Showing posts from December 20, 2017

5 Generations

Our work always bring interesting things our way.  A few days ago I received a young Russian man working on his Doctoral PhD in a local university in my studio.  With him were very old Chabad tefillin which he wanted for me to restore the Batim. Upon seeing them I remarked, these are at least over 100 years old!  Yes, he remarked with much pride: "they span 5 generations!"

The housings are 4.4 cm x 4.4 cm and are painted with a hard shinny lacquer finish similar to those used in old pill-sized tefillin from the period.  Besides encasing the entire batim, the paint also extends to the underside of the base creating a case of Hatzitzah for the wearer.

Their construction is very different than our modern tefillin.  These would roughly fall into our category of Peshutim, but certainly not perudot.  The divisions for the four interior housings of the Shel Rosh are created by gluing three separate pieces of leather to the interior of the head compartment, while the division lines …