the elitist, leadership look very bad.

This is the point of the Haftarah. We are placed outside the gates of the city which is the abode of lepers. Hadad, King of Aram, was laying siege on the city. The Lepers, like everyone else, were on the verge of starvation. They decided that they would not find food in the city. Instead they tried their luck to see what would happen if they went to the Aram encampment. It need not be stated what kind of welcome four Jewish lepers, who were certainly odorous, could expect from the besieging forces of Aram.

וַאדֹנָי הִשְׁמִיעַ אֶת-מַחֲנֵה אֲרָם, קוֹל רֶכֶב קוֹל סוּס–קוֹל, חַיִל גָּדוֹל; וַיֹּאמְרוּ אִישׁ אֶל-אָחִיו, הִנֵּה שָׂכַר-עָלֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת-מַלְכֵי הַחִתִּים וְאֶת-מַלְכֵי מִצְרַיִם–לָבוֹא עָלֵינוּ.  ז וַיָּקוּמוּ, וַיָּנוּסוּ בַנֶּשֶׁף, וַיַּעַזְבוּ אֶת-אָהֳלֵיהֶם וְאֶת-סוּסֵיהֶם וְאֶת-חֲמֹרֵיהֶם, הַמַּחֲנֶה כַּאֲשֶׁר-הִיא; וַיָּנֻסוּ, אֶל-נַפְשָׁם.

Order Tefillin for yourself or loved one
Order Tefillin for yourself or loved one

When the lepers arrived at the encampment they found it empty. Apparently the Aramenians had escaped in a hurry. They left all of there horses and food. We are then informed by the Navi Prophet that G-d had made sounds of a multitude which was going to attack the encampment of Aram. When they heard thousand of horses racing at the camp they headed for the hills leaving behind all their valuables.

The hungry lepers devoured all that they could eat and plundered what valuables they could collect. They then decided that it would be nice to tell the Jewish people of the city that the siege had miraculously ended.

Upon hearing the news of the abandoned encampment the king and his advisers could not believe what had happened. The king suspected that the Aramenians had planned an ambush attack. One of the kings servants suggested that they send five horses from what was previously the great Jewish Cavalry. This cautious discussion reminds the reader of a similar discussion which had earlier taken place between the four lepers. The Navi would like to tell us that their is no real difference between a king and smelly lepers.

The Jews cautiously investigated whether it was true that the Aramenians had abandoned their camp. When they found booty thrown all over the path leading from the encampment, they realized that it was true that they had totally abandoned everything.

וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלִישָׁע, שִׁמְעוּ דְּבַר-יְהוָה:  כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה, כָּעֵת מָחָר סְאָה-סֹלֶת בְּשֶׁקֶל וְסָאתַיִם שְׂעֹרִים בְּשֶׁקֶל–בְּשַׁעַר שֹׁמְרוֹן.  ב וַיַּעַן הַשָּׁלִישׁ אֲשֶׁר-לַמֶּלֶךְ נִשְׁעָן עַל-יָדוֹ אֶת-אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים, וַיֹּאמַר, הִנֵּה יְהוָה עֹשֶׂה אֲרֻבּוֹת בַּשָּׁמַיִם, הֲיִהְיֶה הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה; וַיֹּאמֶר, הִנְּכָה רֹאֶה בְּעֵינֶיךָ, וּמִשָּׁם, לֹא תֹאכֵל.

The day before this incredible miracle Elisha the Prophet had told the king, “tomorrow a Seah of Solet Flour will be a Shekel and two Seah of wheat will be a Shekel.” The king’s adviser had sneered at Elisha asking if G-d would open up the storehouses of Heaven to feed Israel. Elisha told this scoffer, “your eyes will see it but you will not eat from there.”

After entering the Aramenian camp flour, indeed, sold for as little as Elisha had prophesied.

The king’s adviser was appointed to oversee the hoards of people racing to get at the food. The adviser was standing on a platform snidely overseeing the people. The platform broke and the adviser was then trampled to death.

This story demonstrates that G-d does not need an army to overthrow the greatest military powers. He also does not need spies to pass on the weaknesses of the enemy. Four lepers will do just fine.

The snide wording used by the kings adviser asking if G-d would open the storehouses of heaven should remind you of the guarantee given to Benei Yisrael by Malachi. Malachi said that if the people will not be cheap and give their tithes and then G-d will, “open the storehouses of Heaven and I will give you unending blessing.”

It is easy to believe  G-d does not intervene in Economics, but that seems to be a lesson of this Haftara.


Ask your questions about Passover Seder, Slavery, freedom. I will discuss your questions soon!

Birds Head haggadah - Making the Matzah
Making the Matzah

On Passover it is a mitzvah to ask questions. Judaism always encourages intellectual thought and welcomes all questions, unless they are from the wicked son, in which case we give a highly insulting answer.

Fill in the form with your Questions about the Passover Seder, slavery, Freedom from Egypt, whatever else.

As a Sofer I often point out that two of the four sons are inside every pair of Tefillin, Do you know which 2 sons ?


The Four Sons and the Seder


Four Glasses of Wine


Birds Head hagaddah

Sofer Stam Flash Sale – Tefillin, Mezuzot, Megilot

Shalom from Jerusalem,

Do you want to purchase Tefillin, Mezuzot, and Megilot direct from the Sofer in Jerusalem that makes them? Well, that is what Rabbi Steve Bar Yakov Gindi does. Even with this flash Sale I will make them personally for you.

Lately some in USA have asked how I deliver specially ordered holy scrolls? I send them via EMS – 3 day delivery, or with your neighbor who is visiting Israel.

Flash Sale, Huge Discounts!
Ends Rosh Hodesh Nisan
Made especially for you!


Gassot Tefillin – 2800ש”ח reduced to 2600,
Mezuzot 180 ש”ח reduced to 167,
Tefillin “Mehudarim” 1500 ש”ח reduced to 1395,
Tiny Mezuzot – 220 ש”ח reduced to 204,
Tiny Gassot Tefillin – 3260 ש”ח reduced to 3031,
Tiny Rambam Tefillin $1126 $79 off 1047 but still free shipping

Mezuzot $50 7% off $46.50,
Mezuzot on Gewil $65 7% off $60.45,
Gassot Tefillin – $800 $56 off $744 but still includes free shipping,
USA 212-729-8094 or 516-595-1713 ,
Israel 0544572366,

Flash Sale for #Purim until Rosh Hodesh Nissan March 16

Purim Flash Sale

Huge Discounts, but still made especially for you.
Tiny Rambam Tefillin $1126  $79 off 1047 but still free shipping
Mezuzot $50 7% off $46.50
Mezuzot on Gewil $65 7% off $60.45
Gassot Tefillin – $800 $56 off $744 but still free shipping
USA 212-729-8094 Israel 0544572366