First you place the shel yadLit. Hand. The pointer used when reading the Torah, usually shaped like a tiny hand at its point. on the upper arm
No one dares look at her
When it’s tight enough, say the blessing
Someone turns and stares
Wrap the strap around your upper arm once
The whispering starts
Now wrap the strap around your forearm exactly seven times
She starts to walk towards the bimahThe stage or platform on which the person leading prayers stands.
Put the shel rosh right between your eyes, at your hairline
Every eye is on her, watching, judging
Say the blessing and then say
She opens up her siddurLit. Order of prayers. The prayer book.
Barukh shem k’vod malkhuto l’olam va’ed
The whispering gets louder
Wrap the arm strap once around your palm
She can hear someone say, “Isn’t that unhealthy?”
Wrap the strap once around your middle finger, saying
She starts to pray
V’erastikh li l’olam
Her chin is up
Wrap it around the next knuckle, saying
Her eyes closed
V’erastikh li b’tzedek u’v’mishpat, b’hesedLit. Kindness It is said in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) that the world stands on three things: Torah (learning), Avodah (worship), and Gemilut Hasidim (acts of kindness). u’v’rakhamim
So maybe, just maybe,
Turn it back to the first knuckle
She can stop hearing their taunts
V’erastikh li b’emunah, v’yadat et adonai
“You’re not a real Jew!”
Wrap your ring finger to your middle finger
“You don’t really know anything about the TorahThe Five Books of Moses, and the foundation of all of Jewish life and lore. The Torah is considered the heart and soul of the Jewish people, and study of the Torah is a high mitzvah. The Torah itself a scroll that is hand lettered on parchment, elaborately dressed and decorated, and stored in a decorative ark. It is chanted aloud on Mondays, Thursdays, and Shabbat, according to a yearly cycle. Sometimes "Torah" is used as a colloquial term for Jewish learning and narrative in general.!”
Bring the strap back to your palm
The sneer on their faces when she reads from the Torah
Then wrap the strap around the middle of your palm, again, and again
A hand goes up, to shield his eyes from the sight of a girl in t’fillin
See how it looks like the word shadai on your hand?
She leads anyway, appearing uncaring
The boxes should be right at your head
Standing tall, defying them all by learning and praying
And your heart
Why do you wear t’fillin?
Republished with permission from JGirls Magazine.