Phylactery, Olfactory, Same Thing

Oy vey. Check out this video of the Chief Inspector of the Philadelphia police department talking about the plane that was grounded this morning because of a pair of tefillin. Pretty unremarkable except for when he refers to tefillin as “a religious device…what is known as an olfactory, a box-like device that goes on the forehead.”


Tefillin are sometimes called phylacteries, which comes from the Greek term, phylakterion, which means amulet.

Olfactory means of or related to the sense of smell, and it comes from the Latin olfacere to smell.

Discover More

New York City + Social Justice + Jewish Journeys = One Inspiring Summer (Sponsored)

Calling all Jewish high school students! Searching for an exciting and challenging way to spend the summer? You’ll definitely want to check ...

70 Faces Media is Hiring!

Looking for a job in the media industry? Want to work for a wonderful Jewish non-profit organization? You’re in luck! Our ...

Introducing Jewcer: Kickstarter for the Jewish Community (Sponsored)

What do the Women of the Wall, a Jewish rock album, and a web series about making aliyah have in common?They ...