These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem


Posted on September 28, 2012 by Andrea Wiese

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Recently, with the help of a teacher and a friend, I have taken on the mitzvah of tefillin. To be honest, I’m not sure when I really started wanting to try it, it’s such a personal experience so it’s hard to say, “I wanted to have this feeling, so I started to wrap tefillin.” But I did want to see what feeling it would give me and if it would enhance my prayer experience. One thing for sure, it helps me focus. When I feel the leather biting into my arm, it brings me back to my prayer and whatever intention I’m trying to have.
Another part that I really like it seeing the lines it leaves on my arms hours later into the day. I don’t know if it’s because I have really soft skin, or I wrap too tightly, but the lines stay on my arms for hours! It’s a really good reminder of being in that place of prayer and still having that concentration while I’m not “praying” anymore. An hour later when I’m contemplating if I have time to help someone, and I see the lines, I’m like…”yes, of course, I’ll help, I just prayed to be a better person!”
I have only be wrapping tefillin for two weeks, so if I have any big spiritual moments, I’ll post more.

This picture was very Erev Yom Kippur. Naomi and I went to Tel Aviv to do a mikvah in the ocean, and we’re praying before we went into the water. It was an AMAZING experience! I felt so pure going into Yom Kippur!