Hover over main image to zoom
Tefillin (sometimes transliterated as tefilin), also called phylacteries, from Ancient Greek phylacterion, are a set of small cubic leather boxes painted black, containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with verses from the Torah, with leather straps dyed black on one side, and worn by observant Jewish men during weekday morning prayers. Although "tefillin" is technically the plural form (the singular being "tefillah"), it is loosely used as a singular as well. The hand-tefillin, or shel yad, is placed on the upper arm, and the strap wrapped around the arm, hand and fingers; while the head-tefillin, or shel rosh, is placed above the forehead, with the strap going around the head and over the shoulders. The Torah commands that they should be worn to serve as a "sign" and "remembrance" that God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt.