Rabbi Amichai Eyal, founder of the “Or Chadash (New light)” organization, talks to Arutz Sheva about a new project he has established, whose goal is uniting the Jewish People through enhancing the accessibility of the mitzva of tefillin. He is connecting those who have tefillin of their own with fellow Jews who do not own a set, but who would like to observe this important commandment.

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“There are a great many Jews who would like to put on tefillin when they awaken each morning, and on the other hand there are a great many Jews who have tefillin that are not in use. The goal is to bring the two together, so that one more Jew will put on tefillin in the morning,” says Rav Eyal, and describes the project: “People who have extra tefillin in their homes turn to us, we take their addresses, go to their homes and collect them. We bring them straight to a top level (Mehadrin) institute that checks the ‘kashrut’ of the tefillin so we can find out what their condition is. Once the tefillin have been repaired and refurbished, they look brand new.”

“We are in the midst of a real awakening,” explains Rav Eyal. “I am flooded with requests from all kinds of people, from all over the country and from every sector. A good many soldiers turn to me and want simply to put on tefillin. The financial factor is an obstacle that cannot be ignored, however. Someone who is raised in an observant home takes it for granted that when he turns thirteen, his family will lay out thousands of shekels for a set of new tefillin, but for an adult who sees the light and wants to put on tefillin – spending several thousand shekels is usually not so easy,” explains the rabbi, referring to the complexities of observing the mitzva of tefillin.

“Our goal is to remove this obstacle, to reach every Jew who wants to put on tefillin. To simply connect to tefillin. Either I go to him by myself or have the tefillin delivered. I speak to every person who expresses the desire to put on tefillin and make sure that these tefillin will not be left in the closet but will be worn every day, and I receive very moving video clips showing them putting on the tefillin. The stories are so moving.”

In conclusion, Rav Eyal talked about the uniqueness of tefillin, saying: “The mitzva of tefillin actually does tie up a person. Tefillin on the arm are next to the heart, tefillin on the head next to the brain, both are where man’s life signs are centered. And in that center, he is connected, tied, to God. The heart of our faith, connecting the heart and mind, what could be greater than that? Each and every one of us is obligated to join the tefillin connection.”

The Tefillin Tie Initiative has received the blessings and approbations of rabbis from all stripes of the Torah world; click here to see their messages. The rabbis note the tremendous merit of all those who contribute towards this activity, thus helping yet another Jew to wear tefillin every day and accept upon himself the yoke of Heaven.

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