n. Small black boxes containing sections of the Shema attached to leather straps and worn around the head and arm during prayer, sometimes translated by the English word "phylacteries."
"I put on tefillin every morning."
Languages of Origin
- Textual Hebrew
- Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
- North America
- Great Britain
- South Africa
- Australia / New Zealand
- The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003).
- The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
- The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
- Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).
Who Uses This
tfillin, tefilin, tefilan, t'filin, tfilin, t'fillin
In non-egalitarian communities, only men put on tefillin, while in traditional egalitarian communities many women do as well. One puts on tefillin every morning, except for on Shabbat and yom tov (some Jews don tefillin on chol hamoed, but some don't). The Greek-origin word "phylacteries" is sometimes used as a translation for "tefillin," but few people know that word and not "tefillin."
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