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The Mitzvah of Tefillin in Parshat Bo


וְהָיָה֩ לְךָ֨ לְא֜וֹת עַל־יָדְךָ֗ וּלְזִכָּרוֹן֙ בֵּ֣ין עֵינֶ֔יךָ לְמַ֗עַן תִּהְיֶ֛ה תּוֹרַ֥ת ה' בְּפִ֑יךָ כִּ֚י בְּיָ֣ד חֲזָקָ֔ה הוֹצִֽאֲךָ֥ ה' מִמִּצְרָֽיִם׃


וְהָיָ֤ה לְאוֹת֙ עַל־יָ֣דְכָ֔ה וּלְטוֹטָפֹ֖ת בֵּ֣ין עֵינֶ֑יךָ כִּ֚י בְּחֹ֣זֶק יָ֔ד הוֹצִיאָ֥נוּ ה' מִמִּצְרָֽיִם׃


The mitzvah of tefillin is mentioned twice in Parshat Bo, and there is a custom to read these to sections of the Parsha every morning after putting on tefillin. The tefillin on the head is worn on the forehead, between the eyes, and the tefillin on the arm is worn on the bicep. The tefillin on the head is called the "Rosh Tefillin" and the tefillin on the arm is called the "Shel Rosh."


The Talmud (Menachot 36b) explains that the tefillin on the head represents the unity of the Jewish people and their submission to God's authority. The tefillin on the arm represents the Jewish people's willingness to perform God's commandments with their actions. This idea is supported by Rashi's commentary which explains that the tefillin on the head symbolizes the unity of the Jewish people and their submission to God's authority. The tefillin on the arm represents the Jewish people's willingness to perform God's commandments with their actions.


The Ramban, adds that the tefillin on the head also serves as a reminder of the revelation at Mount Sinai, where the Jewish people received the Torah. He also notes that the tefillin on the arm serves as a reminder of the binding of Isaac, where Abraham demonstrated his complete submission to God's will by being willing to sacrifice his son.


Thus, the commandment to wear tefillin serves as a constant reminder of our connection to God and to the commandments, it also serves as a reminder of the revelation at Mount Sinai and the binding of Isaac. Wearing tefillin is a way of internalizing the teachings of the Torah and making it a part of our everyday life.

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