Commentary on Parashat Vaetchanan, Deuteronomy 3:23 - 7:11
Every week, Julie Seltzer, artist and Torah scribe, bakes a challah depicting an aspect of the week’s Torah portion.
Bind them as a sign on your hand and a symbol between your eyes. (Deuteronomy 6:8)
וּקְשַׁרְתָּם לְאוֹת, עַל-יָדֶךָ; וְהָיוּ לְטטָפת, בֵּין עֵינֶיךָ
This line was interpreted literally by the rabbis. The tefillin boxes have little scrolls with words of the torah inside, and are placed on the arm and on the head (between the eyes). In this tefillin challah, you can see one method of wrapping: seven times around the arm, with the letter Shin formed at the end. On the tefillin for the head, you see the Hebrew words “shel rosh,” meaning “for the head.”
Pronounced: KHAH-luh, Origin: Hebrew, ceremonial bread eaten on Shabbat and Jewish holidays.
Pronunced: TORE-uh, Origin: Hebrew, the Five Books of Moses.
Pronounced: tuh-FILL-in (short i in both fill and in), Origin: Hebrew, phylacteries. These are the small boxes containing the words of the Shema that are traditionally wrapped around one’s head and arm during morning prayers.