Tefillin pouch

Similarly to the Mezuzah, the Tefillin also contains citations from holy scripts reminding to God’s Commandments. Adult Jewish men place the Tefillin above their forehead and on their arm on weekday morning prayers. The little scroll of parchment written by the Sofer is placed in a cubical case made of bovine leather, with long straps attached to it. The actual arrangement of the cases and the straps on the forehead and the arms follows a meticulous regulation. Traditional embroidered pouches were used as Tefillin-holders. Blessings and prayers related to the act of placing the Tefillin can be seen on this early 20th century calico Tefillin made in Jerusalem. All the texts and illustrations were made with press-plates also used to print prayer books, maps and postcards. The text is also arranged according to the rules followed in the printing of prayer books. On the back side of the pouch, a montage of other printing plates of the Jerusalem printing house is placed. The so called Menorah-psalm (Psalm 67) is placed in the middle of the composition and two small oval plates showing Holy Land sites on the two sides. Under the Menorah Avraham Moshe Luncz, the name of the typographer is written. Luncz was fifteen when he left Czarist Russia in 1869 to become a famed scientist and editor in Jerusalem. His active years coincided with the First Aliya, the first wave of immigration to Palestine, when some 50,000 new immigrants arrived in sparsely populated desert lands of the country. The new immigrants built new cities, Eliezer Ben Yehuda laid down the rules of the Modern Hebrew language and the first institutions of the old-new country were established. Some of the pictures on the Tefillin-pouch showcase modern settlements, such as Rishon LeTziyyon and Zichron Ya’akov towns established in 1882 thanks to donations from Baron Rothschild. The port of Haifa can also be seen. The other smaller images show traditional Jewish pilgrimage sites, the Tomb of David, the Tower of David, the Western (Wailing) Wall, Safed, Abshalom’s Tomb, the Machpela caves and Rachel’s Tomb.