What are those leather strings and the little black boxes Jews wear for some prayers?

tefilin_barbieThese boxes, called phylacteries or tefillin contain (mostly) 4 portions of the Bible, each in its own compartment, written in Hebrew on parchment by a scribe: Exodus 13:1-10, Exodus 13: 11-16; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Deuteronomy 11:13-21. For more detail and photos go here and check out how to wear tefillin on youtube.

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