At least two dozen tefillin scroll fragments were known to have been found during excavations of the limestone caves overlooking the Dead Sea at Qumran in the 1950s (several phylactery
boxes and straps were unearthed as well).
This personal connection is then cemented by winding the straps attached to the phylactery
of the arm around it seven times, corresponding to the seven blessings recited during a Jewish wedding ceremony, then three more times around one's middle finger, where the wedding ring is placed, forming the Hebrew letters, shin, daled, and yod, which comprise the Hebrew word "Shadday" or Almighty.
Wrapping himself in his tallit, laying his tefillin with a series of practiced gestures, "the second phylactery
high on his forehead, like a miner's light," her father's immersion in the daily rituals before leaving for his job on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange was an unquestioned part of his professional identity, and by extension it defined and protected the family.
For the most part they are perceived, in this vision, as just another marginal pursuit like motor-racing or phylactery
The introduction eschews the weary semantics of "magic" versus "religion" for a comparison of various categories of physical charm (talisman, phylactery
, and others) in terms of formal features and ancient nomenclature.
Torah books and phylacteries are trampled, torn, and burnt, and phylactery
straps are used to tie cows.
Their emphasis on outward form, gesture and posture reminds me of Matthew's account of Jesus charging the Pharisees with concern only for which of them had the longest tassel and the widest phylactery
On the facades of the cathedrals of Poitiers, Ferrara, and Verona, for example, there are rows of sculpted figures in procession, representing the major Old Testament prophets, each with his own phylactery
(scroll) with the relevant prophecy inscribed.
I am reliably informed that (among many possible examples) he has not yet been seen in the streets of Redditch wearing a phylactery
and that he does not sacrifice either lambs or doves at family celebrations.