Phylacteries, Frontlets, Skull Caps and Tzit Tzit

Phylacteries and Tefillin – Frontlets

The English word frontlet is the two boxes of scripture or Tefillin  bound on the fore head and arm, Tefillin means to go around, or to bind

In the Mosaic Covenant many Rabbins interpreted “frontlets between thine eyes” literally in a physical sense, and so over time came the development of the Jewish practice of wearing the now-familiar small case which contains selected verses of the Law, written on strips of parchment, and bound on the arm and on the forehead between the eyes.


Tefillin interpreted by the Mosaic Pharisees

Exodus 13 refers to keeping the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and remembering its lessons continually as frontlets between our eyes and in our deeds, as represented by our arm and hand:  This was misinterpreted by the Mosaic Pharisees as the actual physical wearing of pieces of writing, which is a practice that God never intended. 

This physical Mosaic misinterpretation is corrected by an understanding of the spirit and intent of these laws which has been revealed by the Holy Spirit of the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31 that the law must be written on the hearts and in the minds of people: Plainly revealing that these instructions are a reference to the lesson of God delivering his Called Out from Egypt [bondage to sin] and that God’s people should always keep God’s Word at the forefront of their minds to guide all their deeds.

 Exodus 13:6 Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the LORD.

13:7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters.

13:8 And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt.

13:9 And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the LORD’s law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt.

13:10 Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year.

13:11 And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, as he sware unto thee and to thy fathers, and shall give it thee, 13:12 That thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the LORD’s.

13:13 And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.

13:14 And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage: 13:15 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem.

13:16 And it shall be for a token upon thine hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes: for by strength of hand the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt.

The clear meaning which was not properly understood without the Holy Spirit of the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31, is that we must always remember God in all our thoughts signified by our foreheads and in all our doings signified by our hands, keeping God’s Word always in the forefront of our minds.  

Deuteronomy 6:4   Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

6:6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

6:8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

This is followed up in:

Deuteronomy 11:16   Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; 11:17 And then the LORD’s wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you.

11:18 Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.

11:19 And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

The obvious intent is that people internalize a zeal to keep the whole Word of God in their hearts and minds, and in the actions of their hands.  Jeremiah 31

Jesus made this point when he condemned those who made a big show of wearing Teffilin, doing everything for show while ignoring godly living.

Matthew 23:5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,


The Four “Tefillin” Passages BACK
Ex 13,9Ex 13,16Dt 6,8Dt 11,18
“And it shall be for you for a sign upon your hand“And it shall be for a sign upon your hand“And you shall tie them for a sign upon your hand“And you shall tie them for a sign upon your hand
and a remembrance (Zicharon) between your eyes”and a remembrance (Totafot) between your eyes”and they will be for a remembrance (Totafot) between your eyes”and they will be for a remembrance (Totafot) between your eyes”


Comparison of “Tefillin” Passages and Similar Metaphors
And let these things which I command you today be upon your heart (Dt 6,6)And you will put these things which I command you on your heart and on your soul (Dt 11,18)Tie them upon you heart always (Prov 6,21)write them upon the tablet of your heart (Prv 3,3)
and you shall tie them for a sign upon your hand (Dt 6,8)tie them upon your throat (Prov 3,3)Tie them upon your heart always,  don them upon your throat (Prov 6,21)and a necklace upon your throat (Prov 1,9)
and for a remembrance (Totafot) between your eyes (Dt 6,8)because it is a beautiful wreath for your head (Prov 1,9)
and write them upon the doorposts of your houses and your gates (Dt 6,9)write them upon the tablet of your heart (Prov 3,3)


Tefillin is actually the pair of small, black leather boxes containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with verses from the books of Moses, which are worn on the forehead and bound in the hand by a leather armband wrapped around the right arm, which are worn by observant Jews during weekday morning prayers.

The wearing of Tefillin is the interpretation of the Rabbins.  The scriptural intent is not some physical wearing of a piece of leather with inscriptions, but the actual continual remembering and holding in the mind the whole Word of God; and the keeping of the whole Word of God and all the commandments of God so that the land of promise might be attained and so that we might remain in a close positive relationship with our God and Might King. 

In the Rabbinic sense of wearing some physical amulet: the wearing of such articles is merely a tradition of the Rabbins.

Those who insist that the Rabbins sit in Moses seat and that they must therefore keep the apostate Rabbinic calendar; should also follow Rabbinic tradition regarding Passover and Pentecost and the wearing of phylacteries. 

To do otherwise is to be hypocrites; saying that the Rabbins sit in Moses seat and then still picking and choosing which Rabbinic legislation that they will keep.

The true intended sense of the Holy Scripture is that we are to fill our minds with the whole Word of God keeping every Word of God in the forefront of our minds; and that we are to zealously KEEP the commandments of God in all the deeds of our hands!  This is an absolute requirement for a solid and positive relationship with God the Father and Jesus  Christ.

 The unedited full-text of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia

The laws governing the wearing of phylacteries were derived by the Rabbins from four Biblical passages (Deut. vi. 8, xi. 18; Ex. xiii. 9, 16) and interpreted literally by many Rabbinic commentators,

In conclusion:  The wearing of physical phylacteries is NOT required by scripture and is an addition to scripture by the Rabbins who failed to understand the true meaning of these instructions.

We are commanded to always have our minds full of the whole Word of God; and are commanded to be zealous to learn the whole word of God, and to keep all the commandments of God!


Skull Caps

The ancient pagans worshiped the sun by many different names in different cultures.  One feature was the practice of shaving bald sun symbol circles in the hair on the top of the head, this practice is still common in various Catholic, Buddhist and other traditions today.  The sun symbol function of this practice is generally concealed by calling the bald spot a tonsure and a symbol of humility and religious devotion

God’s people were absolutely forbidden to practice this tradition. 

Leviticus 21:5 They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard.

Modern Jews do not engage in this practice yet instead of shaving circles on the head many today have adopted the ancient pagan practiced of the skull cap sun symbol which is still practiced by some Catholics, Buddhists and others, again generally concealing the true meaning by calling the skull cap a symbol of humility and religious devotion. 


Fringes or Zit Zit

The sanctity of God’s Sabbaths

This event is not just picking up a stick and playing with it, people gathered sticks and carried then on their backs back to the camp for firewood, and such burdens often weighed 40 or more pounds. This was hard work.

15:32 And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. 15:33 And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation.

They held the person until they could inquire of God what to do

15:34 And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him.

This is a judgment of God concerning working on the Sabbath.  God’s judgment is that anyone working on HIS Sabbaths, and that includes paying others to serve us in restaurants [or to serve us in other ways and places] on God’s Sabbaths; must die.  This includes the annual as well as the weekly Sabbaths.

Today the brethren are full of this same sin of Sabbath pollution, even buying food on the God’s Holy Sabbaths, as well as deciding to keep the annual Sabbaths on different dates than the dates which God has commanded. 

Consider:  If we obey the Rabbins and not God’s Word in setting holy time then who is our God:  the Eternal or the Rabbins?  If it is proper to postpone Annual Sabbaths for our own convenience, then why is it not also proper to postpone the weekly Sabbath as we want?   Of course it is wrong to exalt the words of any men above the Word of God; doing so makes those men our gods above the Eternal!  It is a grievous sin to postpone or to pollute EITHER the Weekly or the Annual Sabbaths!

This judgment is in effect today; and all those who do not repent of polluting the Weekly and Annual Sabbaths by postponing them to days other than what God has proscribed, or by profaning them by buying, selling, or by doing any work on them including cooking, will be cast into the severe correction of great tribulation.

That is the judgment of Almighty God, it is NOT my judgment; it is the judgment of Almighty God for those who pollute his Sabbaths.

15:35 And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. 15:36 And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.

These fringes were to be a reminder of God’s law.

The people were then commanded to place fringes on their garments as a physical sign to help them to remember to keep the commandments of God.

The Tallit was a four cornered robe which was worn in ancient times and the fringes were attached to the corners.  Today because of modern clothing the fringes are hung from a belt and also attached to the ends of prayer shawls [modern tallit] with which the men cover themselves during prayer. 

Neither square clothing, nor the prayer shawl, nor covering the heads of males during prayer are enjoined anywhere in scripture.  They are simply extra scriptural Rabbinic tradition.  Women are commanded by Paul in 1 Corinthians 11 to cover their hair [heads] during worship and prayer, and men are commanded to pray uncovered.

Of the subjects in this post the fringes is the only one actually commanded.

The key point is to remember the whole Word of God and especially the sanctity of the Sabbath, and not get caught up in idolizing the wearing of a piece of cloth which is only a physical reminder of the law.

Numbers 15:38 Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue:

15:39  And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them ; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: 15:40 That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.

Deuteronomy 22:12 Thou shalt make thee fringes upon the four quarters of thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest thyself.


The New Covenant

In the New Covenant, the Holy Spirit has been given to bring to remembrance the Word, commandments and doctrines of God: therefore the fringe was a physical reminder to obey God which is now replaced by the far better reminder of the writing of God’s Word on our hearts by God’s Holy Spirit (Jer 31:31)!

Jeremiah 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 31:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:

31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me [be at ONE in complete spiritual unity with God the Father and Jesus Christ, through the zealous keeping of every Word of God], from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

Under the New Covenant, the law is written in our hearts by sincere repentance and a diligent study and keeping of God’s Word through the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit, which the Mosaic Covenant did not contain any promise of. 

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

The Mosaic people who wore the fringe still could not keep the Word and law of God, thereby proving that the wearing of fringes did not help them.  This proved that a New Covenant and the gift of God’s Holy Spirit to write the Word of God on the hearts of people was needed. 

The tzit tzit was only a Mosaic Covenant symbol of the needed Holy Spirit of the New Covenant. Today if we have God’s Holy Spirit to remind us of the Word and law of God, there is no more need for the physical reminder of a fringe on our garments.

This particular Mosaic Covenant statute to remember the law and Word of God is fulfilled by and was a symbol of God’s Holy Spirit in the New Covenant; to which we are to listen rather than looking at a tzit tzit [fringe or tassel] on our garment. 

Yet if anyone male or female desires to wear a fringe, there is nothing wrong in doing so provided that one understands the spiritual meaning.  Further it is not necessary to wear some specific type of fringe because some Rabin approved it, the only scriptural requirement is that it be blue.  A simple blue tassel attached to the belt or clothing is quite alright [see pictures].  Pictures of the Rabbinic Tzit Tzit.


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