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A Portion of the People
This Happy Land First Families · Pledging Allegiance · Palmetto Jews 
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Tefillin with bag
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Tefillin with bag
Russia, ca. 1890
Leather and parchment
Bag: cotton velvet
Private collection

Tefillin are small leather boxes containing parchment inscribed with four sections from the Torah. During morning prayers, one case is strapped on the left arm (for a right-handed person), the other on the forehead. Tefillin are charged with symbolic significance. The binding signifies God’s covenant with the Jewish people and reminds Jews of their commitment to the commandments. When putting on tefillin, one recites: “I will betroth you to Me forever; I will betroth you to Me with righteousness, justice, kindness, and mercy.”

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Last updated: Wednesday, September 18, 2019