The Splendor of Tefillin: Insights into the Mitzvah of Tefillin From the Writings of Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaKohen Kook

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What are tefillin? What is their deeper significance? How can we bind our hearts and souls to God, as we bind these these scrolls to our arms and heads?

Nine essays on the mitzvah of tefillin, based on the writings of Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaKohen Kook, one of the most influential Jewish thinkers of our times. More

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Published: May 25, 2011
Words: 8,170
Language: English
ISBN: 9781458105547
About Chanan Morrison

Rabbi Chanan Morrison grew up in Pennsylvania, and graduated with a B.A. in Mathematics from Yeshiva University (New York). Pursuing advanced Talmudic studies in Jerusalem, he spent the next seven years studying in Jerusalem yeshivot, including the famed Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav, founded by Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook in 1924.

Rabbi Morrison taught Jewish studies for several years in Harrisburg, PA, before returning to Israel. He and his family subsequently settled down in a small community in the Judean Desert.

In an effort to maintain contact with former students, Rabbi Morrison began emailing articles on the weekly Torah portion based on the philosophical writings of Rabbi A. I. Kook. Over the years, this email list grew at a phenomenal rate; it now benefits thousands of readers from all over the world. He is frequently featured on the Torah section of the Israel National News website, and his work can be read on his own website at http://www.ravkooktorah.org.

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Reviews

Review by: Robert Weiss on Jan. 16, 2012 : star star star star star
Well written and concise. The book makes the מצוה of תפילין so much more meaningful. Highly recommended reading.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: cm2 on Oct. 18, 2011 : star star star star star
This is not a long book - it consists of nine essays - but I found that it helped me relate to the mitzvah of tefillin on a much deeper level. It made wearing tefillin much more meaningful for me.

Each chapter discusses a different aspect of tefillin - the significance of the knots, its connection to the Exodus from Egypt, the requirement to always be aware of tefillin while wearing them, the unusual four-pronged Shin, and so on.

I find that now, when I put on tefillin and wrap the black strap on my arm, I think of the "zeroa netuyah" - the "outstretched arm" by which G-d redeemed the Jewish people from Egypt. Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook explained this metaphor beautifully. The "outstretched arm" means an arm stretched out to the future. It reaches out and points the way to the future redemption of Israel and the entire world.

He explained that the word "zeroa" is like the word "zera" - a 'seed.' The mitzvah of tefillin is a holy seed, planted when the Israelites left Egypt thousands of years ago. It constantly refines the Jewish people and prepares them for a better, holier future.

If you want to better understand the inner meaning and significance of this ancient tradition - this book is definitely worthwhile!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: cm2 on Oct. 18, 2011 : star star star star star
This is not a long book - it consists of nine essays - but I found that it helped me relate to the mitzvah of tefillin on a much deeper level. It made wearing tefillin much more meaningful for me.

Each chapter discusses a different aspect of tefillin - the significance of the knots, its connection to the Exodus from Egypt, the requirement to always be aware of tefillin while wearing them, the unusual four-pronged Shin, and so on.

I find that now, when I put on tefillin and wrap the black strap on my arm, I think of the "zeroa netuyah" - the "outstretched arm" by which G-d redeemed the Jewish people from Egypt. Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook explained this metaphor beautifully. The "outstretched arm" means an arm stretched out to the future. It reaches out and points the way to the future redemption of Israel and the entire world.

He explained that the word "zeroa" is like the word "zera" - a 'seed.' The mitzvah of tefillin is a holy seed, planted when the Israelites left Egypt thousands of years ago. It constantly refines the Jewish people and prepares them for a better, holier future.

If you want to better understand the inner meaning and significance of this ancient tradition - this book is definitely worthwhile!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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