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12-Jan-2020 12:50

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All of the tefillin are made of blackened leather with the hair side facing out.

Everything described so far appears to have been acceptable both to the sectarians at Qumran, who certainly used these tefillin, and to the Pharisees, if we can judge by what the later Rabbis required.

Previous to the discovery of the Qumran corpus there was much debate about the dating and extent of these practices in ancient Israel.

The finding of large numbers of tefillin and mezuzot at Qumran has certainly shown that these practices date back at least to Hasmonaean times.

The Dead Sea Scrolls Central to the religious life described in talmudic sources are tefillin and mezuzah.

The tefillin, usually called phylacteries in English (a misnomer derived from the Greek word meaning “amulet”), are leather boxes containing parchments, each with certain biblical passages.

The boxes are attached with leather thongs to the head and arm.

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In dealing with the tefillin, we need to discuss several separate issues- how the leather boxes enclosing the scriptural texts were constructed, which passages were placed in the boxes, and how these passages were written.According to rabbinic sources, tefillin were not originally worn by all Jews, despite the Pharisaic-rabbinic claim that the Torah requires it.With time, however, more and more Jews began to wear them.The Qumran sectarian tefillin are those which contain additional passages.

Although this conclusion seems plausible, we have no way of proving such a contention.The arm tefillin, worn on the forearm, is arranged differently from the head tefillin, consisting of a cube sitting atop a rectangular base, the strap passing through the rectangle at its upper end.