Tuesday, April 19, 2005

A Beatiful New Pair of Tefillin

I started putting money aside in 2000 in order to save enough for a new pair of tefillin. At that time I didn't know exactly what I was looking for. I only knew that I wanted a nicer pair of tefillin than the pair I brought back with me from Israel eleven years before.

I never imagined that one day I would actually meet the person who would write the parshios for my new tefillin but I am extremely grateful that I did.

When I met Rabbi Lazer Brody in January he showed me the beautiful pair of tefillin that he uses. Many people might not know it, but Rabbi Brody is also a sofer. He writes mezuzos, tefillin, and sifrei Torah in order to earn his parnossa. Besides writing the parshios for his own tefillin he even wrote a Sefer Torah for the Melitzer Rebbe in Israel.

The image of Rabbi Brody's beautiful tefillin remained in my memory for some time afterwards.

The Chofetz Chaim once remarked that "the most important element of tefillin is neither the professionalism nor the style of the writing, but rather the level of yiras shamayim, awe of G-d, of the individuals writing the text and making the tefillin; which no one, not the consumer, the examiner, nor even the most learned rabbi can see."

Having met Rabbi Brody, I knew that he would be the perfect sofer for my new tefillin. At the end of February I commissioned him to write the parshios and personally hand-select a beautiful set of battim. I davened every day for him to be matzliach and waited patiently until they were complete. Rabbi Brody meticulously attended to all the details relating to the parshios and battim and conducted business with complete integrity.

Last Thursday he sent the completed tefillin to me via UPS from Jerusalem and I davened for them to arrive safely. With the aid of UPS's package tracking technology I tracked my tefillin as they made their way across the Atlantic Ocean. The UPS truck finally pulled up in front of my home yesterday and I was delighted to finally have the new tefillin in my hands. They were certainly worth the wait!

In Likutey Moharan 54:3, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught, "Every day, G-d grants us signs, showing us the way of truth. Through tefillin you can attain the wisdom to recognize these signs." May it be Hashem's will that I be able to recogize these signs with the beautiful new tefillin from Rabbi Lazer Brody.


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