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In an outburst of whim, I emailed B, who’s here in her first year of rabbinical school, and asked her to teach me how to wrap tefillin. Apparently, these are the sorts of impulses that overtake me here. Tefillin are small, black, squarish leather boxes that have Torah verses inside them. Observant Jews (read: men) wear them during weekday morning prayers.

I went through a phase where I was really intense about wearing a tallit (prayer shawl), but then I stopped. I’ve gone through a lot of prayer related phases, including the one I’m in now, which involves a lot of snark and skepticism and no actual prayer.

The process of wrapping tefillin is detailed and can be confusing, but B is an excellent teacher, and I was and continue to be moved by her conviction. The act of physically attaching Torah to my body felt very powerful. I might even do it again.

tefillin marks

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