Barry Bub, MD reveals how Jews from very different parts of the spectrum of Jewish practice can, with thought and preparation, have meaningful connection in this Mitzvah Stories podcast filmed at the Museum for Jewish History, NY, NY. The story is his own, "Tied Together and Worlds Apart," from Mitzvah Stories: Seeds for Inspiration and Learning - Buy Now
Tefillin are a set of two leather boxes filled with parchments on which a scribe has written specific verses from the Torah, then attached the boxes to leather straps, each knotted so that one can go around your head and one around your weaker [non-dominant] arm. It is quite complex to make Tefiillin, and one is best served by buying good quality ones made by a scribe. The term tefillin (Aramaic) shares the root of tefillah, prayer.
I didn't spend a penny on my last trip to Canada and so I noted that on the customs form. The smiling agent stamps a big red word "Extest" onto my form and sends me around the corner where all the people with large suspicious boxes go. Ugh. A zillion overseas trips and today, winging my way back to my beloved, to get stuck in bureaucracy.
As a child of maybe seven, while exploring the basement of our suburban home, I found a curious item, a velvet bag containing little boxes with long black leather straps attached to them. Hauling them upstairs I asked my father if I could use the straps for a craft project.